Customer Service via Social Media

Social media is becoming more and more popular. It is a convenient way to communicate, share different thoughts and ideas. This is why social media is a good way to convey customer service. According to the Journal of Marketing Management, “customers pull firms into social media conversations – for example, tagging companies on Twitter, or posting questions on the company’s Facebook page. It has been said that a firm’s absence from social media is quickly noticed by its customers (Canhoto p.17). You can reach out to customers on a personal level or even reach out to customers in a large group. I personally would use it more to reach out to customers on a personal level because it makes them feel valued and important as a customer to your business. For example if you are monitoring Twitter for your business, and you notice that a customer has mentioned you in a post that they are having an issue with one of your products. Once they have mentioned you or used a certain keyword you can then easily reply back to them, or mention them in your post about what they should do to get the issue resolved. It shows that you are reaching out to the customer, and helping them with whatever they need.

Not only can you reach out to your customers on a personal level, you can also get back to them with a quick response time. Getting back to customers in a timely manner is a huge part of customer service. No one wants to sit on hold waiting for a representative to pick up the phone, or wait in line at the store to be helped in person. It makes the customer feel like they are not important, or that your company does not really care about the needs of customer with your product. In fact it is stated that 71% of customers who have a good customer service experience with a company through social media will recommend the brand to other consumers. (Marban) That is why it is important to make sure that you are delivering good customer service not only in stores but on social media sites as well. It can have a big impact on how well your company does, and how many customers you retain. Having good customer service is one of the main ways to maintain customer loyalty. It is hard to have a business if your customers decide to do business elsewhere, by showing your customers that you care, think they are important, and respond back to them quickly it will make them stay with your business because of the good customer service that they receive.

Another reason why using social media for customer service is a good idea is because it gives the customers another option to voice their ideas, and suggestions. Customers like to know that they are being heard, and that their ideas matter to a company. Not only do the customers appreciate that, but the company can really benefit from it as well. For example, if they are getting a lot of the same suggestions to add a feature onto their website where they purchase products then the company could bring that up to their website developers. They can then add that feature onto the website to make the customers happy, and keep their business coming back. The company could even go one step furtherer, and let all of the people who made that suggestions know that the feature in now added to the website by either replying back onto their posts, or sending out a personal message thanking them for their suggestion, and that it was put into action. Companies should always strive to make improvements, better their operations, and customer service. Companies can even post on social media sites asking for suggestions on what they should improve on if they are really needing ideas. So there are a lot of options when using social media sites to get ideas and suggestions for improvement, or just things that need to change.

Customers are getting used to expecting a quick response time with all of the new ways to deliver customer service. That is why it is important that companies start utilizing social media, as in making accounts or their own company page. Then they can easily communicate with their customers, and see what areas need improvement in their company.

References:

Marban, A. (2014, February 13). The Importance of Responding to Customers Quickly on Social Media. Retrieved from http://adespresso.com/academy/blog/importance-responding-quickly-customers-social-media/

Canhoto, A. I., & Clark, M. (2013). Customer service 140 characters at a time: The users’ perspective. Journal Of Marketing Management, 29(5/6), 522-544. doi:10.1080/0267257X.2013.777355    – from campus connect library.

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Why Social Media and Marketing Go Hand In Hand

Over the last few years social media has really boomed. It started in the early 2000’s when MySpace took off, and then the next huge social site was Facebook. Since Facebook there have been multiple other social media sites that have been created, and are still very popular. These sites include Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and there are even professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. Since these sites have become so popular with people, marketers have started using those sites to post advertisements for different businesses and products. Social media sites are great place to advertise especially when you consider the amount of people on these sites. “There are over 1.5 billion people online worldwide, so that equates to 1.25 billion people using social sites.” (Roberts p.222).  That is A LOT of people that could see your advertisements, and your social site pages.

There are a lot of benefits to online marketing. If you are looking to create your own page on a social media site, the biggest advantage is that it is free! You can post your products, promotions, and different information on your page for free. Plus the more people that like your page the more your page will be shown and suggested. Another good feature is that people can share your posts so that all of their friends can see it as well. The ways your page can be shared, and connected with other people is almost endless. Compared to other online marketing techniques, social media marketing would be a great way to get your company name out there if you are looking to market in an inexpensive way.

When it comes to social media marketing there are a lot of different sites that you can use to get your name, or product out there. One of the most popular sites that you would use is Facebook. When you are trying to market on this social media site you will want to start by creating your own page. Once you create your own page, you can ask people to like it, and the more people that like your page, the more people that will see it. You can write posts on your page, post pictures of your company or product, and you can even post videos to it. Another popular site is Twitter. On this site using hashtags is a key way to get your name out there. You can connect hashtags to your profile, and the more people that use your hashtag it could become a trending topic. When that happens the hashtag comes up as a suggestion to use, and then when people click on it, it will bring up topics about your company. Making connections is very important to do when you plan to market on social media sites.

The social media world is always growing, which is both good news and bad news for marketers. It is good because you will always have new potential customers to show your product to. The reason that this is also bad news is because it can take a lot of work to keep up with running your own page on a social media site. According to the International Journal of Market Research “Users expect their questions to be answered within hours. If companies ignore their users or react too late on critics this may evolve to global discussions about the weaknesses of the company itself or of its products, which eventually results in an economic damage for the company.” (Aichner p.5). This is why you will want to make sure that you have enough time and resources to take on the task of marketing through social media. To make this easier you might want to have someone set aside that will specifically monitor the social sites that your company is on. That way when someone does comment, or post something to you, you can respond to them in a short amount of time. Responding to your customers in a short amount of time is important because it shows them that you care, and appreciate what they have to say. Having someone to monitor the sites is also helpful because you can watch out for the negative posts that can happen. That way you can delete or respond to the post in a professional way to resolve the situation at hand.

In the end social media marketing is a smart route to go if you are looking to expand your business name, and to get a larger customer base. While making your own page may be free, it does still require a lot of time and energy. Although if you are willing to work at it, the rewards of marketing on social sites far outweigh the disadvantages of it.

References

Aichner, T., & Jacob, F. (2015). Measuring the degree of corporate social media use. International Journal Of Market Research, 57(2), 257-275. doi:10.2501/IJMR-2015-018

Roberts, M., & Zahay, D. (2013). Internet Marketing: Integrating Online and Offline Strategies (3rd ed., p. 222). Mason, OH: South-Western.