There are plenty of famous and successful people who have spoken, and often been quoted on their thoughts on ‘customers’. Every business in the world is created and runs primarily because of its customer base. If a business thinks otherwise, then it is likely to close down pretty soon. Customer service refers to not only how a customer is attended to while they are visiting a store, but the manner in which the company responds to their feedback.
Social commerce has made shopping more convenient and dynamic. And in turn it has also placed a fair amount of power in the hands of the customer. Now they can choose to reach out to the brands that they buy and express their opinions, thoughts and experiences with the brand. How a business chooses to respond to such feedback will ultimately decide its fate.
It is imperative that your brand use social media to offer prompt and effective customer service. Social media and social commerce sites such as Facebook offer an excellent platform for businesses and customers to interact on. Such interaction should be honest, and transparent. People hate receiving a generic response from a business, which neither addresses their issue and nor does it resolve it.
When a customer chooses to contact a business, the first thing that it needs to do is acknowledge the feedback. This should not be done with a generic message but one that reassures the customer that a representative of the company is actually looking into the problem. It is vital that a business respond as quickly as possible. This illustrates that the company genuinely uses social media to offer awesome customer service. It is a good idea to set up alerts so that a business is duly informed when words such as ‘frustrated’ and ‘customer service’ are used in a post on the brand’s facebook page.
Your business is likely to receive negative as well as positive feedback on its Facebook page. It is important to acknowledge all kinds of feedback. Remember to say thank you when a customer compliments the business. It is important for customers to be acknowledged. Most customers expect a response in about 24 hours from the time they posted a message. Businesses such as Walmart and KLM respond in less than 30 minutes.
KLM passengers have found that interacting with the brand on Facebook is a quicker way to resolving flight issues. In fact they can even book a flight on the Facebook page. Such interaction reinforces the customer’s faith in the brand and strengthens brand loyalty. It isn’t just the big brands that recognize the value of social commerce customer service; there are many smaller businesses that respond within 10-15 minutes of a post. Golden Rivet is one such brand. Customers can shop at the facebook store and queries regarding their orders are quickly responded to by the brand.
Honesty and transparency
If a mistake has been made, it is a good idea to admit it and apologize. Next, it is time to find the best solution towards resolving the situation. Sometimes a customer may be worried about something related to a product or perhaps a rumor they heard. It is best to be honest, direct and transparent. Keep the response brief, to the point and personalize it by addressing it to the customer.
Resolve the issue
No business likes to receive negative feedback about its product or service. Having the feedback on the business’ Facebook page, where other customers can see it is worrying too. However, this is also an opportunity to turn the situation around. Brands can demonstrate that they are honest with the customers and offer only the very best in terms of products and customer service. With every resolved issue a company is assured of not only the customer’s loyalty but is able to build up a reputation for being a business that truly cares about its customers.
What the customer thinks
Research by the Bain & Company Report- Putting Social Media to Work, indicates that customers who interact with companies on social media sites like Facebook are likely to spend 20% to 40% more than with these businesses, than other customers. Social commerce is all about staying connected with one’s target audiences and innovating and modifying marketing strategies to suit them. It is vital that when a customer shops on your social commerce store, they are not only excited about the product they are about to purchase but have confidence that the business will live up to its promises.
According to the RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report 2011, following a poor customer service experience 89% customers chose to take their business to a competitor.