We’ve all seen the little icons where you can “like” a business on facebook, or follow it on twitter, but I never realized how connected social media was with customer service. Contrary to what I originally thought, following a business on twitter or liking them on facebook does not just serve as free advertising for the business–it can actually help you, the customer. Oftentimes twitter or facebook followers will find out about sales or giveaways before anyone else, and there are even companies that do private ones just for these customers, as a sort of reward for being so loyal. Also, it turns out that lots of businesses (not all) are very responsive when people contact them via social media. Perhaps it is because it is yet another way for them to show customers that there is a personal, real side to their business. It makes the separation between customers and the people behind the business much smaller, which in turn makes the customer feel more connected to the business on a personal level because they feel as if they have a real relationship with it. Sounds like a win-win for both sides, doesn’t it?
If I haven’t yet convinced you to try liking or following your favorite businesses, I have a couple stories that will probably do it. All of the stories happened to my husband, who is a lot more social media savvy than I am.
- He has gotten several t-shirts shipped to him FOR FREE from some of his favorite web-related companies. They posted something on Twitter or Facebook about a t-shirt giveaway, he responded, they asked him for his address and t-shirt size, done. Free stuff.
- One time, he had an issue with something he had ordered online from a favorite clothing retailer. After a phone conversation, it seemed that their return policy was not what they had advertised (free and easy), and he was disappointed. So he tweeted about it. Within minutes, a customer service representative from the company was chatting with him, helping him to resolve his issue by sending him a return label. Not only did this person save him time and money, they also made an impression on him about the company and the way it treats customers with care and respect. It remains one his favorite clothing companies to this day, and he has told the story countless times (again, FREE advertising! And it’s by word of mouth, which is probably one of the best kinds in my opinion).
- Last one. My husband ordered a suit from a European clothing retailer online, and after it was shipped, he was unsure about the fit. He went on Twitter and tweeted the company. Almost immediately, he was chatting back and forth with a customer service rep, who helped him to figure out whether or not he had ordered the right size in both parts of the suit or not, and when they determined that one of the parts needed to be returned, helped him do that as well. Just like in the previous story, he has since told a bunch of people about this and now has a very positive view of the company.
Now unfortunately, not all businesses are as diligent about responding to questions and concerns over social media as the above two. So I’m not going to make any promises here about what will happen if you start liking or following businesses. But I would say definitely give it a try. It seems that customer service via social media is the way of the future, and it appears to be very effective. If you are a business, it is something you might want to consider implementing as part of your website and marketing strategy. Not sure how? Contact us here at FreshySites. We would love to help.