Cayzu wants you to not only have an effective helpdesk to provide your customers with exemplary service, we also want to keep you up-to-date on the latest news in the customer service industry. In recent years, social media-based customer service has quickly increased in popularity, but that trend seems to have changed as more and more customers have started to step away from getting assistance through social media platforms. Learn what you can do to keep your social media customer service game strong and your customers satisfied.
Gather Customer Data
Just as customers hate calling and having to repeat information over and over to several different customer service agents, the same applies to social media customer service. Ease this frustration (and the possibility of losing a customer) by collecting customer data and making sure it follows the individual as he or she speaks with different representatives on the phone, online and any other mediums you use to deliver customer service. Our cloud help desk makes it easy for you to collect and review this information for maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Speed Up Results
Bear in mind that this tip doesn’t mean you have to spend as little time as possible with callers and those who reach out to you online. What it does mean is your online helpdesk and phone system should be optimized for rapid transfers and queues in order that you can start helping your customers faster. We also recommend that you adequately staff your customer service department and that you regularly review performance for areas of improvement.
Your customer service representatives should be fully educated on the products and/or services you offer in order that they know how to best help customers. What’s more is they should also be well-informed of the most effective customer service tactics. Remember, knowledge is power!
Even if social media customer care is declining, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will affect you. Beat the odds by staying ahead of them and support your customers where they live, not where you want them to live.
Small business owners have more useful tools than ever when it comes to reaching members of their target audience, and Cayzu’s cloud help desk is just one of those resources. Professional uses for social media are plentiful, but small business owners will want to tighten their focus on a few methods in particular if they hope to generate useful leads and drum up more customers and conversions.
Target Your Audience With Laser Focus
Once you’ve identified your target audience, determine which segment is likely to be the most interested in the current services or products you’re featuring or plan on featuring in the near future. This helps improve the chances of your audience members finding your products or services to be of current relevance and value rather than something they could’ve used in the past but no longer do.
Harness the Power of Analytics
To help you with the above tip, use analytics to aid you in finding potential customers who have need of your services or products. When you do reach out to those individuals, you can also use analytics to see how well they respond to your efforts in order that you can refine your approach, if necessary.
Create Ambassadors to Your Brand
As you’re seeking out new customers, make sure you use your current satisfied customers to act as ambassadors to your brand. While you can have the best marketing and advertising campaign in your sector, nothing beats word-of-mouth from real, unpaid people who have given your business a go.
Seek Out Industry Influencers
Besides ambassadors of your brand, there also exist influencers in your industry. These individuals carry great influence in businesses large and small in your sector. If you can find one of the influencers, you’re sure to catch the eye of other businesses and potential customers as well. Another great thing about getting influencers in your corner is that it can save you on the amount of effort, money and time you have to put into marketing your business.
Make Communication Personal
Use personalized messages to interact with your customers rather than resort to spam or “blanket responses” that could apply to anyone. Your customers will like this approach better, and it can go a long way in fostering a sense of trust with them.
Contour Your Content
Whatever content you share on your social media channels, make sure it’s perfect for that social media outlet. For instance, Twitter is a great place to whet your audience’s appetite and use links that take them to full content. Facebook can be used for special deals, and Instagram is the optimum choice for sharing images and embedding links. Always ask yourself which of your profiles would work best for the specific content you’re looking to share or the overall results you desire.
Social media can be confusing at times, and trends can come and go in the course of a single business day. By utilizing these tips and depending on a reputable helpdesk, your small business is sure to start achieving the type of social media results normally only seen by larger businesses.
Before the ubiquitous and virtually unanimous use of social media, online vendors could be lax with their responses to customers’ complaints, questions, and even to filling their orders and shipping in a timely fashion. The nexus of social media and customer service has changed all that.
Now, social media can blow-up those same complaints and questions and make them go viral. It used to be that one unhappy customer would tell 10 people; now, that same dissatisfied person can tell a million. No company wants its brand damaged by a “squeaky wheel” posting on Twitter, such as, “Hey, <BRAND>, where’s my <PRODUCT>?”—that is, after the customer has chatted or talked to the vendor with no result or their email has gone unanswered. Celebrated case study in point:
In 2009, United Airlines damaged singer Dave Carroll’s guitar and refused to compensate Carroll an estimated $1,200 for repairs because he had failed to make the claim within the company’s “standard 24-hour timeframe” [sic]. Carroll immediately wrote, recorded, and posted to youtube the song “United Breaks Guitars.” Four days—and four million youtube views—later United Airlines’ stock plummeted 10 percent. The singer wrote another song describing his experience with a UA customer service employee, with the same social media effect.
