But, amplifying brand messages shouldn’t be the only goal. We also need to recognize that social media provides valuable opportunities to enhance customer service, as well.
Heidi Cohen deep dives into this issue in her recent post at ClickZ, How to Integrate Customer Service Into Social Media Marketing. As Heidi explains, social media has changed customer service from a support function to a new extension of marketing. She then goes on to outline a dozen ways that marketers can use social media tactics to support customer service and extend their marketing efforts.
Among my favorites on Heidi’s list:
Listening. Social media monitoring tools allow you to hear what customers are saying about your products. You gain insight, the opportunity to provide a timely response and an important “heads-up” to potential problems. For most businesses, listening is the crucial first step to building a social media presence. Of course, it’s critical that customer feedback is communicated to the appropriate personnel within your organization and that you have a plan to manage comments and concerns.
Alternative contact channels. These days, customers and prospects are looking for you . . . everywhere! Companies need a diversified –but integrated –approach. Social media channels provide new avenues for customers to find you when they need service.
As Heidi puts it, consumers today want to know that your firm is real, and that it cares. I’ll add this: Not only do consumers want to make that connection, these days they expect it, particularly when they need your help or have a concern. Your social media strategy needs to integrate customer service, and when it does, you’ll start driving interactions that lead to wins with both customers and prospects.