Q&A: How to Use Social Media for Customer Service

social-media-300x218  Social media is the great equalizer for customers, because they can interact directly with businesses and express their wants and needs as well as their satisfaction and dissatisfaction with a product or service.

And brands have responded by creating social media cha nnels wh ere they engage with customers, solicit opinions and suggestions, and respond directly to customer inquiries. I’ve found that a lot of customers like to reach out to brands on social media, because it’s convenient, and they prefer it to waiting on hold when they dial a customer service number.

I think a lot of the bigger companies are responsive on Facebook, because they have a social media manager monitoring their channel. And because everyone is on Facebook, and it is still such a powerful medium to express opinions, these big businesses are making sure to respond quickly when customers contact them on Facebook.

What’s happening a lot, though, is that customers are treating social media almost like live chat, and they expect a response instantly. This isn’t always realistic, but I think you’re going to find that customers will get more impatient when they don’t get immediate responses on social media, because they are so us ed to getting responses and messages from their friends within seconds. So it will be interesting to see how brands adjust to that expectation, because smaller companies may not have a dedicated social media representative who can get back to customer inquiries within a few minutes.

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