Since the incident, Carroll has been in great demand as a speaker on customer service. In 2012, Carroll published the book United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media. In 2013, the success of Carroll’s online protest was used by the German television and news service Tagesschau to exemplify a new kind of threat facing corporations in the internet age.
Needless to say, all businesses, big and small, should take heed. Obviously, the basic challenge for online companies is to put out the fire before it spreads wildly when customers post negative comments on social media. Vendors have to monitor youtube, FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ and the rest, and address these posts immediately and preempt having to launch a damage control campaign—which United Airlines because of its customer disservice to Carroll expended a lot of resources on.
The social media and customer service knife can cut both ways, however.
Social media posts can also benefit a brand if they offer praise for a vendor’s efficient response, low-cost or free expedited shipping, reliability of service or products, etc. In other words, if companies are smart they are listening to what people are saying on social media. This is where there can be synergy between customer service and marketing.
Social media users’ praises can multiply into hundreds or even thousands of users now feeling very positive about a brand overnight—all from one good word posted by a user who has a lot of friends and followers, who all have their own followers, and so on. All of sudden, the brand has gained a bunch of new customers.
Prior to the advent of employing social media to handle customer service, it was a no-brainer for online commerce to capitalize on social media as a premier marketing tool.
Just as the static FAQ feature has gone the way of the fax (once the greatest thing since sliced bread), online customer service has had to quantum-leap away from the inefficiencies of the automated telephone labyrinth, automatically-generated “no reply” emails, and the submission of a contact form. Next to outsourcing labor, the greatest lament of the rise of cyberspace commerce is the disappearance of the human customer service representative. Companies which afford this now luxury to their customers have a leg up on their peers and competitors. Check out Patagonia for a grand exemplar of this once absolutely necessary communication channel.
The perception is almost ironic that customers today reap the benefit of a personal interaction with a vendor if the latter responds via electrons and pixels of social media. Yet this dislocated correspondence is considered to be one of the advantages that businesses gain by such communiqués.
Where the rubber hits the road, also, is that customers want to be responded to in kind when they post to social media. If customers tweet their complaints, for instance, vendors have to serve those customers by tweeting their responses.
Other advantages, when an online business monitors social media 24×7, is the immediate response, for both customer and vendor. Consider that customer service begins the very moment a web surfer comes to rest upon the sands of a site. They might want to buy something the vendor sells, but first they might need to ask a question about it. If the site doesn’t have a way to answer immediately, the prospective customer may know or at least hope the business has a social media command center as alive and present as Gatorade Command Central, for example, and they will immediately post their concern on social media.
People want answers now—not when a chat feature is live again tomorrow. This is especially true when people are on the road, planning to travel, or having technical difficulties—it may be now or never for your business: people will spend their time looking for another brand.
Most especially with social media, companies must be aware of the high visibility of the quintessential digital public space. Past, current, and potential customers; competitors: “everybody” is watching. This is where the edge of the social-media-customer-service blade can cut for the vendor, though, if it handles things excellently. In order to do that, again, continuous monitoring is a sine qua non.
Fortunately for those online brands just getting their feet wet in the social-media-customer-service command center waters, they don’t have to start from the original models of 24×7 Armed Forces readiness, law enforcement 911 centers, or FEMA. They need to look no further, Cayzu Help Desk simplifies the potentially infinite amount of confusion surrounding the marriage of social media and customer service.
I will be the first to admit that I’ve had a long and not so happy experience of dealing with a variety of web hosting companies in my life. And what I’ve learned the hard way is that you pay for what you get and when you try to go cheap, you will have problems!
So during a recent outage of my past web hosting company (this company is huge by the way) I decided to perform what I called: the Social Customer Service Experiment which involved me trying to get support during the outage through a variety of their different support channels. Initial and follow up response times have been documented and put into the below infographic.
