So you say you provide great service in your consumer based service, installation or construction business. How do you really know how good you are? Are you comparing it to the way you have done things the last 5, 10 or 25 years? You get some complaints but nothing you would say is out of the ordinary and you still get referrals calling in. But are your customers really ‘wowed’ with you or are they just satisfied enough to pay your bill. If you haven’t been using social media sites for you business yet or are just using them to put up some occasional posts, you may be losing a great deal of business without even knowing it. Here are 5 steps to using social media sites to provide outstanding customer service.
1. KEEP SCORE
Sounds simple, but your business needs to keep score of how well you are doing in providing great service and producing happy customers. The best part of social media is that you have a great deal of tools available to do this. In the old days, we would send out some customer survey cards along with an invoice, maybe we would get them back, maybe not. Maybe you read them but did you ever keep score of them weekly? Monthly? Yearly? Maybe we would get an occasional recommendation letter or a note on a payment check as well, but still nothing was scored. The great advantage of using social media sites to ‘score’ your customer service levels is they already come with a great deal of analytical tools to tell you how you are doing. You will want to track your ‘likes’, ‘follows’, and ratings. Use these score cards to inspire your team and even create customer service incentives.
2. GET COMPANY PAGES AND SITES, KEEP PERSONAL SITES PERSONAL
Create specific social media sites for your business separated from your own personal sites. It may seem like a small detail when your start out, but creating a specific company site for you business keeps your business at the forefront of all your customer engagements. If you aren’t on them already the top social media sites for a service based business include Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. Additional sites that may be a benefit to certain companies might also include Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Houzz. But when you are starting out; take on the amount of sites you can effectively manage WELL. Facebook,Twitter, and to some extent Google+ work best when you are trying to engage residential consumers.
3. TETHER YOUR SITES TOGETHER, AND MONITOR THEM
The key to using social media sites for delivering excellent customer service is to actively engage your customers through them. This is made easier by using the sites settings to notify you of new activity, posts, likes, or follows as they happen. This means you need to assign responsibility for someone to monitor the sites and allocate time to manage them. They become no different than your company’s phone or email system in matter of their importance. As you go through your sales process with prospects and customers, encourage them to follow you if they haven’t already. To help monitor and post updates across multiple social media sites, try utilizing software applications that that bring together all this social activity into one system. Most social media sites also have applications for smart phones, take advantage of them and use them to provide prompt responses to your customer requests when needed.
4. CREATE FRESH CONTENT THAT EDUCATES, INFORMS & EXCITES YOUR AUDIENCE
Need help to get prospects and customers on your social media sites? Provide quality content that gives customers and prospects reasons to follow you. If your customers believe you have educated insights on the work that you perform. they will want to follow you and engage with you on your social sites. More and more consumers are spending time on one or two social media sites for all their social engagements. Make sure to place your business on those social platforms so you can make it easy for consumers to conduct their purchasing research on those social sites. Providing educational and informative content about your particular service industry will lead to influencing their final purchasing decisions in your favor as well. If you can’t produce high quality content and updates on your own, many services are available to provide them for you, it is well worth having good content that consumers want to follow.
5. ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS THROUGH THEIR PREFERRED SOCIAL SITE
For consumer based service companies, quality work can keep you in business for a long time, but poor customer service will rapidly erode your company’s reputation. Responding to customer requests about service and work quality issues are imperative to maintain and improve your company’s reputation. The key to truly providing exceptional service is to be consistently proactive in determining if your customers enjoyed working with you and valued your products and services. This is where social media sites can provide your business a great resource to engage customers, both during and after any service or project work is performed with them. Establish an ‘Engagement’ plan within your company’s service process that is on a very structured schedule, and then contact your customers over those social media sites. Not only do you make it easy for the customer to respond to you across their preferred social site, they will feel you are still standing behind your work long after their installation project or service work was completed and their check was cashed. The additional benefit you will realize is that all the friends and associates on that customer’s social network will see your responsiveness and the amount of attention you give to customer service. This ‘visual’ proof of being a pro-active service company will set you above your competition and generate new business from your social media networks.