More and more brands and customers are utilizing social media channels, such as Twitter, as a customer service tool, where customers get answers to their questions related to the products or services they are interested in through these public channels.
Some brands have even advertised these social media customer services through television. One of these brands is Société Générale, a French Bank. The bank has long been using @SG_etvous, its Twitter account, to answer back to customer’s questions. It’s been two years now, but they just recently advertised the service on TV for the first time.
Through TV advertising, Société Générale has increased awareness of the Twitter channel as its customer service tool. Through mass media advertising, they have promoted, as an example, the fact that they are dedicated to responding to questions posted on their Twitter accounts within 30 minutes.
Aside from the French Bank, another company, KLM, has campaigned for customer care through social media channels. In fact, a lot of huge brands have also followed suit. In spite of this, many brands believe that using social media in this manner is tedious work and involves huge and deep-seated changes with regards to how business works.
Many brands feel that social media customer care requires watchful planning, and lots of technological, process and people resources are needed. In essence, there is a totally different dynamic behind getting customer queries through Twitter or other social networking sites which are public, compared to getting these questions through phone or letter; more private conduits.
Using social media for customer service and care
According to Matt Rhodes of business2community.com, there are three major areas that brands need to consider with regards to the difficulties of customer care through social media.
First, brands need to consider if the questions are appropriate for a social media channel. There are questions that are better off hidden from the public, such as questions regarding personal account details. Or sometimes to better answer the question, you need to ask for their personally identifiable information, and doing this publicly is just not right.
So you must know how to deal with personal information and properly establish how social media customer care processes link with your account management tools and customer relationships management.
Second, brands should also think about whether their customers will embrace this channel or not. Various customers prefer various means of interacting with brands. Some would still like to use their phones for that matter. As such, you need to do some research with regards to what your customers are like. In the end, its all about having a good understanding of what kind of association or connection your customers want to have with you, and how they want this relationship steered.
Third, brands should ask themselves what type of queries is best suited for what types of channels. There will be types of customer questions that are best addressed through private environments, while some are better suited through social media.