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Social Media: The New 1-800 Number

May 25, 2016 - Advertising, Customer Service, Marketing, Mobile, Online marketing, Social Media - , , , , , , ,

Many brands have customer service teams that assist guests in person or by phone. If you haven’t adjusted your customer service strategy to include social media, you’re not operating at the expected level.

Social media is now integral to the everyday customer service standards. Two-thirds of U.S. adults use social media sites for an average of 12 hours per week. One in five minutes spent online is spent on social media. Your customers are there – you should be too.

There’s a mountain of proof that social media has changed customer buying habits, so it’s important to adjust the way you do business. Customers now have the capability of causing significant brand damage through Tweetstorms or negative reviews, and the reverse is also true. With good relationships, you can generate a lot of valuable customer love.

A few ways to embrace this new normal:

• Talk directly to your customers
Customers expect brands to respond to their messages on Twitter in under 2 hours. Be aware of what comments, complaints, or conversations are happening around your brand and reply directly to them. Facebook now showcases the time it takes a brand to reply messages and how often they are replying. Aim for a quick turnaround and near 100% reply rate and solve issues in real-time.

• Use Messenger and Messenger Bots
Facebook Messenger has recently launched Messenger chat bots for brands. Bots can communicate through chat directly with a user who has sent you a message first. Make sure there is a balance between bot and human in your communication and personalize your communication style. There are many ways you can use bots to automate your customer service so be sure to find a way that best fits your brand. CNN is using bots to send personalized newsletters, HP consumers can use bots for Messenger to print their photos, and 1-800-Flowers will offer floral gift orders through their bot.

• Social Selling
Social media is the next (well, now) wave of e-commerce. Most channels offer “buy” buttons on their pages now, but it’s important to continue to be social and strategic in your social selling campaigns. Customize your social selling strategy for each channel. On Facebook, focus on developing relationships and providing an exclusive experience (don’t just upload all your inventory in bulk). On Twitter, capitalize on real-time events and trends. 90% of sales on Pinterest are first-time buyers – so make sure to follow up with those new customers. Put an ad campaign behind your social selling. There are several campaign options including Facebook Dynamic Ads where you provide Facebook with product catalog and ad template that changes based on factors like viewing a product but not purchasing.

• Customer Reviews
Customers are no longer calling into a hotline to voice their complaints. They can write a review from anywhere at any time. Make sure to monitor these and respond in a way that showcases exceptional customer service. Take the conversation offline. Even if that one negative reviewer can’t be pleased, other potential customers will see your proactive stance to customer concerns.

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