13 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for Customer Service

13 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for Customer Service

You and your business are likely already on all of the major social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but are you using them to their full potential? One of the latest trends in the world of social media and business, is connecting with customers and audiences through social media to provide better customer support and services.

Social media has become a huge part of nearly every company’s marketing strategy, but it’s not enough to simply share content. Today’s consumers want brands to offer efficient customer service through their social platforms. In fact, according to Social Media Today, nearly 85 percent of consumers expect a company to respond to social media inquiries within 24 hours, and 72 percent expect answers within an hour when they reach out on Twitter.

To best serve your customers, it’s important to meet them where they are and give them the care and attention they need, on whatever platform they’re using. We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share tips on how brands should be using social media for customer service.

1. Pay Attention to How Customers Interact With One Another

The best way to create a great customer experience is to allow your users to interact freely on social media. Your company should be aware of these comments as they give you the best opportunity to provide customer service. If an individual posts a complaint, step in to address that comment and either fix it right away or let the user know why it can’t be implemented.

Julian Montoya, JM11 Investments

2. Offer an Interactive Experience to Collect Feedback

Social media platforms like Instagram are adding more features to make the experience interactive, such as adding polls to Instagram Stories. We’ve taken advantage of this feature to share new episodes of our podcast. We’ve gathered valuable information about listener interest and have seen our downloads spike as a result.

Mark Krassner, Expectful

3. Monitor Your Business Name on Social Media

Not everyone who has a problem will contact you directly. Some people will just tweet about it or mention it on another social media site. That’s why it’s important to monitor your name, whether you use Google Alerts or a reputation management tool. This helps you stay informed if anyone has a complaint and shows that you care about satisfying your customers.

Shawn Porat, Scorely

4. Implement Messenger Bots

Messenger bots are growing ever more sophisticated. It’s a great tool if implemented correctly. People can get their immediate concerns and common questions addressed. When it becomes more complicated, you must have an immediate measure to connect them to a live person. It also helps to mitigate harmful review posts on the public domain itself.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

5. Encourage Customers to Take the Conversation Offline When Necessary

Social media as a customer service tool cannot be applied to all business cases. A quick phone call via social media messenger can provide good support to a customer in need. Social media tools can be used effectively in offering information about your product and services.

Sachin Narode, Xeniapp Inc.

6. Use Twitter as a Q&A Tool

Avoid paying for third-party AI tools and utilize Twitter as a way to answer questions for your customers. This is also a savvy way to implement subtle advertising, as customers will scan your Twitter page to see if any of their unasked questions have been answered.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

7. Turn Upset Customers Into Advocates

In my experience, consumers are talking about products on social media more than companies can feasibly get involved. The most effective social media work you do will be serving your upset customers. By owning your mistakes and reaching out to make it right, you can turn loud complaints into praise.

Your audience will appreciate that you care to fix mistakes.

Alexander Mistakidis, Gamelynx

8. Make It a Conversation

I always compare how you manage social media to how you’re having a conversation with a person in real life. If you’re just making statements about yourself, but not listening or responding to others, it doesn’t work. Make sure you’re listening and engaging with your peers and customers on social media. It can’t just be about you.

Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf

9. Foster a Community

Social media has been a very effective customer service tool for us thus far. Having quick response rates is a great way to encourage users to use your product when they may not want to deal with official customer service channels. Reddit can foster discussion between customers and employees, which can develop as a customer service guide for customers in need of a simple fix.

Zohar Steinberg, token payments

10. Always Respond to Brand Mentions

Consumers use social media platforms for many different purposes. It’s essential to always acknowledge a brand mention or question on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are many automated tools that provide alerts for specific brand mentions. It’s good practice to set up these alerts and engage with your audience when you see a brand mention.

Michael Hsu, DeepSky

11. Enable the Facebook Messenger Pop-Up Window and Use a Chatbot

On Facebook, you can have a message window pop up as soon as someone comes to your page and ask if they can help you. Having that around-the-clock availability to help can be a welcome sign to customers and potential customers.

Serenity Gibbons, Calendar

12. Share Customer-Centric Content

Don’t solely use social media as a self-promotional marketing platform, but also as a platform to have meaningful conversations with your customers. We often encourage people to tweet us with their questions and concerns. It’s an easy, actionable way of getting in touch rather than emailing or calling. It also helps us put out information that is useful to our customers, such as product tips and tricks.

