Over the last few years there's been so much talk about using social media for customer service, but, by and large it hasn't been a great success, in part to do with limitations of the social context, and that a lot of customer service needs to be taken off line, or at least out of the public eye, so in fact, what results in an extra step for customers.
Here are six things that most people don't tell you about the link between social media and customer service extracted from: Perfect Phrases for Customer Service, Second Edition (Perfect Phrases Series)
- The number of people who come across complaints about your company will be much higher than the number of people who will see your responses and any resolution.
- You cannot control who reads complaints on most social media platforms, and, since you can never reach all of the people who read the complaints, you can't completely reverse the effects of the complaints.
- The negative effect of complaints made in social media is much less, on average, than the effects of complaints and true "word of mouth"done among people who know each other. That's because people do consider the source of complaints and will put much more credence in the experiences of their friends, families,and acquaintances outside of social media.
- A possible exception to the above is when a person is a media star or is otherwise highly recognizable in the social media world—a person of great influence and credibility.
- Social media contacts can’t replace additional customer contact channels, so any involvement will tend to increase costs.
- It’s a mistake to believe that most people prefer to receive their information and customer service through social media. Surveys that suggest that are misleading and/or the questions have been badly phrased. Given the choice and all things being equal (similar speed of resolution), people will usually pick the most personalized way to interact. Of course there may be customers who would still prefer social media contact, but it’s not as many as the hype suggests.
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