The clear winner for me by far, with the fastest and most up to date information was the support I received through Twitter! Hope you enjoy!
Looking for a social media enabled Help Desk Solution? Cayzu can help! Check us out now for a free, no obligation trial!
When customers can’t reach your company—or get an immediate response—through traditional channels such as your main phone number, help desk, or email address, they typically turn to your social media channels. In fact, recent research has found that 67 percent of consumers have used social media to resolve customer service issues in the past, and that figure is likely to increase.
From the consumer’s perspective, it makes sense. Rather than spending time waiting on hold, they’ve discovered that companies, fearful of appearing unresponsive, are quick to answer consumer requests through social media.
How Social Media Customer Support Works
One industry that handles social media customer service particularly well is the airline industry. Since most air travellers use their mobile devices in airports, it’s easier than ever for them to get in touch with the airlines after, say, their flight has been cancelled. In these cases, it pays off for customers to post a message through the airline’s Facebook or Twitter page; often times information for the next available flight is posted immediately.
Create Separate Social Media Profiles for Service
Even for a small business, it may be a good idea to create separate social media profiles that are solely for service. That way, you can easily track the number of people who are responding to social media marketing and those who are seeking help. You can also analyze this data to find out how quickly you’re resolving customers’ problems and find ways to continually improve your response time.
In order to execute this, you’ll need to have a system in place that automatically monitors your social media properties for any questions or concerns from customers, so that trained service representatives will be able to address concerns quickly and efficiently. Although it may take some work to get started, keep in mind that in the long run, social media service is likely to save both time and money.
Even with full-time staffers, it’s impossible to respond to customers around the clock. So make sure you let customers know when they can expect to hear from your company via social media. For example, remind customers by posting “We’re here M-F, 9am-7pm EST” that you’ll get back to them during business hours.
Make It Personal
When customers communicate with your brand online, they’re looking for a personal connection. So make sure that each of your service representatives is using his or her first name when they talk with customers. Friendliness and a bit of a personal touch go a long way toward building rapport with online customers.
Make the Commitment
If you decide to take social media service to the next level, make sure you do it well. If you’re not fully committed to meeting customer needs through social media, your efforts could backfire. When you don’t respond to social media users promptly, customers become frustrated and you might as well not have a social media presence at all. Remember, a help desk solution that monitors your social media properties automatically for your will help!
Let Us Help You Help Your Customers
Cayzu can help you set up a plan for monitoring your online interactions with your customers so that you can provide outstanding customer service. With our online help desk support software, you can manage all of your customers’ help requests from a single portal no matter if they origination from the phone, email, chat, your web site, or even Facebook and Twitter.
All good things must come to an end and so does this 3 part series we call, The Complete Customer Acquisition Guide for Cash Strapped Start ups and Small Businesses.
This three part series has only one purpose, to teach you how to drive traffic! Just because you built it, doesn’t mean they will come! So roll up your sleeves and get ready to do some good old fashioned hard work!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Marketing Wizardry
This instalment is kind of a Hogwarts School crash course for start-ups and any business that hasn’t had their site tricked out by an SEO and Web Marketing wizard. And it can be used as a brief to hand to the wizard to let them know you’ve done your homework and you know what you want!
So we were able to track down veteran cyber warrior Hayden Bond to update our consciousness on SEO and Web marketing.
The following is Bond’s up-to the now report, with only a bit of necessary editing to make talking readable where necessary—here we go!:
I think a lot of people are stuck with this misconception that SEO is about number “1” ranking and that you’re going to see traffic coming to your site from your ranking on Google or referral traffic from other sites, but it doesn’t work that way any more.
That was back in ‘90s and maybe up to 2012, when you could manipulate search results and acquire all these customers, and do that by various technical means or spamming Google’s index, to make it seem like your site is a higher authority, but that’s no longer the case.
Now Google has been penalizing companies and businesses trying to manipulate their site rankings via links, spamming links—that was the Google Penguin Update. So if you’re just seeking out authorities’ sites and putting text links on there, and it used to work really well, now Google is saying, for example, if you’re a surf board company based in Santa Cruz, California, why is someone from Australia with a very high authority web site ranking on Google linking back to your web site in California with a key word that they are trying to rank for? The only reason that link is there is because the company in California purchased it and manipulated the system to give itself a higher authority.
[Note: Just to make sure everybody knows what the Google Penguin Updates are, before April 2012, most search engines used keyword density as a major factor to determine the relevance of a website and how well it should rank in its search results. If you wanted your site to rank for the keyword “red dress,” for example, you just place more instances of “red dress” on your page. So you can see how search results were not very hard to manipulate.
Also, the more links on other websites linking to your site, the more authoritative your site appears to be, which also affects search results ranking. The higher the authority of a site linking to yours the better. For example, think how much better your link on today’s super-popular site Red Dress Boutique is than a link on your local mom ‘n pop thrift store’s site.
It was easy for SEO experts to figure out how to get your site ranked on the first page of a Google search. The problem was, while your site might have ranked high in a search result, your site might have been useless for the person who had conducted the search. As in our example above, if you live in Perth, Australia, and you’re looking for a surf board shop, a link to a shop in California isn’t going to help you.
So this is the gist of Google’s Penguin Updates, and you can see how it’s a helpful thing for people searching for something to actually find it instead of being misled by a plethora of spam links.
Back to Mr. Bond . . .
How Google determines what a spam link is and what a relevant link is, is best explained by how Google’s “dwell time” metric works. Google measures how much time passes after you click on a link. If the page you access isn’t relevant to your search or isn’t interesting to you, you might stay there for a second or two. So Google determines that that link isn’t relevant, it’s just a spam link, and it gets red flagged. If there’s a lot of these short “dwell time” links referring to your site, Google will suspect that the site has spammed or bought the links, and penalize the site.
Then there’s the Google Panda Update, which applies to thin content. “Thin content” means, for example, if you are a bicycle shop, of course you sell red, white, and blue Schwinns—but in order to manipulate it you create a page on your site around the key word “red Schwinn bicycle.” But that’s of no use to the user. Of course that page may rank high in search engines for a red Schwinn bicycle, but what does that content on that page have to do with anything other than just finding creative ways to repeat that over and over and over again?
Google No Longer a Search Engine?
Another SEO misconception is people think that Facebook likes or Twitter posts correlate to a higher ranking on Google—but what they don’t understand is that in this day and age Google is no longer really a search engine in the original sense.
Because when you’re searching you’re essentially asking a question. And with the proliferation of mobile devices, your search and the information you’re giving—the search engine is now contextually aware, it’s now location-aware, and it’s historically aware.
If you’re sitting in your living room and you type in “pizza delivery,” the search engine’s probably going to know if you prefer Two Guys From Italy over Dominos, it’s going to know that you’re at home, and it’s going to serve you a link to that location, based on your history and your preference of ordering pizza.
If you’re in another city and you do that same query, Google’s going to know that you’re visiting that city, and it’s probably going to give you map results, and might even give you the place that has best reviews for thin crust pizza if that’s your historical preference—and with driving directions.
So now Google’s not just saying, here’s a page, figure it out, they’re trying to give you that complete answer. So your search is not necessarily about the ranking of a site that’s relevant to your search terms, it’s trying to give you the most specific answer to what it sees as a question—where is the best pizza for you based on your location, ordering history, and preference? It’s based on your profile and what it interprets is the intent of your query.
Another example is, if you enter the term “mountain bikes,” that’s probably your first “footprint” to do with mountain bikes, it’s general, so you’re in the research phase, and Google won’t know what brand you want, but it’s considering what your next steps will be. They’re looking at a metric called “dwell time.” You type in “mountain bikes,” which is your query, Google serves up a bunch of search results, you click on a result and when you visit a page, the longer you are on that page—that’s your “dwell time”—the longer you’re on that page the more relevant the content is to your query.
But if you just want to know the temperature in Mesa, Arizona, Google serves up search results, you click on one, see the temperature and you click off of the page right away—that’s a different metric.
Other examples lead in the opposite direction. If you type in “Who is Neil Young?,” the search results are going to include Wikipedia, other biographical sites, Neil Young’s web site, rock music sites—a lot of general stuff.
