Local SEO isn’t the only way to spread the good word about your business. Offering friendly, helpful customer service is a super-easy way to keep customers happy and strengthen word-of-mouth. After all, customers are much more likely to do repeat business with a company that provides superior customer service. So why not take this one step further and make your customer service efforts public? When you receive customer comments on social media, particularly Facebook, you can respond right there on the same platform. This way, you’re not just providing a customer with a prompt response—you’re also showing prospective customers visiting your page just how attentive and professional you really are. If you do it correctly, it’s a win-win. In her recent article on Search Engine Watch, “Five Reasons Why You Should Invest in Social Customer Service,” Rebecca Sentance explores how you can benefit from using social media to interact with customers. Many of her examples focus on Twitter and the big brands that use it; however, we can easily adapt these examples to fit small, local businesses that primarily use Facebook.
Five Reasons to Use Social Media for Customer Service
So, what are Sentance’s five reasons for using social media for customer service?
- Convenience: People are spending a lot of time on social media daily. It makes sense to meet them where they already are.
- Attention: People want to be heard. When they don’t hear back from a company, they react negatively and often disparage said company on social media. On the other hand, when they do hear back promptly, they’re much more likely to view that company favorably.
- First impressions: Frankly, responding on social media makes you look good. It shows accountability and personality.
- Retention: Studies show consumers are willing to switch brand loyalties and even pay more if they think they’ll receive better customer service. Keeping customers happy—and doing so publicly—will help you attract and retain customers.
- Feedback: Social media, especially Facebook, is a great tool for getting customer feedback. You can survey your audience to hear their thoughts on your current product offerings or what kinds of new services they’d be interested in. Basically, you can use social media as low-cost market research to help you improve your business.
Of course, when angry customers take to social media to air their grievances, things can get ugly. However, this is likely to happen regardless of how active you are on Facebook or Twitter. Cooler heads always prevail in these situations. As long as you respond professionally and respectfully, you’ll come out on top. Want more details? We strongly recommend reading Sentance’s full article over on Search Engine Watch. It’s a deeply insightful read.