What do you think of when the term “customer service” comes to mind? To companies, it is a key segment of business that influences pre-purchase decisions, and post-purchase satisfaction. Pre-purchase customer service may include conversing with customers to find their needs and desires; it can also be offering assistance or information that consumers find helpful. Post-purchase customer service strategies might include surveys, or extra offerings to extend brand loyalty. Post-purchase strategies all have a common goal; to produce useful feedback for future business.
Over the past decade, the social media industry has revolutionized the marketing industry, making it much easier for companies to keep in touch with their customers. Due to a new outlook, companies are now beginning to use social media to its best advantage.
According to Hugo Moreno, a Forbes Magazine contributor, “Listening to unhappy customers can turn them into happy ones.” 2013 results from a University of Marketing study conclude that 77% of successful US companies use Twitter, and 77% use Facebook to contact customers. These companies are now realizing that frequent usage is not always tied to optimal results. Social media consultant Paul Gillin claims social media should not be used for advertising or talking; consumers don’t go to social media sites for advertising, so the moment one starts being pestered with offerings and promotions is the moment they’ll stop listening. Social media however, should be used for assistance and portraying an enjoyable image for the company.
The cellular service company, T-Mobile, is now implementing a new strategy to use social media for “listening and responding to customers concerns.” Their strategy is used to identify trending issues, offer quick responses, and make positive connections. This type of strategy encompasses a more permission marketing approach to customer service, and helps consumers become engaged where and when they want to be.