Avoiding the Perils of Customer Engagement

@Cassie | Strategy

Social media has quickly positioned itself as the go to source for instant sharing. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the predominant platforms for customers to turn to in order to share experiences they’ve had with your brand, to ask questions and to express disappointments.

If you’re using social media as part of your marketing strategy, you cannot ignore this method of customer engagement. Each comment, share, like and tweet is an opportunity for you to provide customer service to your fans, keeping you connected to your audience and building a better reputation for your product.

Customers Expect Real Time Engagement

In early 2013, Dimensional Research conducted survey of US internet users who had recently interacted with the customer service departments of mid-sized companies. The results demonstrated that customers rated a quick response to their request for support as more satisfying than a problem resolution.

Most of our clients rely heavily on social media to connect with their fan base. From a tweet asking about store location hours to a public Facebook post ranting about the functionality of a product, each customer post receives an action.

Compliments receive thanks, questions get answered and complaints generate follow-ups. Sub-par customer support is just not an option.

Instead, you should be embracing this style of communication and engaging in one-on-one direct communication with your audience, giving you real-time insight into your brand while making it more personable. So how should you go about responding to your consumers with great service?

1. Monitor Constantly

Social media is a 24-hour world. If you are going to share your brand socially, you must then be there to monitor the action you’re receiving on a consistent basis. You should establish a response time frame that is appropriate for your company and audience. If your business thrives on the weekends, be prepared to engage with consumers at that time. If you’re mostly a 9-5 operation, be readily available during the business day. Either way, staying proactive on your chosen platforms is the best way to ensure you aren’t missing customer engagement opportunities.

2. Don’t Hesitate – Engage!

Speaking of customer engagement, make sure you’re practicing it! It’s not always about answering questions or resolving issues, simply talking to your fans is just as important to your customer service practices. It’s in this space where you’ll learn the real heartbeat of your audience.

3. Use Sound Judgment

Of course, a handful of your time will likely involve providing customer support. If and when complaints do stream in, be patient. Showing sensitivity in your replies is key; quick reactive replies are not the best or most strategic responses. Also remember that on occasion, the best action may be to take no public action. Block harassers, delete inappropriate comments and let the off-the-wall comments be.

4. Don’t Ignore Negative Feedback

One type of comment you definitely cannot ignore is negative feedback, such as people sharing poor experiences or having difficulties with faulty products. Always offer an apology, ask the customer for details and follow up, whether by thanking them for their feedback or by offering them an item of consolation. Hearing about and resolving issues will only make your product and brand stronger.

5. Show Appreciation

The good news is, along with the complaints and concerns will come praise from fans. This also cannot go ignored! Take the time to thank your fans for sharing positive feedback, they will appreciate it and you will retain a loyal customer base in doing so.

Solid customer service should be part of the backbone of your company. It takes time and effort to provide great service, but this is an area of your business you can utilize to create a positive image for your brand and generate customer loyalty as a result.

Additions & Feedback

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