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How Customer Service Can Use Social Media

I saw a recent article on by DJ Heckes on the Yoga The Power blog about how social media can play a big part in customer service. That’s something we’ve talked extensively about here at Measure CP, although we’ve never discussed it very extensively on the blog.

I was glad to see DJ talk about these three points:

4. Listen. DJ says you need to set up a good listening strategy with customer monitoring tools. Even a basic search column on TweetDeck for your company name will be a big start. Or you can spend some money and get a subscription to Lithium or Radian6. They cost some money, but if you have a big enough company, it’s worth every penny.

9. Resolve Problems. “Immediately try to resolve problems,” said DJ. If you did that, you would be ahead of most of your competitors. I recently wrote a blog post that said if you want to excel at customer service, you just have to be mediocre. While I’m not encouraging mediocrity, I am saying that even if you did a little bit of customer service, you would outpace the competition. But if you go above and beyond the call of duty for most of your customers, and try to exceed their expectations, you’ll be a rockstar in your industry.

But here’s the best way to get the most out of your efforts. Do it publicly on social media so other people can see it. Respond to Yelp reviews, blog posts, and Twitter messages. Respond in the same place the comment was found, respond positively, and resolve the problem. If your customer is happy enough, he or she will share your help with their network and you’ll get a little word-of-mouth marketing out of it.

12. Unhappy Customers. DJ said we may sometimes find ourselves on the other end of the desk/table/counter as an unhappy customer. I was especially pleased to see him reference my friend, Erik Deckers, and his post Five Rules to Getting Good Customer Service on Social Media.. Both DJ and Erik say that if you’re unhappy with a company, you should complain. And if you do it the right way (i.e. don’t be a jerk), you’re more likely to get what you want.

The last point is especially important. It’s the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have do unto you. If you’re a jerk to your companies, don’t be surprised if your customers are jerks to you.

As mystery shoppers, we always go into a shop with the last point in mind, so we can see whether our target companies are helpful, do the things they’re supposed to, and help us get what we want. We’re also starting to monitor some companies using social media to see whether their customers are happy with them.