Or if your wife likes to shop on-line only at Nordstrom’s, when you search for “hand bag,” “watch,” etc., Nordstrom’s is going to rank highest in the search results based on the person’s shopping history or preference—even if Amazon or Macy’s would universally rank higher, because of your historical shopping preference.
They’ve Got You Covered
Even if you don’t realize it, you’ve got a mobile device that’s being passed, you’ve got an IP address being passed, so even though you’re blocking cookies or you’re “Private” surfing on Safari, Big Data has gotten so good that just by providing your zip code they can pretty much guess who you are.
Just recently there was a story in the news about a guy who was shopping at Target, and he gets something in the mail from Target for baby clothes, and it was addressed to his 16-year-old daughter. So he’s very upset and he goes into Target and asks them what’s going on, what’re they doing sending that to his daughter? Then he finds out his daughter is pregnant, and based on her recent purchases at Target they started sending her targeted mailers.
Every time you’re swiping a credit card you’re leaving a footprint—and especially with mobile devices it’s your location—they know exactly where you are to send you advertisements.
So that’s what SEO is now.
Don’t Let Your Customers Get Lost . . .
Let’s say you’re selling pressure washers for cleaning vinyl siding, and you’re based in the Midwest. Your key words aren’t going to be just “pressure washers” and “vinyl siding.” What type of people are you selling these to? People who are going to do this residentially, commercially? So the question you have to answer is, how are these people going to go about finding you? It’s a big question.
And when they land on your web site, how are you going to be relevant to them at that time? Is it because it’s convenient to get there or is the price? Your site hosts different models and customers aren’t necessarily familiar with the technical details of each, so you need to explain them all so they know which model to choose. Your customers need to know your location, how far away they are from them, how long it’ll take to get there and the directions.
So this is also the future of SEO: If you’re understanding your user’s intent in the context of their search, and you’re giving them real value—you’re going to earn organic links to your site.
Everybody says link-building is dead, and to a certain degree that’s true. But there are still relevant links that you’d want to get. You would want to put your business in Google business management, Bing business management, put it on Google Maps, etc. There’s a legitimate need to do that. But would I do that on every business directory and web forum out there? Probably not—that’s redundant, and it’s kind of spammy, just trying to get your web site linked to more and more pages across the internet.
Now, even more important than links in some instances, is something that’s called co-citation and co-occurrence. Google is aware that your company, company name, is a brand, an entity—it’s called entity search—and Google’s all about defining entities. What is this entity, what does it do? And then it classifies that information. So now, if there’s an article talking about what your company does, and it mentions you along with some high-authority sites in the same business as you, but there’s no link to them, that’s still valuable because your company is a start-up or not well known yet, it’s being mentioned along with these other high-authority sites. There’s not a link there, but these kinds of links don’t always drive traffic but can help with authority.
If you have a link on a high-trafficked site—there are certain instances where this happens, it’s called “barnacle SEO,” a link to your site on another site, but maybe not just a link in a blog post. But if you read a blog and it’s something cool, something interesting, and you’re looking for something specific, like WordPress magazine themes and you see a blog post that says here are the top 10 magazine themes, then, those links are probably going to get a bit of traffic.
So it’s not about link building any more, it’s about link earning—it’s someone saying, “You’re good, I’m linking to you.” By all means, list your site on Google Maps, Google Business Management and list your site in the appropriate business directories. . . . After that, think about contributing to the conversation and that’s what’s going to juice your traffic—sharing with your relevant audience, and how is it tying into your business goals, and target people you already know are authorities—it’s very easy to use research tools (like Buzzsumo) to find who the influencers are on-line on a particular topic.
For example, if you’re targeting someone for your marijuana legalization news website, your “holy grail” thing is for NORML to like your content, or mention it, or say this is a must-read. So you can directly target them via Twitter, or five other sites like them, hoping they’ll join the conversation. But more so, you should be participating with them— build up some rapport, share some of their stuff first, add something to a conversation if they’re doing something on Twitter, and then say, “Hey, guys, here’s something that I wrote, I really liked this other article, here’s something that I think complements it”— then go ahead and share, and those amplifiers will help spread your content around.
Social Media : )
With Facebook and Twitter, big numbers might be look good, might gain your trust—if you see a Facebook page with 80,000 “Likes” versus one with 6,000, but at the end of the day we’re looking at results.
