Recently I was asked to share some strategies based on trends happening in the world of customer service. My answer centered on the following three strategies:
1. Use social media. First, let’s cover social media. It’s not a fad. It’s here to stay, and if you are not already doing so, you must embrace it. At the most basic level, use social media to be reactive to customer comments, especially complaints. Monitor Twitter, Facebook and any other social-media channels your customers use so that you can hear what they are saying about your company. Interact with them, and if there is a complaint, jump through hoops to take care of it.
Tip: If you receive a customer complaint, start a conversation that tells the customer (and all of his/her followers) what you plan to do about it. This way, you can turn a potential PR nightmare into a PR victory.
Also, use social-media channels to release value-added content. This can be in the form of tips and suggestions on how to best use your products or services. You can become a great resource to your clients. You can feature special customers. Use different ways to provide value to your clients via social-media communities.
2. Exploit YouTube. Create informational and value-added videos for your customers and the rest of the world to see and learn from. This will help you become recognized as a trusted resource and an expert in your industry. You can post testimonials from customers, and customers can submit videos for you to post that show the different ways they use your products and services. You can also put product manuals, support information and much more in video format.
Tip: One video won’t do it. Post multiple videos, perhaps one per month or even week. And be sure to create tags that will optimize your video for the YouTube search engine (owned by Google). Some may call this a marketing strategy, but I disagree. When it becomes a value-added experience for the existing customer, it falls under the category of customer service.
3. Stick with the basics. The basics never go out of style. With all the cool technology and social-media trends, don’t forget the basics of great customer service. You still have to hire right, train right and manage right. And always work at creating a customer-focused culture in your business.
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