Social Media As Customer Service
Small business owners often think of social media as a "nice to have." Social media is something they do when they have time but is not necessarily on the top of their list of priorities. In today's market, you cannot afford to think this way. Social media has become the first and sometimes the last opportunity a company has to show off their commitment to customer service.
For small business owners it is easy to look at the in-between areas of social media. What will they post? How often? And is it worth the effort? I have written a lot about this in-between area. But today I want to talk about the beginning and the end of your relationship with your customers.
At the end of last week I received several photos from one of my clients. Antonio from Cinco de Mayo Restaurants sent me photos of his soon to opened Middletown, Maryland location. He has done this throughout the process and each time we have posted them to Facebook and Instagram. We created a new Facebook page for this location the minute he signed the lease on the property. We are building excitement. But we are also showing the restaurant's commitment to customer service.
When people comment on one of the photos, we always reply. This builds engagement, but it also shows that we are excited about meeting our new customers. More importantly, we respond to messages. Every time we post the new photos, we receive a slew of new messages. Many are asking when we will be hiring, some are asking when we are opening so that they can plan a get-together their with friends. Whatever they ask, we are there to respond. Responsiveness is a huge part of the customer service small businesses must be committed to.
This commitment to customer service through social media extends beyond the first contact. Throughout a campaign your social media presence should be more than just selling your products or services to your customers. It should be about adding value to their Facebook or Instagram feeds. Again, by adding value you are showing a commitment to customer service.
But how is it the last chance? Reviews. Reviews are so important in today's business climate. At Ann's Social Media and Marketing, I spend a good portion of everyday looking for reviews for my clients. If there is a good review I have the opportunity to thank the customer for letting us serve them and letting them know we look forward to seeing them again.
If there is a bad review, we can respond. Depending on the severity of the review we can get the owner or manager of the business involved, solve the problem and hopefully get the customer to change the review.
Saturday evening I had the opportunity to help a client stop the bleeding on a very bad review. I found a very bad review for one of my customers and not only was he able to correct the problem, he was able to make the customer happy enough that she went back in and corrected her review.
When you consider the number of people looking at reviews for your business it is easy to see how this part is not just a last chance to please current customers but a first chance to attract new customers.
As a small business owner, you are never just in the business of selling a product or service. You are in the business of pleasing your customers. Let social media be part of that customer service experience and you will not only gain more customers but keep the ones you have.