Why Good Customer Service = Good Marketing
(Photo – Flickr Creative Commons: jessicatam)
Customer service is facilitating customer needs through reactive and proactive communications on and off line. Good online customer service practices include increasing positive and decreasing negative sentiment, figuring out how to perform better on customer satisfaction surveys and learning how to use social media channels such as Twitter as an extra line of customer service.
So how do you get started with your customer service efforts online? Keep your social media channels open and monitored at all times so when there is an inquiry (whether positive or negative) you can intervene and provide help. If it is positive, thank the customer for taking the time to speak about you publicly and engage them in conversation. If it is negative, immediately offer to resolve the problem. Sometimes the largest protesters can become advocates with a little bit of attention—for lack of better words, we like to say “they just need a hug.” Often times, people just want to know that they are being heard—so listen!
Brand advocates can function as a natural marketing extension arm of your organization that can provide the best kind of validation: third-party validation. Word of mouth marketing is often described as the most effective kind of marketing because consumers listen to people who are like them, rather than advertisements—so if you have happy customers who tell their friends about you, that’s beneficial in a really positive way. Remember: if you don’t provide some source of customer service or redirect online to someone who can help, you risk ruining your brand’s reputation.
Most importantly, don’t forget to measure. You can measure your customer service effectiveness by taking customer surveys and keeping track of the number of online as well as offline issues addressed and resolved.
What online customer service tactics have you employed that you have found effective for your organization?
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