The arrival of social media has brought with it a plethora of benefits which are largely undisputed. For business, it's seen as a creative marketing channel with the potential to reach huge audiences, whilst for individuals, it's an opportunity to communicate with companies, celebrities and those with similar interests.
What are businesses doing online?
It's particularly interesting to see how different companies integrate social channels such as Twitter, into their day-to-day activities. Some choose to use it as a simple sales line (pushing new products onto their customers), whilst others offer interesting content which relates to the market they operate in (in order to become a recognised industry authority). We've also witnessed companies such as Dell Computers (@DellCares), use the likes of Twitter as a customer care channel - and this is something we think is rather important.
Businesses should have customer care at their cores
For many companies, customer care is an after-thought. We'd all like to think that large corporations care about us and that we're valued customers, but all too often, they don't. When an organisation has a customer base of several million people, a single customer with a faulty product or a complaint might not be too high on their list of priorities.
I've lost count of the number of times I've heard an automated voice tell me that my 'call is important to them', that 'all of the operators are currently busy' and that they are 'experiencing a high volume of calls'. I don't want to hear such garbage - I just want a real person to deal with my issue.
Exemplary Customer Service
With the @DellCares Twitter account, Dell proactively provides individuals with the opportunity to inform them of problems so that issues can be resolved with minimal fuss. The simple fact that Dell has such a communication channel substantially improves the public's perception of their customer service channel. It's innovative, it deals with issues in real-time and it shows that the company cares about its customers.
It's no longer an option. Social Media Customer Service is a necessity
As social media activity accounts for more time spent online, we're positive that we'll see more companies create dedicated support accounts so as to manage complaints and issues as they happen. The reason for this is simple. Social media platforms provide each and every customer with the opportunity to shout from the roof tops about anything they wish to. A single complaint about a Dell computer could easily spread across a huge proportion of the company's customer base within minutes of the issue being raised. If appropriate action is not taken to resolve the issue, the Dell brand could be tarnished and it could easily become synonymous with poor products and even poorer customer service.
If a company fails to create and manage a social media presence, they will be unable to respond to and address complaints made in the social environment. Quite clearly, this would be hugely detrimental to the brand.
At Zulu, we work closely with our clients, informing them each time their brand is questioned or discussed. By doing so, we're able to keep clients in touch with how their brand is perceived and also suggest (and action) appropriate responses. We also have access to internationally recognised software which allows us to monitor brands across the globe and across all social media channels. To find out how we can help monitor and protect your brand online, give us a call!