By  Tue Jan 28, 2014

How to Use Social Media to Get Effective Customer Service

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Have you ever used Facebook or Twitter for customer service? These days people are increasingly turning to social networks to get their consumer issues resolved. And it’s working. According to a recent survey by the Aberdeen Group, 17 percent of businesses have lost a customer due to a negative experience on social media while 36 percent have won a customer back due to a positive experience.

The next time you experience problems with your Internet connection or poor service on a flight, consider using social media to get the help you want. So what can you do to ensure that you receive good customer care on networks like Facebook and Twitter? Here are a few tips to help you get effective customer service:

When should you turn to social media?

Answer these two questions: How urgent is your request? How active is the company on social media? If your request is very urgent, social media might be the quickest and easiest way to get a response. However, if the company isn’t active on Facebook and Twitter, then don’t expect a timely response. Instead, you might want to call or email the company.

Certain industries and brands are better at responding on social media. According to the latest report from the website Socialbakers, which analyzes social media statistics, Straight Talk, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular are among the brands that provide the best customer care on social networks. Socialbakers says the most socially devoted industries on Facebook and Twitter, as measured by response rate, are finance, airlines, and telecom.

How should you report your grievance?

First, even if you’re angry, try to be as nice as you can. You don’t want your anger to obstruct any customer service help you might receive. While you want to be nice about airing your grievances, you also want to be as firm as possible and crystal clear about the point you’re trying to make. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. State the facts. State your point and be clear about what you’re trying to say. Don’t veer off subject. And make sure you state clearly what you expect the company to do about your issue.
  2. Don’t exaggerate. It’s never a good idea to make stuff up or overstate your problems when you’re trying to resolve your issue.
  3. Be concise. Don’t keep talking for the sake of talking. If necessary, write out bullet points to help you state your case. Remember, there may be hundreds of other consumers that the customer service representative is dealing with, so help yourself by stating what you want in a clear and concise way.
  4. Don’t go negative. If you can help it, try to remain calm. Don’t berate the company. A customer service representative is more likely to respond positively to someone who is… positive.
  5. Share evidence. If you have photos, videos, or supporting evidence that can prove your point, by all means share it. Sending in a photo of your broken item, for instance, will only help to strengthen your case.

What should you do if you don’t receive a response?

If you haven’t received a response within 30 minutes to an hour, look for other ways to reach the company. You might have to resort to calling the company or sending them an email.

If you want to be more aggressive, you can blog about the company or share your experiences on social media, making sure to tag the company in your post or tweet. The latter is particularly effective if you have a big presence on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. What you don’t want to do is harass the company — but you do want them to get to know who you are. One effective way to get a company to notice you might be to use crowdsourcing to connect with others who might feel the same way you do. After all, there is power in numbers.

One other tip: consider using #nevahold on Twitter. Nevahold is a company that uses social media to help consumers get quick responses from companies. If you want to send a complaint, question or praise a company on Twitter, include #nevahold with your tweet for it to gain more traction.

If you do get your issue resolved via social media, remember to thank the company for their help.

 

Related Stories:

How Social Media is Changing the Way People Search for Jobs

Facebook Your Way to Creditworthiness

My Experience With Customer Service Reps at Different Banks

 

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