Stan Garber, Scout RFP

13. Find a Tool That Integrates All Your Social Channels

Make it clear what channels your company has a presence on and understand that if you post on Facebook and Instagram, you’re going to get direct messages there and customers will expect you to reply just like you reply to emails. Good software that allows your team to see all emails and social messages in one place is the way to go.

Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

How to Make the Most of Your Social Media Efforts

With chatbots and social media now combining powers, it’s likely going to be easier and more effective than ever for brands to start using social media for customer support and user feedback. If this is something of interest to you, be sure to consider each of the options mentioned in our expert answers above.

To see more expert roundups like this one, be sure to view our previous articles on improved Facebook marketing and the best tools for monitoring your brand online.

How to Better Understand Your Products to Improve Customer Value and ROI

How to Better Understand Your Products to Improve Customer Value and ROI

If you ask the average person what it means to create value with a product or service, most will probably say something to the effect of saving money or offering a substantial discount. They wouldn’t be wrong, but they wouldn’t be completely right either. It’s quite similar to the days of when an affiliate marketing conference is full of a bunch of ad networks and when you ask why they are the best, they will reply “We have the highest paying an best quality offers” — which got really old, really fast.

In the business world, we define value as the degree to which a product or service enriches life, fulfills a need, or solves a problem. Sales and marketing professionals long ago figured out that people don’t buy just to possess an end item or service, but to fix or improve something in their own lives or business. While this is especially true for B2C, it also holds for B2B as well.

Many businesses fail to close deals with other businesses because they don’t understand what their prospect is looking for (the Buyer Concept), and even worse, where they can create value for that business. We often default to saving cost and trying to underbid our competitors, but that’s a tactic that has become less and less effective as the years have gone by.

If we want to get the most out of our sales leads, and increase both our conversion ratios, ROI, and profit margins, we need to start understanding where we create value, and who our ideal customers are. This can often be done if you can imagine yourself as the actual customer of the product, but there are many other ways to improve on this as well.

Know Your Business

When someone asks you, “What does your business do?” you probably have a good answer already prepared. “We produce high quality automotive parts.” Good for you. But if instead you were asked, “How does your business create value?” what would you say?

Before we can hope to create a strong customer base, we need to understand what it is we really offer with our products and services. Cost is definitely an element that we can influence, and it plays a factor in many deals, with the majority of businesses, but it’s not the end-all, be-all that many perceive it to be.

This is often best accomplished by those individuals and brands that actually have a passion for what they do.

Value can also be quantified in saving time, avoiding hassle, increasing capability, ease of use, or access to new resources. Emotional factors such as reducing anxiety, fulfilling a dream, or making a new connection are also viable elements of value that you can introduce.

Regardless of what your product or service is, understanding where your business introduces value is the first crucial step to making the most out of your marketing and sales efforts.

Know Your Customers

Once you’ve established where you can introduce value, your next challenge is to identify what group or groups of people will readily buy from you, and more importantly, be a good fit for your business. Finding your ideal customer is a challenge that every business inevitably faces, but if you don’t, you’ll flounder to create a customer base that will sustain you, or allow you to grow.

The easiest way to understand those demographics that will make up your ideal customer is to create a Buyer Persona for each one. These are hypothetical, broad snapshots of the typical life, values and buying habits of the people you want to sell to. Buyer Personas are critical whether your focus is B2B or B2C.

The following decision and profiling examples are crucial when trying to figure out who your ideal customers are.

  • Pool your personas into a few target groups.
  • Get to know those personas.
  • Create profiles for each persona.
  • Develop content and messaging for each persona.

For example: if you make high quality automotive parts, you might create a Buyer Persona called Steve the Service Manager. Steve works in the Chevy dealership in his hometown, and his job is to make sure the service department runs smoothly. He values saving money, reducing time spent on each vehicle repair, and using high quality auto parts with a service life of at least five years, backed up by at least a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Your business makes high quality auto parts with three-year warranty; your pieces can be easily installed in most Chevy vehicles very quickly; you offer discounts on bulk orders. You just made Steve’s day.

It’s critical to know who will buy from you so that you also understand who won’t buy from you. You need to know who may be willing to buy but you can’t really help, so that you can avoid them. It’s not an effort to be more elite or high end (although you can certainly market that way, if that’s what you want your business to be). It’s about avoiding wasted time, money, effort, and buyer remorse.

