How To Be A Customer Service Ninja: The Brand Perspective!

by Shikhar Srivastava 2,719 views1

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In a recent post we wrote about the importance of customers empowering themselves by using social media to voice their complaints to brands. But brands have an equally brilliant opportunity to listen to their customers and resolve their issues in a timely fashion. Brands themselves can be customer service ninjas if they know how to use social media both efficiently and effectively. So how can brands leverage upon all the great technology at their disposal to serve their customers better and improve the overall brand image?

Social listening

Social listening can prove to be one of the most powerful concepts in present day brand building, provided brands know how to leverage it to their advantage. Essentially social listening is the art of listening to your customers and understanding their viewpoint. Customers talk about brands, products, services, and their experiences online all the time and it is up to the brands to use this enormous amount of data as insight into customer feedback.

As of this writing there are numerous social listening tools available in the market. An important point that brands must consider when they decide to embark on social listening, which they should from day one, is that social listening or monitoring online activity related to a brand isn’t just restricted to social media channels. Social listening also encompasses tracking the various blogs and online forums that may be mentioning your brand or your competitor.

Respond at the earliest

Once you start listening to your customers online you will have the opportunity to talk to them and build a relationship that may last months, if not years. Some of the very best customer service brands online are the ones that respond to customer grievances at the earliest, usually within a matter of minutes, and either resolve the customer issues or offer an appropriate and feasible alternate solution.

Morton’s steakhouse is a brilliant example of listening to the customer and responding quickly. While boarding a flight Peter Shankman jokingly tweeted the following:

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Much to his surprise when he landed at his destination his joke had been treated as a request and Morton’s steakhouse delivered like no other brand had before it. Peter calls this the greatest customer service story ever told and I totally agree with him.

Make use of social media analytics

Social media analytics is the insight obtained from social listening. Listening to your customers online will go in vain if you don’t make good use of the insights obtained. There are a number of social media analytics tools available today. Some of the best are:

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Each of these tools offer services that help you use the data obtained during the social listening phase effectively. They allow you to understand the psyche of your customers online and that is an invaluable asset to have. These insights are the closest one can get to understanding what  customers want and what they abhor.

Find time for your customers

The only way to do great business is to do it the right way and the right way includes treating your customers with respect and finding time for them. For paying customers brands are liable to respond and help fix their issues but the best brands care for their customers irrespective of monetary undercurrents. A great example of this is what happened when I sent across some feedback to ESPN cricinfo regarding a spelling error on their website.

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I got an instant response to the feedback from ESPNCricinfo’s UK Editor David Hopps.

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When you get an instant response such as this one, you know for a fact that the brand is listening to you and that the brand has time for you. This is as close to building a positive relationship with a customer a brand can get.

As a brand in the Internet age being a customer service ninja is not an option anymore, it is a must for brands that take pride in offering great customer service and would do whatever it takes to help their customers overcome issues.

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