You already know that social media is a standard in the way companies like you reach customers. You post photos, share anecdotes, and stream videos – each of which helps your followers to better understand WHO you are as a company – but there is another advantage. You can also use social media for customer service. In fact, your customers are probably already turning to social media to reach you.
The Importance of Social Media
Ultimately, all it takes is one bad exchange. Around 37 percent of people will stop doing business with a company after a single bad customer service experience and almost 60 percent will make the switch after two or three times. What’s more is that good customer service doesn’t just retain customers, it encourages them. American Express reports that over 66 percent of consumers will spend at least 14 percent more on goods and services from a company with better customer service. Finally, keep in mind that people share their experiences, too. Losing one customer because of customer service often means that you will also lose all the people they could have referred to you.
Social Media and Customer Service
Almost half of all consumers will share a negative customer service experience on their social media channels. This is roughly as many people as those that will leave a negative review about your company on a consumer review site or comment on your website. Then, there are the people who try to connect with your company on social media when there is a problem. According to J.D. Power, roughly two out of three consumers connect with companies through social media when there is a customer service issue.
“Companies that are focused only on promoting their brand and deals, or only servicing existing customers, are excluding major groups of their online community, negatively impacting their satisfaction and influencing their future purchasing decision,” explains J.D. Power director of social media Jacqueline Anderson. “If your customers want service and you’re pushing discount coupons out to them while ignoring their attempts to connect with you, you’re going to end up with dissatisfied customers.”
Building Brand Love
When done well, social media can become a platform for solving your customer service issues, as well as improving engagement and brand love. Take JetBlue for example. Using Sparkcentral, the company searches through thousands of social media posts, responding to those that mention them with a hashtag and also those who don’t – and its customers notice. JetBlue is often able to respond to mentions and resolve customers service issues in minutes. As a result, the discount airline often rates as a top performer in customer service. JetBlue is has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among low-cost carriers by J.D. Power for the past 12 years and counting!
Nike is another example. The sports clothing and footwear company actually created a separate account (@NikeSupport) that is centered on providing customer service 24/7. Most tweets to that account receive a response within minutes. Obviously, this builds goodwill, but responding to direct complaints is only part of it. The best brands are also proactive.
Social media is one of the biggest opportunities you have available to your company. You can use these platforms to reach new customers, respond to complaints, and forestall issues before they become problems – but you have to have the right tools.