HAPPY social customers are some of your company’s best assets.
- They can be your cheerleader
- They can advertise on your behalf
- They can defend you when things go wrong
- And they can share their experiences with their peers and provide valuable testimonials
But they can also become one of your biggest problems. If they don’t like the way they were treated by you, they’ll switch brands with the blink of an eye, all the while taking down your reputation on social media.
Social customers want brands to go the extra mile for them every time they tweet or post, yet many companies are not only failing to personalize their social interactions – they’re failing to participate in the conversation at all.
So what does it take to retain social customers, develop trust and even turn them into cheerleaders for your company?
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Three simple steps, according to Sara Carter, Head of Customer Success at Sparkcentral.
“You’d be amazed at how seemingly small changes can completely transform the customer experience,” she said. “The customer experience is all about perception. If a customer feels like you’ve gone the extra mile for them, even if it didn’t take much effort on your part, they’re going to perceive you differently. These three simple, but powerful tips will help turn an ordinary customer into a company cheerleader almost immediately.”
Tip #1 – Gather Contact Info so YOU can Follow up
Customers hate being transferred from department to department. They contacted YOU, and they want YOU to resolve their issue. A great way to solve this problem is by taking their contact information, finding the answer, then getting back to them with the solution. But you MUST contact them back.
I know I’m always wary when a customer service agent says they’ll call me back. I don’t ever expect to hear from them again and I dread the thought of contacting the company a second time – so I usually don’t. When an agent actually calls back, I’m surprised, grateful and relieved.
By following through, you take the work and worry off of the customer’s shoulders and they’ll feel like you genuinely care. They’ll also be much more likely to contact you again in the future. This kind of treatment and follow-through helps develop a trust AND a relationship between the agent, the customer AND the company.
Tip #2 – Be Proactive and Work as a Team
Great customer service requires a team effort. Whether it’s an airline crew coordinating with ground staff to assist a passenger, or social customer service agents communicating with hotel staff to find a customer’s missing wallet – an “all hands on deck” approach not only fosters a sense of camaraderie between employees, but means that the customer is getting superior service from your entire team. No matter what they do, make sure your entire staff takes a customer-oriented approach to their jobs.
Tip #3 – Take Action on Feedback
Customer feedback is essential. It’s not always easy to hear, but it’s highly important. As Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Carter suggests creating a legit “feedback” list where you document valuable customer feedback. Then take it a step further. Follow up with the customer once the feedback has been implemented – or even it hasn’t, contact them just to say thanks. By showing customers you actually listened and considered their input – even if you can’t use it – you’ll make them feel valued, important and appreciated.
Three simple, yet powerful steps that you can start using today:
Tip #1 – Gather contact information so you can follow up
Tip #2 – Be proactive and work as a team
Tip #3 – Take action on feedback
By going the extra mile for customers, you increase their loyalty and change the way they think of you. Your customer is not only your best asset, but your best advocate, and taking simple steps to provide exceptional customer service will ensure that they keep singing, posting and tweeting your praises.