Why Social Media Gives Your Business the Upper Hand
Customers no longer want to be transferred to the customer service desk; they are tired of talking to recordings and filling out cards that will most likely go unread. Instead, customers have used the force of Social Media to have their voices heard and in today’s world; their voices are amplified with a much stronger reach unlike ever before.
Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become outlets of communication for family and friends, they have also become destinations in which unhappy or happy customers can share what they think and feel about a company and in amongst their trusted networks, what they say is believed.
Sites that offer areas for reviews are amongst strangers and therefore, although taken serious the strength of the person’s negative sentiment is not as powerful as when said amongst friends. Yes, this even includes the strangers we choose to friend or follow, due to the fact that we allowed that person within our circle, now strengthens their voice and that stranger now becomes a trusted source.
Therefore, social media with its words such as follow, subscribe and friend, have in fact changed the way we view a stranger, enabling a ripple effect of information that instantaneously goes viral amongst their inner circles and dependent on the individual experience this can cause for other satisfied customers to share in the conversation, or the disgruntled customer to vent.
This is exactly why your presence is needed amongst social networks, you need to have an outlet they can turn to when they want to share their opinions about your brand, and if they are sharing them with you, then you have a greater chance of changing their minds, hence having the upper hand.
Some companies still foresee social networks as a danger, as a place in which negative sentiment will haunt them and destroy their reputation. The truth is people are already talking about you, whether it is good or bad, online or not. If your business’s in-house service is friendly and servicing customers timely and sufficiently than your chance of negativity elsewhere is lowered. Yet, the reality is, we cannot please everyone and when we don’t, customers talk.
The best way to handle these situations is to actually hear it yourself, unfortunately, that may bruise the ego momentarily, but honestly you have the power when something is said on your social networking page of choice, by simply responding. This means you need to monitor, maintain and have a strategy in place for when the dreaded negative sentiment arises.
Basically, your customer service is no longer a department; it needs to be a part of your overall service and this includes having it within your Marketing strategies. These marketing efforts include your online exposure and believe it or not, your online presence will become your biggest ally, not a format for danger.
If you know what is being said about your company than you will know what you need to work on to prevent it from happening in the future, you are also showing those who follow your online presence that you are alert and paying attention to the needs of the customer.
You have to remember that everyone is a disgruntled customer at one point or another within their lives and with anything; everyone is waiting to see how it is handled. The key to making someone a happy customer once again is through communication and if you give them a portal where they know you will respond, than you just gave your business the opportunity to not only change their minds but change what it is they are saying about you in amongst their social circle. Having the upper hand is up to your business, being on social networks as not only a resource but as THE source is up to you, it is making that deciding factor of being enlightened (good or bad) or having your business be left in the dark.
What will your business choose?
Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Promotional Director who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin Ryan on Twitter.
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