With any luck we’ll be seeing less of cheesy stock photos like the one below – the days of corporate customer service being limited to outsourced call-centre workers are numbered. That’s got to mean less on-hold music in our lives too, which can only be a good thing. More and more of us are cottoning on to the fact that it’s a lot easier to send a ten-second Tweet or Facebook post about the issue, effectively obliging the company in question to respond with haste. After all, unresolved issues and complaints are now in the public domain, for the world to see and social media customer service is becoming an essential.

call_centre_stock Corporate Social Media Customer Service.

 Corporate Social Media Customer Service.

So, social media customer service is a conversation of two halves.  Handled in the right way, corporate customer service via social media can create an unprecedentedsense of trust and openness between consumers and companies. On the other hand, if companies simply ignore social media, there’s all-too-much potential for unchecked reputation-damaging comments left by disgruntled customers.

We’re All on Social Media…

Customer service is an integral part of a good corporate social media strategy.  It’s best to be on social media, and to have active places (ie a Facebook page and Twitter profile) where your customers can discuss and comment. When it comes to protecting reputation, this is so important, as otherwise both your fans and detractors are just going to be posting about you on their private profiles anyway, where you can neither share nor respond to their feedback. As companies, we’re all on social media, whether we’ve actively set up profiles or not.

corporate_social_media_customer_service Corporate Social Media Customer Service.

If things (seem to) go wrong… Social Media Customer Service

So what if you do get a public complaint on a social media channel? What if you get several? The key is to turn it into a positive – this is your chance to shine and to show off your integral and customer-focused approach. If you’re got a customer service person or team who is separate from your social media team, then get them on board when it comes to dealing with complaints. Don’t be shy about getting into a conversation, and taking concerns seriously. If you encourage dialogue, you might find that users begin to resolve problems amongst themselves.  On the flipside, when customers compliment you, make sure to thank them and to share the good feedback.

But don’t feed the trolls… 

Though engagement and discussion is usually a great thing for corporate social media, there are a few people online who simply want to troll – troll content includes outright rude feedback, spam, and rants from people who refuse to engage in discussion. This needn’t happen too often, and when it does, such types are best ignored and blocked.

According to Sage UK, 22% of consumers would complain to a company via social media, but of that 22%, only 40% had ever received a response via those channels. So right now, because corporate customer service is a new area in social media, you’ll stand out over and above the rest simply by replying acknowledging customer communication. Corporate social media customer service can be easy – and it really is your chance to wow customers on a worldwide platform.

How is your business using social media customer service? If you are not, you are missing out! Let us know success stories via the comments, or if this all goes over your head, give us a call.