Somehow, somewhere along the line, consumer behavior shifted away from calling a business on the phone to simply pulling up their website or social media on their mobile device. Now, businesses can have a strong presence in a customer’s mind without that person even setting foot outside of their home.
This omnipresence can be beneficial, particularly
when it comes to customer service. Think of it this way: previously (and, for
some businesses, still), a customer had to dial a toll-free number and navigate
a tricky series of automated menu options with fading hope that a real, live
person would ever come on the line.
Then, when all options were exhausted, chances are
that the person who was on the other end of the line would be unhelpful or that
somehow the customer would have been transferred to the wrong department. This
prompts the entire process to start all over again.
Frustrating and familiar, right?
Now, this doesn’t have to be the only avenue for a
business to offer customer service. Now, brands can turn to social media to
offer the best point of contact to customers looking for help or wanting to
However, this can still require some tactful handling, and customer service on social media must be sharp. Studies show that nearly 80 percent of customers who go on Twitter to contact a business expect a reply within the hour. This may seem like a tall order, but in today’s world of instantaneous communication, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
It’s easy to set up notifications to the person in
charge of social media so that customer inquiries do not go unnoticed. Another
option, popular on Facebook, is the idea of chatbots. Facebook’s business page
manager now allows for the use of automated responses to customer messages.
These automated messages can give a response to let the customer know when to
expect a response, which can help with impatience during off hours.
Customer service through social media can boost a brand’s reputation and increase consumer loyalty. A brand that is always responsive, friendly, and helpful will enjoy more repeat business from happy customers, and more referrals from those who have had positive experiences.
Studies also show that nearly 80 percent of users
feel more positively towards the brand after they receive a response on social
media. This does not only apply to direct messages, but it’s also important to
remember. Mentions, comments, tagged posts — all of these should be monitored
and responded to in a timely manner.
Particularly with customers who may have had a
negative experience, a quick and helpful response is important. As the old
adage implies, word of mouth is powerful and most customers love to talk about
their negative experiences as a warning to others.
Customer service will always be an important part of every brand’s interactions and success. Harnessing the power of social media to help with this can do wonders for a business’ profile if this is done correctly. Timely and helpful interactions can boost consumer loyalty and favor and can help poor reviews from doing damage due to lack of follow through.
Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller.
A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities