With an estimated 3.2 billion Internet users around the globe and new social media channels surfacing every week, chances are a large number of your customers are communicating on social media.
How can you harness the power of the Internet to communicate more effectively with your customers? Here are five practical tips to make the most of your online presence, following up to the first part of our two-part series on social media and your business:
1. Respond to Feedback in Real-Time
Social media allows you to interact with your customers with real-time communication. Think about a frustrated customer who is waiting ever-patiently on hold to speak to one of your team members. With social media, she can get through to you right away – giving you the opportunity to respond quickly and efficiently to provide alternative solutions and prevent escalations.
2. Make it Easier for Customers to Get A Hold of You
If your customers are unable to reach you due to limited business hours, busy phone lines or lost/forgotten emails, social media channels offer a simple, convenient and fast alternative to communicate. Besides, it’s not likely that a customer will soon forget a business that shows up with the kind of response they need in a matter of minutes.
3. Give Your Brand More Personality (Which Customers Love)
You’ve likely heard the expression that “people buy from people”. If people feel that your brand has a voice and personality, they’re much more likely to engage with you and remain (or become) loyal customers. Communicating with customers through social media channels humanizes your brand. By responding to the mentions of your company, services or products, you reassure your customers that you care about them, and have a unique opportunity to provide memorable experiences by using your brand’s voice.
4. Find Out What Your Customers Want (And Give it to Them)
Social media is a great place to “spy” on your customers and find out what they want – without spending a dime on market research. Many people share their thoughts, experiences and complaints on the Internet. This is a huge advantage for businesses because it offers an element of transparency, or a ‘window’ into the lives of your customers, which in turn allows you to receive feedback on your products or services that you may not otherwise get. Thus, your brand can determine more easily what is working well, and what could be working better.
5. Provide Your Customers With Direct Updates
Since social media offers real-time communication between you and your customers, you can provide them with direct updates about changes and improvements. Social media is an efficient way to let your customers know about changes to hours of operation, new products or services and special discounts and promotions.
As you can see, social media is a must-have for the success of your business and the guest experience for your customers. By giving great customer service through social media, you set your business apart from competition by exceeding customer expectations. And as the saying goes: ‘A satisfied customer is a loyal customer’.