With the proliferation of the Internet came the great customer service opportunity for brands. While some brands have mastered the art of listening to their customers and serving them to the best of their abilities, some others are yet to get the drill. What these brands don’t understand is that whether they listen to their customers or not, their products and services are still being talked about online. This is 2015 and as a brand not listening to your customers is not an option anymore.
Rule number one in business still holds – customer is king and you better treat the king with respect or stand to face the king’s wrath. Social media has empowered customers to voice their complaints and provide instant feedback to brands online.
As customers feel empowered the onus falls on the online brands to understand the gravity of the situation and set up an agile customer service unit to resolve customer complaints. So as a paying customer what can you do to keep brands honest?
Follow brands on Twitter
Twitter has been the medium of choice for brands as they look to include social media in their customer service repertoire. Following brands on Twitter is always a good idea for various reasons.
- This allows you to keep track of the latest deals, discounts, and other offers from your choice of brand
- It makes perfect sense to follow such a brand online whose online services are part of your routine. For example, if you pay your bills online, as you should, following the Twitter handles of all the services you are paying bills for, allows you to get a fairly quick response in case of a transaction delay or interrupt. Some brands which are fairly active on social media might actually respond to your query and resolve your issue within minutes of you tweeting to them.
- While the advancements in technology have allowed several Internet based start-ups to offer some amazing services, some of these start-ups fail to deliver on their promises and as a paying customer you are entitled to ask them for remittance or refund.
- E-mail communication will always remain a good and effective way to elaborate on a complaint but tweeting to a brand has its advantages. On Twitter communication between customers and brands is in the public domain. Companies don’t want their brand image affected by public display of anger from their paying customers. Most of these companies spring into action and try to resolve a customer grievance as soon as possible.
Follow your tweet with an e-mail
While tweeting is sure to get the brand’s attention, writing an e-mail allows you to describe the issue you are facing in detail. E-mail allows to elaborate on some of the issues that you may not want to tweet. Also, there is only so much you can write in a 140 character tweet and it’s better to present one complete body of text in the form of an e-mail compared to 10 different tweets while describing a complaint.
Use other social media channels
While Twitter is the primary medium for customers to interact with brands, it is always a good idea to follow brands on other social media channels. Following a brand’s facebook page gives you much of the same advantages as those on Twitter minus the frequency of instant responses.
It is not always easy for the social media managers of brands to respond to each individual customer complaint in a sea of facebook comments. And when you inbox a message to a brand page, expecting a reply is a long shot. Also, this takes your complaint out of the public domain and isn’t considered a very useful way of one-on-one communication with a brand.
There are a number of other online channels to consider for keeping a track on the brands you are availing services from. Off late a lot of customer complaint websites and customer review apps have sprung up. As a paying customer you ought to make use of these channels to get your issues resolved.
In the Internet age being a customer service ninja is not an option anymore, for customers it is slowly turning into a necessity and the sooner customers put on their Zukins the better it will be.