This statistic suggests that small acts of kindness and guidance to please customers can create trusted relationships and brand loyalty. Yet, with social media becoming the new way to receive answers and solve problems, companies such as Bank of America, Home Depot and J.P. Morgan are struggling with adapting their customer service to provide appropriate online feedback. Small errors or complaints that are left unaddressed can fester, creating ruinous disasters from seemingly inconsequential beginnings.
Silence is no longer an acceptable answer. In fact, 88% of customers who have complaints ignored on Facebook and Twitter are unlikely to buy from the brand in the future.
Here are some best practices for avoiding these missteps and creating an engaging and helpful culture:
Take the extra step
Recently, CitiBike customer Paul Young ran into an incident that could’ve easily ruined the rest of his day:
While most companies would’ve tweeted a small message of sympathy, CitiBike took the incident as an opportunity to give Paul a much-needed surprise:
The personalized message and timely outreach created a memorable and honest effort to help a customer, which reinforced the brand’s image for reliability and responsiveness.
With social media, the doors are always open and the lights stay on. Having a presence on a social media platform that never sleeps means that questions are always being asked. Your brand will need to deliver answers – fast.
Seamless is an example of a brand that understands the concept of how answers should be conveyed – beyond the capabilities of automatic messaging.
Maintain helpful troubleshooting
More often than not, customers place their questions and concerns on social media platforms, only to be met by silence.
Nordstrom is an example of a brand that creates trusted relationships with users and provides resources when guidance is needed:
Even if the company can’t solve all problems, providing human support and technical guidance emphasizes a commitment to quality customer service.
Brands should understand that, whether receiving praise or blame, all messages must be handled in a timely, personalized manner. This is the most effective way to maintain a strong brand reputation. Companies should recognize opportunity in all online communication and have the social media savvy to use it.
How are you providing answers to your follower’s questions? Check out these Social Media Examiner articles for more tips on how to deliver key responses to your brand’s customers:
**Written by Elise Yancey, Public Relations major at Boston University (Class of 2015).