Social Media: The Future of Customer Service?

It’s 6 am on a Tuesday and your alarm goes off for work. You leisurely roll over to grab your phone to stop the bothersome ringing. Yawn, stretch, scroll through your social media feed.

Sounds about right?

Our daily lives are deeply intertwined with technology, from the moment we wake up, to the time we go to sleep. The average daily time spent on social media is a whopping 116 minutes! That’s almost 2 hours a day!

It’s no surprise then, that for brands and businesses, social media has naturally evolved from being a platform for marketing, sharing content and driving sales to also an avenue for meeting customer service needs.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some stats real quick:

  • 67% of consumers have engaged a brand’s social media for customer service needs
  • 43% of consumers between the ages of 18-29 years old are more likely to use a brand’s social media sites for customer service interactions
  • 56% of consumers reported they would never use a company again after a poor customer service experience
  • 32% of consumers expect a response on social media within 30 minutes
  • Customers who engage with companies over social media spend up to 40% more money with those companies than other customers

Customers regard brands’ social media accounts as actual customer service channels, so it is imperative that brands view themselves in the same light.

I’ve quickly come to the discovery that when I need a quick resolution to an issue from a business, my best bet is to tweet at them. No phone calls, no emails, not even a physical visit. Those 240 characters always do the trick! Social media is a double-edged sword for brands.

It’s a public, transparent forum where happy customers go to sing your praises but also the same platform in which irate customers go to unabashedly ‘drag’ you.

Consumers are quickly realizing that smart brands who value their image- as they should- are quicker to resolve their complaints and issues when aired on social media. Click To Tweet

Utilizing social channels for customer service purposes is no easy feat, but here are some steps in which to manage it effectively:

Utilize Social Media Listening Tools

There are various social media listening tools out there in which a simple google search will reveal, but my personal favorites are Hootsuite and Google alerts. 

Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media monitoring tools which allows you to track and monitor certain words, phrases, terms and accounts across various social media platforms while Google alerts can be considered to be a free alternative which allows you to do the same, just across the web.

Contain Issues Before They Escalate

 Businesses must be proactive in ensuring they utilize other servicing channels such as phones and email to resolve the issues of aggrieved customers before they take to twitter, facebook, Instagram or even snapchat to complain. 

In the event a business isn’t quick enough to rectify issues, damage control is important when customers take to social media to vent and share negative experiences they may have encountered with your brand.

You know what they say, prevention is better than cure!

Respond Quickly!

 I like to call us millennials “the microwave generation”. From ordering meals to hailing cabs and even keeping up to date with the latest news and gossip, we’re so used to utilizing technology to satisfy our ‘instant everything’ needs. 

We want what we want when we want it. Chatbots are an effective tool for small business owners who don’t necessarily have the resources to respond live to client inquiries or complaints 24/7.

Also, they can be programmed to respond to frequently asked questions on platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, websites and more. This reduces the need for business owners to be available at all hours of the day.

Take It Off The Timeline

 In the event, irate customers go directly to social channels, as a business owner, you must pacify the customer publicly and take the conversation off the timeline as quickly as possible. 

This is particularly important when the issues are complex or you require the customer’s personal information such as a phone number, date of birth or address to resolve the issue.

In situations where the issue is quick and easy to resolve, it’s a great idea to engage the customer politely and efficiently right there on the timeline for all to see!

This not only reinforces the trust within existing customers but also showcases your brand in a great light to potential clients.

As a business owner, you must position yourself as one step ahead of your client - @TheBrandingP Click To Tweet

It’s no secret that companies don’t want their dirty laundry aired for current and prospective customers to see, and rightfully so!

As a business owner, you must position yourself as one step ahead of your client. Ensure your products and services deliver on your brand promise; and in the inevitable event where client dissatisfaction occurs, establish processes and procedures to manage these situations effectively.


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Facebook Live with Ink Eze: How I grew AsoEbiBella to one million followers(June 21)

Whatever it is you do, or services you provide, you need social media and digital marketing to grow and boost your business.

If you’re thinking you can only reach young people on social media, you’re wrong. Even our yummy mummies and daddies are online ready to patronize you and your product.

This is 2017, there’s no time for dulling. Its about time you master the tools and strategies of online marketing, to enable you reach your target audience.

As part of our Boost Your Business digital marketing training series, we are bringing you a Facebook Live session on Wednesday June 21st with Ink Eze.

Ink is the founder and brains behind the famous African fashion online community, AsoEbiBella.com . She’ll be sharing with us some of the tools she’s used to grow the AsoEbiBella platform, and get over 1 million followers on Instagram.

Ask Ink any questions about how to grow your audience with social media. Facebook Live( June 20) Click To Tweet

Register below to get the exclusive link to join this session

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Best practices to generate brand awareness and reach your target audience
  • How you can leverage Facebook, Instagram and other social and digital platforms to           market your business.
  • Key digital marketing lessons Ink has learned since founding AsoEbiBella
  • Must-know social media and digital marketing techniques and tools to drive traffic   and generate revenue

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Wednesday June 21st 2017

Time: 2pm Lagos// 3pm Johannesburg// 4pm Nairobi

Where: facebook.com/sheleadsafrica/

Watch here:

Facebook Live with Ink Eze, Founder of AsoEbiBella – How to Grow an Audience using Social Media Tools.Join the She Leads Africa community by visiting SheLeadsAfrica.org/join !

Posted by She Leads Africa on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

About Ink

Ink Eze is the Founder of AsoEbiBella.com, a platform for sharing African traditional styles.

She became BellaNaija Weddings editor in 2013, and Assistant Editor of BellaNaija, heading the lifestyle section – style, beauty and living until January 2017.

In her early years, she was head girl of her secondary school. Ink attended the prestigious United World College of the Adriatic, then studied modern culture and media at the Ivy League Brown University.

Under her leadership, BN Weddings gained international prominence and became Africa’s foremost wedding media brand with millions of followers across several platforms and coverage on BuzzFeed, BBC & more.

She’s conceived of BBN Wonderland, Nigeria’s top bridal event since 2015 with Baileys Nigeria.

Now she spends her time on AsoEbiBella and sharing her insights with the world. For more Ink, join her on @Ink.Eze | @AsoEbiBella