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Businesses Go Social with Customer Service
By: Dana Severson
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Last week, I talked briefly about the need for businesses to be more social. Not breaking news, I know. But social media posts influence roughly 78% of consumers, and that’s just the posts coming from companies. Those from friends and family hold even more sway, influencing 81% of consumers.
 
If these numbers tell you anything, it’s that businesses can no longer afford NOT to have a social media presence.
 
Of course, social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. A large corporation will have much different needs than a small, local business, so the approach to social media marketing won’t be the same — or at least it shouldn’t be.
 
But let’s taking marketing out of the equation, and focus on what all business can do to better leverage social channels: customer care.  
 
Why Go Social with Customer Care?

A recent study by NM Incite, a social media consulting service from Nielsen and McKinsey & Company, found that:
  • 47% of all social media users have used social channels for customer service purposes
  • Nearly 1 in 3 social media users prefer to use social channels for customer care
  • 71% of these users are more likely to recommend a brand if social care is positive 
If you’re using social media for business, but not for customer care, you could be alienating your base. In fact, this same study found that:
  • 83% of Twitter users expect a response on the same day of posting
  • 71% of Facebook users expect similar results
Having a social media presence isn’t enough; you must engage as well as be engaged.
 
Why Is Customer Care Going Social?


The reason customer care has gone social is simple. Consumers are already there. They’re using these channels to inform their purchase behavior, so why wouldn’t they turn to these same channels for customer service?
 
Adding to this shift are websites themselves. Many can be difficult to navigate, and customers are unable to find a link — or worse, a phone number — for customer support.

I mean, half of the time I can’t find a way to contact my Internet provider, and if there was a comparable service in the area, my frustration would get me to switch…but that’s beside the point.  
 
If consumers are unable to contact you directly, they must turn to social media to solve their problems. If you’re not quick to respond, it could erode your business. Consumers now expect a response, so devote some energy to social care on social media.


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About the Author
Dana Severson is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant in the Twin Cities area. Find him at his website for a little downhome advice. 
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