Written by: Shan Abdul Salam, CTO, Bebuzzd
Social media channels have opened up a range of wider possibilities for businesses to reach out to their customers in a fast and cost-efficient manner. As almost all people are now on social media, many companies have been ramping up their presence in these online social platforms not only to stay ahead of the curve but also know the pulse of their customers and gauge their desires for a product.
In this era of digital transformation, it is wise to always look for the best ways to keep customers happy. One can leverage social media to improve customer satisfaction and increase repeat business, and, as such, a company must make sure that its social media channels are doing exactly that.
For instance, customers spend significant time on social media interacting with brands. Businesses must take this opportunity to actively engage in online communities where their target markets usually hang out. Being an active part of these communities allows organizations of any size to respond immediately, which is what most customers expect. The faster the response, the better.
As an organization, you may respond to direct messages or private messages or monitor all your social media channels for mentions. There may be posts out there that mention or tag you directly and those using a hashtag with your business name or any marketing hashtags you have created. Regardless of whether the person is addressing his or her post to your business, the important thing is to always respond.
If your budget permits, hire someone to manage your social media accounts. You may also opt to automate responses on some social media channels but if you choose to use these, do so sparingly since no one likes interaction with a bot. Additionally, you should always follow up your automatic response with a real human response.
Besides observing basic social media etiquette to help you avoid any embarrassing blunders, it pays to not lash out at your critics online. Respond soon, calmly, and focus your response on addressing the concerns of your customers. Even if you cannot please them, others will see how you respond to public criticism. Their impressions can affect your business in a big way. By dealing with the situation properly, a customer can be really angry about an issue and ultimately walk away happy.
Keeping track of trends in their feedback is just as important as responding to their concerns. If you see a trend in complaints about one aspect of your business, fix the problem immediately and share those improvements with your customers. In this way, your customers can see that you truly value their feedback and business.
Companies, like celebrities, can also tap social media to hold Q&A sessions. Such a strategic practice provides your customers with an avenue to express their concerns, comments or compliments. Running a Q&A encourages customer engagement and will help you identify any customer problems.
Arguably, the most important use of social media is empowering top customer advocates to respond for you and assist you with customer service. This helps each company to reduce expensive customer service costs and more often than not, offer a better experience.
The digital world is indeed a key enabler of competitiveness and innovation. Embracing social media and digital marketing can help corporations better understand customer loyalty and preferences, as well as increase business and evaluate customer satisfaction.
Admittedly, much still needs to be done in the area of businesses maximizing the potentials of these online social channels, and some organizations, including Bebuzzd – a new multi-store digital loyalty program launched for local businesses based in Dubai – are making intensive efforts to bridge the gap at such a critical time. By strategically harnessing the full power of social media, you can considerably improve customer service and customer satisfaction.