Integrating social media into your customer service

By Shawn Puckett, Contributing writer

Do you leverage social media as part of your customer service strategy? If so, you’re off to a great start in 2021, where we expect to see online shopping continue to increase.

If not, you’ll want to after hearing what we have to say!

As shopping becomes increasingly digital, consumers have heightened expectations for brands to elevate both their availability and their online customer engagement. Reactive, problem-solving customer service is no longer enough — now brands need to be able to anticipate customers’ needs and perform proactive outreach.

Social media provides an excellent channel for customer service. Younger generations in particular rely on social media to perform product research, read brand reviews and make online purchases, causing social media use to increase year over year. Facebook Messenger, which is one of the most popular customer outreach platforms, is predicted to reach 2.4 billion users this year.

While younger generations are more likely to turn to virtual channels to communicate with a business, they still crave the personal interaction of posting comments and directly messaging the brand. This is where social media becomes crucial to your customer service strategy. Consumers feel a closer tie to a brand when they are able to speak directly with an actual company representative and generate results in real time.

Use Multiple Channels

Social media offers enhanced, flexible accessibility to brand interaction. By providing customers with multiple social media channels, they can select their preferred method of contact to connect directly with your customer service department. Furthermore, utilizing at least a handful of different platforms sends the message that your dealership is easy to reach, especially if you are maintaining an active presence on each platform.

Post Regularly & Meaningfully

Give assurance to potential customers that your social platform is regularly monitored and is an ideal outlet to acquire information and assistance. Consumers place a lot of value in authenticity, so make sure your posts are conversational and engaging.

Offer Direct Messaging

It’s important to monitor your posts for comments from your followers, but don’t stop there. Many social media users prefer to privately contact a brand through direct messaging, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

Social media is not the only communication outlet you should offer. Phone calls, texting, email campaigns and newsletters are all still great customer service methods—and maintaining diverse communication channels will pull in more prospects. Integrating social media into your strategy is one of many important steps to expand your reachability and proactively connect with future customers.

Shawn Puckett is director of Product Management at ARI Network Services, Inc.

Digital marketing, website, strategy, ARI, Shawn Puckett
Shawn Puckett

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