With lot of new business coming up on daily basis, the competition is getting fiercer for every company. Each one is struggling for survival; at the end, it is those people that take every aspect of their business such as customer service very serious usually emerges at the top. Undoubtedly, Great customer service is everything and I mean it as it sounds. Before now, great customer service use to be a unique business marketing strategy, now it is simply one of the standards of any good business that wants to survive. Customers judge business based on the level of customer service they provide.
Virtually every company provides customer service. However that’s not the case here, it is how you provide it that matters. When we talk about customer service, the problem lies on how to effectively provide a quality and proper customer service. There are many ways to go about it and the most important method to offer great customer service is through the use of social media.
For B2B Companies, having a website is not just enough especially when it comes to the provision of quality customer service. The use of social media is more suited and more effective for B2C interactions. According to a study from Forrester Research, B2B firms are expected to spend more than $154 million on social media marketing in 2016, up from the lower figure recorded in the previous years. As more B2B companies understands the importance of social media for marketing and customer interaction, the expenditures on social media is expected to double in the coming years.
Top social media websites like Facebook and Twitter has become more than just a platform for just marketing and advertising. It is now becoming an important medium through which consumers solicit and receive customer service. Report by Nielsen on the “effect of social media on B2B customer service” shows that almost half of American consumers use social media like Facebook to seek for information, report satisfaction with a business or simply to make a complaint – the report also stated that one third of social media users prefer the “social care” to phone.
The concept of social care is not new however B2B business still experiences challenge in providing multi-channel support that includes social media. The reality however, it that customers are having bigger expectations from businesses year over year and are looking up to brands to create a seamless experience that cut across the company’s office to their Facebook timeline.
You need to be a “social media rockstar” to provide adequate B2B social care.
Now, the real question is “how can you use social media to provide a quality and effective customer service?” – The following tips will help you to increase your customer’s experience of your business.
- Be Where Your Customers Are
The major challenge of using social media to provide customer service is indenting where the greatest number of your customer are. Your marketing efforts may drive traffic to your targeted social media websites; however you still need to figure out where the majority of your customers are. You need to meet them where they are already socializing. Most big B2B companies tend to focus more of their social care on Facebook and Twitter however other brands may discover majority of their own customers on sites like LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, V2, and Pinterest among others.
Be creative when looking for your customer base on social media sites, search for the mentions of your brand within popular social sites and find a way to include yourself in conversations relevant to your industry. B2B companies must bear in mind that the consumers and not the brand are the one that wields the highest power over a brand’s image on social media. Neglecting conversations and mentions of your brand on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can have far-reaching consequences.
- Listen to What Your Customers Have To Say
Using software that searches for mentions of your brand on social media is not enough, you need to address your customers’ problem on social media directly. According to the survey conducted by Oracle, participants were asked “what was the most important thing they need when they visit a business page on social media”. More than forty-three percent said they were seeking for a direct response to their queries while thirty-one percent are looking for direct access to customer service representatives.
It is very important that you collect and analyze your customers’ activities on your social media page so as to know and understand the kind of issues they are raising on social media and how to address these issues directly.
- Track and Manage Volume
Your social metrics can be affected by the size of your company and industry metrics. Some B2B companies will be receiving lot of “noise” through social media, now their priority will turn into identifying the top priority contacts that require direct response. Other companies on the other hand, may notice that most of their contacts are requesting for direct customer service. Depending on the capability of your company and the volume of social interactions your company social media page generates, you need a system to track the volume of social media interactions and turn posts, tweets and even private messages into customer tickets that can be addressed by the customer service department. This way you can track and solve the issues behind the scene and yet able to get back to the customer in the same platform where they contacted you.
- Social Care is Care
The success of your social media customer service interactions will depend largely on the level of care you provide. Providing great customer service via social media requires that you put in extra effort and time. Your responses to customers on social media must be accurate, timely, brief, sensitive and friendly.
Don’t forget that social media is all about socializing, so keep your tone friendly while still maintaining your focus on the customers’ problem. Your customer care must read into customer’s emotional state and adequately utilize the informal nature of social media. You can as well make use of smiley faces or emojis in accordance with the overall trend of social media.
Social care plays an important role in the success or failure of B2B companies. Now is no longer the time to relegate the use of social media to background nor to use it only for advertising purposes. A constant monitoring of social media mentions and appropriate response can take your business to the greater height of profitability; it will also make your business more credible. What are you still waiting for? – Begin the use of social media to address your customer complaints and problems.