This is making it easier to connect one-on-one with anyone, anywhere in the world, and businesses are no exception.
The same tools that are used daily by hundreds of millions of people around the world in the form of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are available to companies looking to better connect with their customer base, quickly changing what used to be a difficult task into a simple, intuitive matter for public relations professionals and potential customers alike.
Social media customer service is a problem
A study was conducted to see what the top 25 top retailer’s reaction on Twitter was in the real world to customer service inquiries. It found “six of the 25 retailers didn’t reply to any of the analysts’ customer service inquiries” over a 24 hour period.
According to F.C. Tucker Company, Inc., about fifteen per cent of young customers (16-24 year old) prefer social media over any other channel for customer service while (based on 2012 STELLA Service Study), most customers trying to reach biggest retailers using Twitter fail to hear back. That’s your huge competitive advantage!
These examples are appropriate whether you’ re an individual looking to better connect with your favorite business or a company wanting to bring your customers deeper into the fold ,
Here are three examples of social media customer service done right that are sure to get you headed in the right direction:
1. The Corcoran Group
Active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare and Gowalla, The Corcoran Group serves as a shining example of making a real estate business front and center via social media.
If the core goal of a real estate professional utilizing social media is to attract buyers and sellers interested in working with them, the social media network created by The Corcoran Group, the largest residential real estate firm in New York City, gets the job done, and well.
Their social offerings provide a means of searching for nearby homes for sale or rent by city and neighborhood, helping users to connect directly with an agent in order to discuss sales and purchasing options.
With the release of an iPhone and Android app, The Corcoran Group is truly reaching out to its customers, both existing and potential, on every medium possible. This logically connects them to more people, more often, promising to help them to continue to grow well into the future.
2. Pottery Barn
Boasting nearly one million fans, the Facebook fan page of home furnishings outlet Pottery Barn is a testament to the power of social media in engaging customers, serving as an online home for the company that is unrivaled, even by its own official website.
Serving many purposes for its staff and customers, Pottery Barn’s Facebook page is a recognizable entity of its own, drawing in more potential customers than a retail outlet ever could.
While marketing materials and positive discussions abound on the page, Pottery Barn’s Facebook presence serves customers first and foremost.
Agents are available to address customer concerns within minutes, proving the power of a public platform in bringing customer service to the forefront and setting Pottery Barn a notch above its competition in its willingness to be open and transparent with its clients.
Proving that old dogs can, indeed, learn new tricks, 50-year-old travel company Eurail has transformed itself from a trusted brick and mortar train travel business into an entity on the cutting edge of social media.
Taking the time to interact with customers on a one-on-one basis every day, Eurail utilizes Facebook and Twitter in its efforts to connect with travelers, whether they have pre-sales questions or a problem during a pre-planned trip.
With tens of thousands of fans and followers within its social media network, Eurail has created a dedicated team of travel professionals to handle the Facebook and Twitter accounts, allowing them to provide fantastically timely responses to every query.
Known today as one of the most social media-friendly and technologically savvy travel companies in the world, there can be no doubt that Eurailâ€™s willingness to dive into the latest social trends has helped to propel them forward.
So What About You?
Have you seen any other example of social media customer service done right? Please share them in the comments!
Guest Author: Ann Smarty is the social media enthusiast and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz, the free social media exchange platform
Image by Big Stock Photo