Managing Social Media Customer Service

June 23, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

It used to be that customer issues were between your call center and a customer; a one-to-one relationship with a fairly private exchange. If the customer was satisfied in the end, everyone walked away happy. If they weren’t, they may have complained to a few friends.

In today’s world, social media customer service has changed the game. Now, any complaints are posted to your wall, Tweeted about, or become blogged content for your entire community to see, and YOU are expected to address it instantly!

Now that the world is watching, you may think this means you’ve lost control of your social media customer service, but that’s not true. There’s a strategic and proactive way to go about it in which you still look like the hero, retain a favorable brand image, and increase customer satisfaction. There was a recent story about a woman who finally got her pizza delivered, after having to wait an exceptionally long time. She opened it to find the wrong pizza. Instead of calling the local pizza chain, she Tweeted about it. Luckily, this savvy store manager saw the Tweet, and quickly reTweeted his apologies, with a note that a new pizza was on the way. He turned a disgruntled customer into a brand advocate, and prevented any potential backlash from a bad experience gone viral.

You can also use social media customer service as a platform for valuable market research. Your fans wear their hearts on their sleeves, so use this to your advantage! Don’t haphazardly post about what you’re doing this weekend (unless you’re a home improvement store!) or who your favorite team is (unless you sell sporting goods). Find out what makes consumers tick, what influences their buying behaviors (but don’t ask it that way) and dig for deep insights that you can use in future marketing campaigns.

Think also about how this process has moved from call centers to the social space. You may still occasionally hear a call center customer service representative ask if you’d like to participate in a short survey after your issue is resolved. That is their way of collecting data while they have a captive audience – or at least a caller who is passionate enough to engage. Now, social media customer service opens the dialogue, which means wide open opportunities to learn more about your consumers.

With all eyes on your fan pages, be sure you have a social media customer service team who is proactively and reactively maintaining your brand image, and capitalizing on key moments to create conversations with your current and future customers.

About Dialogue Marketing
Established more than 30 years ago, Dialogue Marketing, Inc. provides award-winning customer relationship management (CRM) services to help companies of all sizes and across a wide range of industries acquire, support and retain customers. With more than 1,100 employees, the company offers lead generation, customer care, technical support and end-to-end sales support to help turn call centers into value-added profit centers that build long-term enterprise value and lifelong customer relationships. For more information, please visit

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