Why are you surprised that your customers turn to social media when they are frustrated with a brand, company, product or experience?

There are no doors

What used to go on over the telephone with your CSRs and what used to happen at the front of the queue at the returns counter are no longer private conversations.

Nor are the rants at home behind closed doors.

Your customers can – and will – use their new-found technology to rant, vent, demand and expect their complaints and questions be dealt with openly.

And openly, today, means out in public with everyone paying attention.

That could be a risk for you if you’re not ready. But it’s also an opportunity because when you’re open and honest (and responsive), your customer service nightmare can quickly become a positive PR story.

3 tips to make your customer service more social media friendly

  1. Deal with every customer in the same way – that means whether they’re your ‘biggest’ customer or not, you want to make everyone feel like their experience is the be-all and end-all of your business. You’re going for the long-term here, so success will come only by being great in the eyes of every customer you serve.
  2. Know more about your product/service than your customers – you’re going to get some complaints that really challenge your understanding of your products and services, so make sure you know them inside-out and back to front; remember, you’re going to be helping them in real time and in public.
  3. Every complaint is an opportunity to succeed – the fact that a customer is even reaching out to you is good news. So use their complaint as the wonderful opportunity it is and give your brand a boost in the eyes of everyone watching. Be honest. Be helpful. Be proactive. In short, just be a good business.

Just in case you think we’re overstating the point here, just read this report from Nielsen which reports that (in the US) more than half of consumers use social media to air their questions and complaints.

And it’s not just social media you need to involve your customer service in. Don’t forget the reviews, forums, comparison websites and even your own company’s support forums. Your fans and friends are out there, but you need to participate too, supporting your customers wherever they are.

The quicker you respond, the smaller the fire.


One Comment

  • Having just read your article, I wanted to thank you for it. It’s fascinating and inspirational — everyone should read it (but sadly that may be too much to hope for!) Derryck, You are amazing!

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