Ecommerce social media is often centered on connection, engagement and generating a strong sense of community between brand and customer. But, along with the conversations, another purpose exists that becomes evident as brands grow and customer service expands.
While Ecommerce brands may think they do not need to address customer service issues socially, unfortunately, they may not have a choice.
Customers in today’s modern online marketplace have a lot of influence and their voice drives the purchasing decisions of other customers.
Consumer advocacy has become a widespread phenomenon. This dynamic has grown in recent years as social media continues to expand and thrive. Consumers no longer trust ONLY the company for product recommendations and reviews. In fact, consumer-to-consumer recommendations are often the best advertisements brands have for their products.
Because consumer advocacy is so important in today’s modern-day social atmosphere, as an Ecommerce brand, you must be focused on customer service and allowing your customers to become brand ambassadors. Building brand ambassadors will do more for your bottom line than hundreds of advertisements because people trust their friends and family members more than they trust a brand.
Consumer advocacy is not possible unless you are actively involved in social customer service.
The Downfalls of Neglecting Social Customer Service
For today’s consumers, phone call and email complaints are so “yesterday.”
The new way to complain about a company? On a Twitter or Facebook profile where thousands of people can see it—where the comments will forever remain unless the consumer removes it, which is highly unlikely.
Imagine one of your customers decided to complain openly on a social site. The result could be disastrous if you are not monitoring the conversations and putting out the fires.
Consumers love to rant about companies, whether positive or negative. They feel important and love that their voice can be heard by the masses. While this phenomenon can be beneficial when the comments are praise-worthy, once an incident occurs, the negativity can create a backlash and affect future sales.
Social Customer Service Tips
If your brand is active in the social sphere and you have a strong customer service backbone, you have taken the first step.
To mitigate some of these potential hazardous issues, consider these tips:
List your contact information and hours of operation on your profiles where customers can see it. The easier it is to access you, the less chance they will take to their profiles to rant. Also, if a consumer sees you are only active during business hours, he/she may wait longer to post a comment.
When your customers talk to you on Facebook and Twitter and leave comments, respond to let them know you are attentive. A lack of response may signal to the customer you do not care, which could fuel their negative opinions about your establishment.
Most consumers do not start their complaint process by ranting on their social profiles. The buildup hailing from a lack of response usually forces the customer to become irate enough to post their woes for everyone else to see. Do your best to stay responsive to prevent future damage. And the quicker you respond, the better the chance of de-escalating the situation.
If customers decide to post a negative comment, guide them to continue the discussion via a private conversation to prevent them from sharing confidential information and escalating the matter beyond the limits of decency.
The only way to discover what is being said about your brand is to actively monitor the social conversations. HootSuite and other social media tools allow you to monitor conversations based on keywords.
The key to successful social customer service is to stay aware of the external environment. Monitor, respond and stay positive. Quench the fires before they even occur and you will enjoy open communication with your loyal customers.