The 6,000 “Likes,” the people might be real, they are actually interested in the product, have a use for it, and work within the industry. So when you run ads on Facebook or do social media promotions, you’re not targeting them with nonsense or broadcasting to fake people, you’re actually reaching real customers. And those 6,000 real people are more likely to share your content because it’s more applicable to them and their circles and the people they’re associated with.
Whereas the 80,000 “Likes” on Facebook or tens of thousands of followers on Twitter could be purchased—your place of business could be in Idaho and you have 10,000 Twitter followers in Bulgaria, from a list that the business purchased.
And Pinterest, which drives a huge amount of traffic, but what nobody takes into account is that Pinterest cares about the user, they’re all about the user. So what value are you providing to the user—are they engaging with your content, are they pinning it, curating it?
So it’s not a sheer numbers game. Sure, you can have a bot or a service add 80,000 people, but you’re going to get zero return. You’re better off finding 300 real people.
You can use a site like Followerwonk—there are numerous Twitter research sights, you could type in “LASIK for presbyopia,” for example, and see not only people who have talked about that, but people who have put that as an interest or who follow that particular topic.
So already you know whom to target. It’s not a crap shoot. The data’s there, in the searching.
Even with Tweet Desk, Twitter’s own management tool, you can search for a particular keyword and see who’s talking about it live and it populates in real time. So there’s really no excuse to go buy 40,000 fake followers when all you have to do is search for them.
Your “A” Game
So that’s what SEO is about, you’ve got to be on your “A” game, you can’t just willy nilly create keywords all over. If you think about it from a cost perspective, Google has made SEO harder for sure, and they’ve also made it much more expensive. But from a business model it’s smart for Google. Instead of always trying to stay ahead of the next SEO trick, they just price people out of the market who are trying to game the system with spam links and thin content.
Back in the day, you could just spam some links with a few dollars here and a few dollars there. But creating content, putting that effort, that blood, sweat, and tears into creating a web site that works across all mobile devices, which takes into account your users, provides them with that information . . . that’s expensive.
Bonus from Shark Tank!
The solely online business Red Dress Boutique has just earned phenomenal growth from 1.8 million in sales their first year to 7.5 million their second. How did they do it? Shark Tank’s October 17, 2014 episode, where Red Dress pitched the Sharks for investment, tells the story.
Shark Tank: How did you make this grow so big, so fast, and all on-line?
Red Dress: Through social media, but more than that, it’s because I invite people in. I put the question out there to my customers: “What made you all come to me, what makes Red Dress so special?” And they give amazing answers, they say, “Oh it’s the colorful clothes, it’s the fact that we can get a high-end look for under 50 dollars.”
Shark Tank: So you learned from them, you used social media, and you kept perfecting your business with their answers?
Red Dress: I developed a program called “Buy for the Boutique,” and when I go to my markets, I go every three weeks—I go to Los Angeles, I go to Las Vegas, I go to Atlanta, and I curate. But more than that, I see items and I will take a picture of them with my phone and throw it out into social media and say: “Do you love this, yes or no? Do you want this—do you want it in red, do you want it in blue?” And no one had ever done that before and they love it.
Shark Tank: And so word of mouth gave you 4x growth?
Red Dress: We have 27,000 Instagram followers, we have just shy of a million Facebook followers—organic followers.
I really do hope you enjoyed our 3 part Customer Acquisition Guide! With my farewell, I leave you with one burning question: Are YOU ready to bring your traffic driving A-GAME… ? I TRULY HOPE SO!
Social media is more than just a way to market your company; it is a platform to have a two-way conversation with your patrons and should be part of your overall customer service strategy. They ask, you answer. They complain, you explain. They thank you, and you can thank them. Building the relationship with your customers is an essential part of delivering good service, and social networking sites are the perfect place to foster that bond. Here’s why:
- Solidify a Personal Brand
Automation can be convenient, but it can also affect customer satisfaction. Through social networking sites, patrons know that there is a real person responding to their concern. Additionally, utilizing an online site enables you to personalize your response, humanizing your company and giving you time to put a conversational tone on your responses. In a sense, the networking sites make your help desk much more user friendly.
