How businesses can use social media to its fullest extent to improve customer relationship management (CRM)
It’s the Digital Age and everyone is adapting to keep up! Marketers, PR professionals, and consumers all are changing the way they interact with brands and products, from content marketing to online customer service. In keeping with the digital changes to how people learn about and shop for items, people have come to expect service.
How customers expect, and receive, customer service is changing to match the market’s dynamic digitization. Just as an individual can look up product information or store locations instantly, they also have come to expect near-immediate feedback from their favorite brands and trusted patronages.
Social media has made this modern desire all the more apparent. Customers have come to associate corporate social media accounts inextricably with the company itself, and as a result, many users post both comments and questions directly to these accounts. Why wait through a phone queue, or for an email response, when you can apply your problem directly to a company’s Facebook page? Indeed, social networks are intended to serve as a public forum, and it’s easy for users to use these capabilities as a personal message board in the case of businesses with accounts.
Social CRM combines customer relationship management with social media to respond to the growing levels of people who take to the internet – social applications in particular – to deal with a query. Addressing customer service issues via social media is fairly intuitive, and comes with several common do’s and don’ts.
Don’t give stock responses. People know that there is a person on a computer answering their questions. A social media platform is not an email program directing automatic replies, so don’t attempt to make it one. Consider each person individually and thoroughly (but succinctly!) answer their question or comment.
Acknowledge the positive and the negative. In some cases, customers will take to social media to express satisfaction with your product or brand. In many other instances however, users will take to your wall or message timeline to complain. Whatever you do, don’t ignore these posters. If you feel you can’t or shouldn’t respond directly, remember that most complainants can be sent onwards – to a troubleshooting forum, technical support, or a better-equipped customer service team.
Don’t miss out on leads. Especially if you’re a small business, it’s very important to handle prospects who reach out via social media. Many people take to social platforms to ask about pricing and where to buy. Set aside time just for potential clients and make a sweep of your social media accounts to be sure you’ve sent the proper information to interested persons.
Respond immediately. Perhaps most important of all the tenets of social CRM, it’s necessary to respond as quickly as possible. Social media is many things, and one is the modern-day equivalent replacing a help line and even online customer service reps. Your audience heads to social media because they are expecting a real-time response. Therefore, you must respond to complaints and questions as promptly as possible.
CRM with social media may seem like an awkward or inefficient way of dealing with current and prospective customers. However, not only is it an unavoidable part of modern commerce, it’s also more intuitive than it may seem at first. Remembering that social media is meant to connect people on a personal level is a good place to start.
Organize your social CRM strategy and better communicate with your audience.
Check out the infographic below for more comprehensive information on giving great customer service through social media.
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