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Using Social Media for Customer Service

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Most companies understand the power of promoting their brand via social media networks and some have also caught on to the fact that engaging customers online provides instant communication and can lead to brand advocacy. Companies are now catching on and realizing that they can use social media networks as a new way to provide better customer service. In fact 62% of businesses touted customer care and engagement as the number one benefit for businesses to use social networking sites (Stewart, P., 2012). So what are your options for implementing customer service on social networks?

If a company is interested in moving their customer support system to a social network there are a few things that they should consider. Without an application to help organize, inquiries and responses can get lost and could lead to frustration for customers when they are trying to find solutions to their problems. Customers can't search for responses so your customer service team will waste time responding to the same questions. Custom applications can prevent these issues from coming up for companies that want to move their customer support to social networks.

There are full service customer programs that have been developed by a few different companies, these applications reside in a separate tab and give companies the ability to monitor questions and posts on social media. They also allow companies to route questions and comments to the right person in your company to respond. These applications break out customer feedback into different categories including find an answer, ask a question, live chat or submit a ticket. In addition companies can customize the look of these applications to match their brand.

Having a custom application built for your company's customer service programs might not be a bad idea if you are looking for something that fits your company needs and offers flexibility. In addition the application can be branded to your company and blend seamlessly with your current pages. Most of the applications that are currently available have subscription plans associated with them, while having a custom application built does cost an initial investment you are not tied down to a third party.

If your company is not ready to move your entire customer support system onto Facebook or Twitter, then you might want to look to other big brands who have simply added a tab that directs customers to multiple channels that can be used to find answers or get in touch with company representatives. This can be done rather easily and gives companies the power to decide where they want customers to go for customer support questions, but provides information to customers in a space that they are comfortable with.

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