Today’s post comes from Mitch Perkal, who offers some thoughts on managing your relationships with your customers.
Leveraging Social Media for Customer Relationship Management
As individuals continue to use social media more and more as their primary means of communication, it is essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. In today’s world, it is important that all companies have a robust and wide reaching social presence. If customers are using these media for their daily interactions, it is important that your business is not only readily accessible on all social platforms, but has a fully developed strategy for engaging with satisfied customers as well as for placating ones who are not as happy.
Interacting with Satisfied Customers
Between Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and countless others, there are many different platforms with which to communicate with your clientele. Different demographics tend to gravitate towards different options. Once you have identified your preferred outlet, you need to understand the particulars of the given site. Users interact very differently on Twitter than they do on LinkedIn. There are three main types of interactions to keep your customers engaged:
The most basic way to communicate on social media is via posts or announcements. This could be something as simple as passing along information about upcoming sales, contests, or branding material. While this does not always have a personal touch, it is effective in reaching a broad audience with minimal effort.
This is the most basic type of interaction that most people think of when they envision CRM online. It usually involves a personalized message or response to an individual user who was discussing your brand or products.
This would include those rare anecdotal stories of a company going above and beyond. In one of the most famous examples of this interaction, Morton’s Steakhouse in Hackensack, New Jersey hand delivered a steak to a past customer upon his arrival at Newark airport. While your company does not need to do something this extreme, a one-time, excessive gesture can be invaluable for branding if executed correctly.
Managing Unhappy Customers
While it is always a good idea to have a series of procedures in place to handle standard interactions, it is also important that you make each conversation personal. Sometimes, unhappy customers will take to social media with hopes of either venting, besmirching the reputation of the company, or receiving some sort of compensation. You need to have someone leading the communication who can be trusted to make judgment calls on the fly. He or she needs to be able to quickly determine the severity of a given situation, identify what the customer is looking for, and assess the potential risk/reward of responding or not responding.
When developing your own customer relationship strategy on social media, it is important to understand the nuances of each specific interaction and use them to your advantage. While cookie-cutter responses are sometimes the easy way out, a little personalization of a message can go a long way.
Mitch Perkal writes on behalf of Aspect, a global provider of workforce management software and contact center solutions. Aspect helps you build, enhance and sustain stronger relationships with your customers by uniting your enterprise with next-generation customer contact solutions. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.
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