Carefully Crafted on November 24

5 Ways to Improve Customer Service

“[Your challenge] is to break the service paradigm in your industry or market so that customers aren’t just satisfied, they’re so shocked that they tell strangers on the street how good you are.” — Jack Welch

What kind of customer service are you providing? Proactive or reactive? Average or exceptional? Social media gives companies a new set of tools to strengthen customer service delivery. Additionally, customers now have an even larger podium to share good (and bad) customer service experiences with strangers. (My mom, for example, had such a positive experience with a sales associate at Macy’s that she blogged about it!)

5 Ways to Improve Customer Service through Social Media

  1. Show customers that you appreciate them. Recognize them for their efforts — especially if no one else does. Texas Instruments, whose customers include engineers, created a series of humorous “Thank an Engineer” videos, like the one below. Who ever stops to thank an engineer for MP3 players or wireless telephones? Not many people. Realizing this, Texas Instruments seized this opportunity to show engineers that they understand that the work engineers does may go unnoticed, but it’s nonetheless valued. This campaign illustrates a clever way to stay in front of customers and let them know you appreciate their hard work.
  2. Listen and proactively respond. Comcast, more specifically @comcastcares, is often cited as the “golden child” of online service. But, they’re not alone in monitoring Twitter, blogs and other forums and proactively responding to address concerns. For example, Aaron Brezell shared a story on his blog about 1st Mariner Bank. Via Twitter, he declared the bank “dead” to him after a not-so-good experience. But, they reached out, responded, proactively followed up over the next couple of days — and consequently created a customer for life. Not sure how to start monitoring? Check out this guide to monitoring tools from Jason Falls.
  3. Learn and evolve. Monitor review sites — such as Yelp, industry-specific sites (e.g., for apartments), Google’s Sidewiki or Merchant Circle — to get feedback from customers.  What are people saying about service, products, and overall experience? Additionally, by creating a more interactive customer service experience — letting customers help other customers and creating public dialogue about concerns or suggestions — services like Get Satisfaction change how companies support customers. Use this feedback to find ways to improve. (Note: Don’t overlook opportunities to recognize internal departments that receive high remarks.)
  4. Don’t make decisions in a vacuum. Whether your company provides a service or a product, social media can shape the next evolution. HARO (a source that helps journalists find sources) conducts short online polls to discover additional features that users would find beneficial. Dell and Starbucks invite customers to submit ideas online, which can then be voted “up” or “down” by other site visitors. If your company provides a product, what features are missing? What can you learn just by asking customers? Share this information with the appropriate internal departments, whether that’s customer service … or product development, and then let customers know that their input was incorporated.
  5. Your choice. The fifth example is all yours. How else are you seeing companies strengthen customer service by integrating online tools?

, , , ,

Empowered by:
Empowered by Geben Communication