Get the Leads; Close the Deal

Once you’ve established both where you bring value, and the customers who are looking for those same elements, you’ll have a much easier time prospecting and generating leads. Your next step is to ensure that your sales and marketing teams understand the elements you’re strong in, and where you’re lacking. To help your sales and marketing teams even further, you can even outsource your lead generating activities, saving you time and money, and allowing your teams to maximize their money-making efforts.

To summarize:

Understand yourself, understand your customer (or those you want to be your customers), and then cater your marketing efforts to those strengths. No matter the business market, the product, or the services provided… this is the business marketing strategy that continually works time and time again.

To use a cooking analogy – without a clear picture of what you bring to the table, and who wants to join you, you’re essentially opening a cookbook to a random page, preparing a meal, and praying that someone will eat it.

No it’s time to apply these same working methods and ideologies to your own business and marketing efforts.

5 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Customer Engagement

5 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Customer Engagement

5 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Customer Engagement

Written by Zac Johnson

When was the last time you met a customer or client of your business? This might sound like an obvious question but be honest. In today’s digital world of huge corporations, most people who own companies don’t meet their clients or respond to their needs individually.

But engaging with clients or customers on an individual level is vitally important to growing your brand and ultimately your product or service. Without customer engagement, you become another company lost in the wilderness of the internet.

Here’s what you should include in your customer engagement strategy.

1. Make Yourself Approachable

The first rule of business is to ensure that customers know who you are and how they can reach out to you. Be sure to advertise the different methods that customers or clients can reach out to you. Provide a phone number and its operating hours if you don’t have one.

But also provide the names of the people at the company and their roles along with their email addresses. This allows customers and clients to put a name and even a face to the company.

Don’t send out automated messages, try to reply to everybody with personalized messages if you can. This is how you can demonstrate great customer engagement.

2. Improve Your Social Media Game

Social media is the biggest way you can reach out to new and existing customers and often the first channel they will seek to reach out to you.

Be sure to put out regular posts and keep them personal. Nobody wants to see boring corporate tweets or Facebook posts. Give them a personal slant and ensure they are signed by a member of the team.

Social media is also the place that people come to vent their frustrations that something has gone wrong. Be sure to remain sympathetic and calm during interactions where the company is criticized.

Ask the compliant for an email address or a phone number so you can reach out to them individually. This might make them feel more respected and calm.

3. Know What Your Audience Wants

If you want to have a brand or business that stands the test of time, you need to provide real value to your audience. A perfect example of this can be seen with Amazon.com. Not only have they drastically expanded the reach and products from their business, they also continue to gain more customers daily as well.

This is something Print on Demand Academy preaches within their courses and content, which is to focus all of your efforts what the end user wants and how to give it to them.

No matter the size or focus of your business, it’s ultimately going to come down to the engagement and appreciation you get from your customers. Without it, you are just another failing company without a purpose and need.

4. Create a Regular Blog

As well as short-form content in terms of tweets and social media posts, it is important to also put long-form content out there. This is usually in the form of blogs.

Regular blogs help customers see what you are up to and get insider insight into how the company works. They create that personal connection between the company and the customer or client.

But they also do more than that. Blog content should also be search engine optimized. This ensures that it used the right keywords and links. The site is then ranked highly on Google searches, one of the most important customer engagement marketing strategies.

Remember though it’s important to consider what it’s worth investing in social media or SEO.

5. Use Popups and Unique Call to Actions

Thanks to the power of the internet, it’s never been easier to connect with audiences around the world and also capture their email — which leads to an instant way to stay in contact and message them.

With this in mind, the more call to actions you have on your site, the more likely you are find success with your brand or business.

Start with social media and site content, then add in some call to actions for a simple email grab. As you continue to optimize your site, also think about adding popup windows, push notifications and other unique call to actions to get the end user to engage with your content.

Creating A Good Customer Engagement Strategy Is Key to Business in the Modern World

In the modern world, competition is rife. Because of the growth of internet customers, and consumers increasingly have much more power than they once did.

And they use this power to demand better customer engagement through social media, blogs, and personal interaction.

If you are interested in reading more about customer engagement or have to make money online then be sure to check out the rest of my blog.

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