Good customer service through social media is not difficult, but it is definitely something that requires thought and attentiveness.
The story cited here is a real case study in what not to do in social media. As the article points out, “A lot of loyal customers voicing their concerns on the site. Yet what’s glaringly absent are comments from J.C. Penney itself. No one from the company is engaging with its followers.” As a result of some very unfortunate choices, a fan base of 3 million supporters was wiped away.
No matter what size your company or project, you MUST listen to what your likers/followers/customers/supporters are saying. When they complain, you must respond diplomatically and promptly. If you disagree with what they are saying, you can still thank them for their feedback, and say you will look into their issue as part of your ongoing product/service review. That’s the social part of social media: a two-way conversation, a dialogue that builds loyalty based on (wait for the word) engagement.
Your customers are talking … are you listening? More importantly, are you engaging and responding? That, gentle readers, is absolutely key in social media.
Conversely, here is an example of customer response done well. Recently, a young friend of mine was feeling frustrated about a telecomm supplier, and posted on Twitter, “I hate you Telus.” Within an hour, this happened: To my mind, this is a social media customer service win. Someone at Telus was paying attention, and reacted promptly and politely. Maybe they couldn’t resolve the problem on the spot, but I give them major credit for jumping right in and offering support.
Dismiss 3 million followers in a few keystrokes, or take a real interest in your customers, one at a time? Telus, for the win.