Does Social Customer Service Matter?

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Ristorante

Many of us in the digital marketing world have come across these companies who say they already have a very successful business, and do not need a presence on social media to address customer needs.

This is often the response I’ll get when asking about why they don’t use their social accounts to reply to customers.

Company A: “We already have millions of dollars in sales, and we don’t want do do anything with social media. It does nothing for us.”

Me: Great! I’m happy to hear that you are doing so well in sales. Do you know what people are saying online about you?

Company A: They say that we’re a great company, and that they love our product.

Me: That’s great that you’re getting positive reviews. Did you know that you also have negative reviews on yelp.comamazon.com, and people have been leaving mentions of your brand on Facebook and Twitter about how they don’t like your product/service?

And after they hear that they’ve gotten negative reviews, they sometimes will say that the negative reviews don’t matter. My response is that they do matter a great deal because they form a crucial first impression of the company. If people are reaching out to them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and they’re not getting a response from the company.

Then they get the impression that the company doesn’t care about them, and it makes a lasting impression in their relationship with the company. If a company says on their website or in their social media that they care about customer service, then that should also be translated to their social customer service.

Oftentimes, when a company thinks about customer service, they draw the line at mail, e-mails, faxes, and telephone calls. And that’s a mistake. More people are turning to social media to learn about companies, and how proactive that company can be in response to their inquiries.

For instance, a Hubspot study last year showed that:

  • Customers expect brands to have an active social media presence on at least three channels
  • 73% are more likely to buy from a brand that responds on social media

Not only that, customers expect a fast response time on social media, especially on Twitter, where 53% expect that response to happen in under an hour. Wow — that fast of a time? Yes. 

My view is that companies can only be helped by having an active, engaged, and highly responsive presence on social media. Don’t just draw the line at old-school customer service, embrace social media as your new customer service.

 

Noelle Bell is the founder and CEO of Buzzworthy Social Media. She is a published author on Huffington Post, and consults with small and large brands on managing their digital marketing needs.

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