Social Media has opened up brilliant opportunities for small business. It’s now possible to compete with huge names and the big brands as small and medium enterprises can offer something the big boys can’t (or just don’t). Savvy customer service.
While the major brands are dealing with hundreds, thousand and millions of customers (you can’t compete in size, so don’t bother), small and medium enterprises can take advantage of the social aspects of the new media. You can engage with your customers one-on-one and meet and sometimes even exceed their expectations.
It’s worth developing good customer service habits as they always have a positive effect on your bottom line and that illusive – Return on Investment (ROI). According to recent data – a dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about it. And who wants that. We all know it’s much easier, and makes more sense financially to deal with any complaint properly and with integrity. Especially as it can cost up to five times more to find new customers than to keep existing ones.
Open for business
Les Baux de Provence, France – 2007
Take advantage of your more compact size and engage with your customer base. Use social media effectively to remind your customers you’re there for them and that you’re listening.
Strategies for getting your existing customers to love you even more and finding new fans in the process:
1. People are now shopping 24/7 and you can be open all hours without having to turn the shop lights on. This doesn’t mean you have to be online 24 hours a day. It does mean you have to answer as soon as is feasibly possible with a consider response. Getting back to people in the next five minutes isn’t always necessary, but a week later is very poor.
2. Product announcements as they happen. Take advantage of the real time nature of social media by keeping your customers informed. You can promote new goods and services, run contests, give always, try before you buy campaigns, etc.
3. You can ask your customers what they want and tweak your goods and services so they’re what’s really wanted. People like to be asked and not told.
4. Show appreciation and support. Show your customers you care. Say hi. Give out freebies and or discounts on birthdays etc.
Cheers to excellent customer relations
Oxford, UK – 2010
5. Respond to their concerns, comments and customer services needs. Be prompt and considerate at all times.
6. Provide links to recommended resources and tools. Show your customers you’re not just a pretty face but also a valuable source of information.
7. Engage and build a dialogue that develops new relations with customers and potential fans. Exchange, interact, connect etc..
8. Make selling your business more interactive. Even ask your customers and fans to do something for you once in awhile. e.g.. “Tell two friends and you can get this….”, “RT this for us please…..”
9. Careful and thoughtful use of automated messages. It’s OK to send out a “Thanks for your message, call, tweet etc. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” And then make sure you get back to them soon. Personal messages should follow as more automated responses makes it seem like your company is run by bots and you can’t be bothered to talk to them.
Overall in Customer Service just think how you would like to be treated and treat your customers like people you want to do business with!
Finally always remember the wise words of Mark Twain:
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have
to remember anything.”