What do your “Likes” mean to you? When we “like” our favorite product on Facebook, we’re not simply telling everyone in digital land what our interests include. No: what we expect from those “Likes” is the interpersonal relationships we experience every day with comments, shares, pokes, and whatsits. “Liking” a brand on Facebook means a lot more to us when companies are willing to reciprocate.
We have all taken a flight across country, over international lines, or from one state to another and I’m sure there are lists of things we could number off that have made us disgruntled or pleased, either while waiting at the airport or in the sky. Personally, I have flown for many years and by default it has been with South West Airlines, but my recent experience with JetBlue has changed the way I will be flying in the future.
Customer service is a huge part of any business. Bad customer service can result in a lost customer; in fact, 800 out of 1,000 people surveyed said they did not make a specific purchase due to bad customer service. Additionally, consumers are twice as likely to tell their peers about a bad experience than a good one. Customer service, like many other business operations, is going social.
Eighty-percent of companies plan to use social media for customer service as we head in to 2013. With 47 percent of consumers seeking customer service through social media and 30 percent stating they prefer social media over the traditional phone method of customer service, it’s no wonder businesses are making the move. Can they really afford not to at this rate?
Social media is expanding marketing. It’s expanding outreach and branding. It’s reducing advertising spends and increasing advertising hiring. It’s doing so many wonderful things for business, but one thing that isn’t getting the benefits of social media as much as it should is customer service.
It used to be, if someone had a complaint about a business, they’d have little recourse.
Sure, they could go to the Better Business Bureau and lodge a complaint. Some TV stations and newspapers had consumer advocates who would shame companies into doing the right thing.
The social media world has turned into a venue where really upset people who used to never really have a voice now have a way to make your company suffer for making them upset. Customer service may have always been technically important, but today it is amplified by the power of “word of click“.