social customer service

What does social customer service mean?  It means fostering two-way communication in almost real time.  It means always being on and always available.  Also, relationships and follow through are key to social customer service success.  It means providing exceptional service before, during and after a purchase via social networks.

What companies have customer service built into their culture’s DNA?

When I think of social customer service, I think of:

 Zappos: Zappos is always part of the conversation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They are always available to chat, most often not even about their products or service. Customer service is their DNA.

JetBlue: JetBlue provides exceptional customer service via Twitter and updates users on flight status, etc.

Chobani: Chobani values its “Chobaniacs”.  After catching their eye, they sent me an entire case of Chobani as a thanks!

social customer service

How can you execute great social customer service at scale?

Global brands do it all the time.  Make sure your social strategy is in line with your company culture. Trust your employees to be brand ambassadors.  Enable your team and set it as a specific responsibility. Do not just toss it on someone.

Customer service interactions should be timely, personable and empathetic for social customer service.  Simply act like a human.

Want More Sales? Invest in Customer Service

Customer service, in my mind, is even more important than traditional marketing methods.  Build and foster a community and sales will come.  When consumers have a positive experience, they are more likely to return and recommend.  Make customer service a priority.  The customer is king (or queen).  If you cannot be there for them they will not be there for you.

How can you help employees provide excellent customer service via social?

Give them freedom but set guidelines. Make expectations clear.  But with that sad, be willing to adapt/evolve over time to improve.  Give your employees the tools and ability to make a difference. Do not cut their legs out from under them. (Hint: Learn from IBM).

Likeable Media has a great guide on how to create a social team or social forum if you need assistance.

How can you foster customer relationships through loyalty and service?

Keep the dialog going; foster community relationships. Reward brand loyalists and newbies alike.  Give your community a reason to keep coming back.

social customer service