- It’s All Out There
We are all familiar with at least one faux pas large companies have made through their social accounts. The push for transparency has created a world where every interaction you have with a customer could be videotaped, recorded or captured in some way. This can actually be a good thing, as customers want to be heard in a public way, and your social accounts give them that platform. What’s more, other people will pay attention to the way you handle the situation, which gives you the opportunity to further build trust.
- Immediate Response Time
One of the reasons people love using social media so much is because it is instant. From a customer perspective, that means there is no listening to that annoying music while on hold. As soon as a customer posts on your site, you have the ability to respond immediately. Just make sure you are equipped to respond when you launch your social networks. A small business with limited resources may want to make a plan for how to quickly address customer service inquiries online.
- Easy Follow-Up
Piggy-backing on your response time is the fact that social networking makes it easy for you to follow up with a customer. Rather than putting the patron through further calls or emails, you can simply comment on a thread to see what action you can take to help the situation. As an added bonus, other people will be able to see that not only are you interacting, but that you are going back to ensure the customer is satisfied.
- Increase Brand Awareness
Whether they are tagging you in a post or putting a hashtag in front of your company name, customers will inherently spread the word about you through social platforms. This can enhance your search engine optimization and get your brand better visibility. When a customer has a positive experience, he or she is more likely to share that with their own networks.
- Get Rid of the Hoops
A customer fills out an online contact form. You respond with an email. They call you back. That’s three different mediums to accomplish one goal. Social media can put a stop to the hoop jumping. That provides the customer with a better experience because you are making the service personal, not automated.
The key to good customer support is a fast and efficient response. Social media coupled with Cayzu Help Desk can help your business accomplish this.
To celebrate our upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, the team here at Cayzu Help Desk thought it would be fun to create a second recap of some of our past favorite blog posts (See our first recap here). These blogs will surely put some love back into your customer service. Enjoy!
If you’re still using email to do your customer service, be sure to check out:
Six Reasons to Upgrade from Email to a Customer Service Solution
Are you not feeling the customer love? Don’t worry, let us help.
5 Ways to Make Customers Love You Again
Are you a perfectionist trying to understand the art that is customer service?
7 Tips for Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
Looking for a help desk solution but don’t know the difference between the “Cloud” and a rain cloud?:
A Closer Look at the Advantages of a Hosted Help Desk Solution
Everyone wants more business so why not use Facebook to do it?
7 Ways to Boost Your Small Business on Facebook
Let Plants vs Zombies help you with your customer service strategy:
What Playing Plants vs Zombies 2 can Teach us about Customer Service
Looking to grow your business or better your support? Empower your people!
4 Effective Ways to Empower Customer Service Employees
And last but not least…
Are you a small business looking to improve your customer service? Checkout:
Can Small Businesses Improve Customer Service with a Help Desk Solution?
Thanks again for your continued readership and don’t forget to register to receive our blog via email to be sure that you don’t miss part 3! (Coming soon)
Let’s face it, everyone at one time or another has wished that they could tell that pain in the rear customer to go fly the proverbial kite! I’m talking about that customer that is never happy, no matter what you do for him! These unprofitable customers will usually fall into the 80/20 rule, where 20% consume 80% of your time. This poses a serious dilemma for most businesses in this situation. Can you afford to fire a customer and even worst, have them spread negative feedback to other current or potential customers?
You’ve fired employees who either violate company policy or who represent the company in a negative way, so couldn’t you go about firing your customers in the same way? In the age of social media it’s easy for one customer’s complaint to be read by hundreds of people in a matter of minutes so be cautious. Just like there’s a right way and a wrong way to fire an employee, the same applies to firing a customer.
Reasons to Fire a Customer
It’s one thing for a customer to have a genuine complaint or grievance about your products or services, but customers who seem to complain just to complain or always trying to get something for free need to be addressed. Profitability is required for any business to survive and if a customer is WAY more trouble than they’re worth, why keep them? Spending time on unprofitable and unappreciative customers keeps you from pursuing valuable money making business opportunities so always keep that in mind.
When I say “fire a customer,” I mean terminating any type of agreement that the two of you might have together. I will be the first to admit that it’s very unsettling to treat a customer this way, but if you know that you’re providing a top notch product and or service coupled with stellar customer service, than you’ll be doing yourself and your business a favour by cutting these types of customers loose.
Firing Customers the Right Way
The first thing that you’ll want to do is make sure that you carefully and thoroughly document any problems that you’re having with the customer, which is similar to how you’d write up an employee. This is always easier with a help desk solution like Cayzu, which allows you to track internal notes that customers don’t see. You aren’t doing this to complain about the customer on social media like they might do with you, but instead so that you have legitimate proof if it comes down to actually having to fire the customer.
Next, remember that you’re a professional and conduct yourself as such. What this means is that you want to be respectful and refrain from using negative terms while breaking the relationship with your customer. Simply try your best to find a diplomatic way to show that the relationship between the two of you isn’t working and that this is for the best for both parties (this is important because the customer will see you as the aggressor so make sure to take the blame and don’t point fingers!).
Never fire your customer through a letter or email. It’s best to do it over the phone or in person. Firing someone through a social media message or email is the equivalent of breaking up with someone over a text message. If the situation demands it, don’t hesitate to ask the customer to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This step might seem extreme, but it’s sure to help you avoid any headaches in the future. Finally, you should also give the customer a parting gift (or refund) to show that there aren’t any hard feelings no matter how you might otherwise feel. This makes you look like the bigger person and makes them feel as though they got something out of the deal which will also limit your exposure to negative feedback about your business on social media.
Disclaimer: Firing a customer is NEVER easy and I would NEVER suggest you do it unless it is absolutely your last resort. Explore all options to work things out first, even an unprofitable relationship can turn around or spawn into an introduction to a more profitable customer.
Facebook is a notoriously consumer-oriented social media platform. In my experience, customers want to know that they can interact with a real company and real people, not automated message systems. Facebook isn’t only great for small business branding and customer engagement; it’s also great for customer support. Instead of floundering during peak busy times, get organized and efficient with the right online custom support software and social media strategy.
1. Turning Customers Into Advocates
Small businesses should have a Facebook account that reaches local audiences, not the masses. Engage with your followers and fans on social media platforms. Keep social influences going by turning customers into advocates, and interact with customer’s friends and family.
2. Triaging Customer Issues Via Social Channels and Traditional CRM Systems
You don’t have to isolate customer service from the rest of your business. Instead, integrate the power of social media influence and your customer support strategy with help desk ticketing systems that are prepared for the age of social media. In fact, there is no better place to answer customer complaints than on Facebook. Show that you are a real company that responds to customer concerns.
3. Personify Your Company With Social Media
Facebook gives your small business more than the opportunity to post pictures and logos. Instead of only giving customers a vague idea of what your small business is all about, you can strengthen your brand’s persona on Facebook with one-on-one interactions that are not directly related to business. By “humanizing” your business, you can gain customer trust.
4. Build a Community Around Your Business
The best part about social media marketing is that you can build an online community around your brand. Increase levels of customer engagement by offering a comfortable place for users to interact with you and with each other. Increase customer loyalty by engaging with customers on an everyday basis instead of only talking with customers when addressing issues related to customer support.
5. Climb SEO Rankings With Social Media Influence
Through the proper use of social media, a small business can drive qualified traffic directly to its website through their Facebook page. Sending qualified web traffic to your site can help your SEO rankings by avoiding high bounce rates, when users click on your site and click the back button a few seconds later, as well as increase your bottom line.
6. Your Competition Might Already Be on the Social Media Scene
It doesn’t matter whether your direct competition has a Facebook page or not. You need to focus on how social media will help your small business succeed. The right social media strategy coupled with the right help desk software can help you connect with your target audience in a more effective and personal way.
7. Show Clients and Customers Your Brand Every Day
Keep your Facebook audience in the loop with posts, updates, and shares. Show that you are more than a faceless business by having a strong social media presence. Make it easy for existing customers to like your page and share their thoughts about your small business.
8. Scale With Online Custom Support Software
I’m not going to lie, the thought of providing customer service through social media can look like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Getting the right help desk software like Cayzu will help you scale your business through Facebook. Create the right brand persona, and create real connections with real people on social media. Put your customer service initiatives in the forefront of your organization and let everyone see how eager you are to please through Facebook.