You’ve been in this situation before: you have a problem that needs to be resolved and you make a phone call to customer service. You wait patiently, in the beginning, while the soothing music plays and the recording interrupts periodically to tell you that they’re experiencing heavy call volume.
Or how about this one: you make a purchase at the store and say thank you after the transaction, only to have disinterested silence on the other end. In each of these cases you feel slighted, like you’re not important.
Trying to reach your company on social media could feel the same way, if the company is not positioned to monitor social media effectively and consistently. When you develop a robust social media presence, you’re basically saying, “We’re open for business.” Like any other business, the goal is to provide excellent customer service and be attentive to the needs of your customers.
Responding to Post Comments
The goal of a good social media post is to encourage interaction with fans and followers. Being attentive to positive and negative interaction shows that your company cares, and relationships between the company and its followers are forged. Not being attentive, of course, leaves the excited follower with the impression that they’re not appreciated, and they may be less likely to interact in the future.
Responding to Post Shares
Sharing a post is the ultimate sign of affection and respect among followers. Likes are great, comments are awesome, but a share means that you’ve imparted information that your followers deem worthy of sharing with theirs. A lot of companies miss the opportunity to thank their followers for sharing posts, but it only takes a few minutes per day to like and comment and the effort is well worth it.
Responding to Reviews
Similar to post shares, reviews are often overlooked by companies taking a surface-level glance at their social media activity. Email notifications will go out for all activity if the settings are correct and the right people are monitoring, but even reviews can sneak in and go unnoticed. Good or bad, reviews should be acknowledged. If you get a good one, thank the reviewer profusely. If you get a bad one, take the opportunity to address the issue with the reviewer and thank them for pointing out any deficiency that you can address, even if they’re a complete whack job.
Responding to Private Messages
Private messages are the most direct form of interaction between your fans and the company. Ignoring a private message is like ignoring a phone call, an email, or a face-to-face question. Monitoring, and quickly responding to, private messages is essential and shows that the company is open and ready to do business. It also reinforces your commitment to customer service and proves that you appreciate your fans and customers and that their satisfaction is a top priority for you.
Social media is a fantastic way to engage fans and customers online and interact in ways that may not be possible during the normal course of doing business. But, having a system for monitoring social media interaction is absolutely essential in upholding your commitment to providing good customer service. Not acknowledging excited comments, showing appreciation for generous shares, or answering important questions or comments on private messages can leave fans and customers with a bad feeling. And in most cases, they don’t keep the feeling to themselves.