Customer Service and Social Media — They Met Online and Now they’re Engaged

The following infographic from Impact Learning Systems gives a great overview of how important social media has become to customer service. If they were a couple of people, we’d expect to see them married soon.

Social media has certainly provided opportunities for all organizations to help set customer expectations. explain how they work and virtually engage their customers/clients 24/7.

Small organizations may not be able to provide telephone help or direct customer service in the ways large organizations can. But, with technologies that let everyone participate asynchronously, such as forums, Facebook posts, and tweets, for example, customers/clients/users can help each other in ways that go far beyond anything traditional customer service used to do.  Those technologies also let people vent their frustrations and complain while they’re having problems, while giving themselves a chance to think about it logically enough to write it down.  The customer gets the chance to get support from others online and — we hope — an eventual response from the organization that’s responsible.

Companies that make full use of these technologies can quickly outstrip the customer relationships of the more traditional organizations.  Just think of how much you’d love it if a company paid attention to your tweeted complaint and offered a resolution or at least an explanation.  You wouldn’t care that you tweeted at 1:00 a.m. and they answered in the morning during business hours.  If you’re a typical customer, your expectations of service are reasonable.  But if they ignored you, you would be pretty angry.  And yet, according to the data in the below infographic, about 58% of companies do ignore angry tweets.

Wake up.  If you’re in sales, you know to go where your audience is.  If you’re in customer service, you have to do the same.  Like social media or not, you need to learn how to use it now.  Or be left behind.

And, by the way, after seeing the infographic, I also explored the Impact Learning Systems site.  It has a great deal of content on customer service and sales, as well as other management issues.  You might want to explore it yourself.

Recovering from customer service mistakes

This morning, I published another one of those articles that started out to be a blog post and ended up going to about a thousand words. So I published it as a full article in the main section of the site. Ah well. I had a story I want to tell and that’s what it took.

I haven’t often written about customer service on this site. I’ve published other folks’ articles. I’ve made a few comments. And yet, considering that my particular expertise is in people skills, you’d think I’d have done a lot more on the subject. I think I’d better remedy that. What good am I as a psychologist if I don’t help people with their people skills?

Anyway, my article is “How Do You Recover From Customer Service Mistakes?” And it’s based on a recent personal experience. I had the opportunity to witness first hand a good model of how management can remedy it’s errors in services and regain the goodwill of the customer.

Although the particular instance deals with services per se, the model is good for dealing with problems arising from dissatisfaction with products as well.

Customer service, marketing online and Grandpa’s success secrets

Here’s an update on the articles I’ve published since my last post here:

“How to Hire Customer Service Stars,” by Jeff Mowatt is a set of excellent tips for hiring people who are willing to go the distance. Sales is not your number one concern if you are in business for the long haul. Whether you offer a product or a service, making the customer experience in dealing with your organization a good one should be your focus.

That means having employees who are not only capable of dealing well with customers’ needs and desires, but who also give their jobs their very best. Jeff Mowatt puts his finger right on the button.

A couple of his suggestions sound a bit radical. You might not want to implement them exactly as outlined. However, the principles behind the suggestions are sound. So adapt them to your own convenience.

Using Toto, the dog from The Wizard of Oz as a comparison, Bernadette Doyle wants to pull back the curtain of disguise from online marketing. Just like Toto pulled back the curtain and revealed that the “wizard” was just an old man pulling levers.

In “What Toto Has To Teach Us About Marketing,” she reveals the simplicity of what you need to know and do to reach your customers or clients. And get them to hire you or buy your product.

Her most important point is that you needn’t be confused or intimidated by the technology involved in online marketing. The principles of marketing are the same both online and offline. And they are not complicated.

Michele PW offers “3 Secrets to Business Success I Learned From My Grandpa.”

Business wisdom is timeless. It may be expressed differently in each generation, but business is about people dealing with people, and human behavior changes very little over time. Even millennia. So, you can learn much from your parents, grandparents and other elders — about business and life in general.

Michele points out what she learned from her Grandpa about making your own luck, developing yourself through group mentoring and using your strengths and characteristics to your best advantage.

She only wrote an article. Considering the wealth of experience you can mine from your elders, you could probably write a book on it.