HOW MAY I HELP YOU? : Social media and customer service


Whether you deal in retail, healthcare, hospitality or non-profit resources, chances are that customer service matters to your business. Your customers are your fans, your supporters, your inspiration and your income. Their satisfaction is paramount to your success in the industry, so make sure you know EXACTLY what services, resources, products and interaction style they desire. Engage with them, rather than selling at them. Take advantage of social media’s groundbreaking connectivity, using Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) strategy to enhance your customer interactions, finding out what they want to purchase, how, why and for what reasons.

shock & awe

When Facebook opened its doors to businesses in 2006, few anticipated the shift would evolve the students-only, social network into a sophisticated marketing mechanism.

Cut to a year or two later.

Propelled forward by Facebook’s rampant success, the social networking landscape has grown exponentially to include conversation-focused platforms like Twitter, location-focused hubs like Four Square and multimedia-sharing centers like YouTube, among others. Initially, corporations struggled to find their footing on the social networking landscape. Dazzled by the new technology’s novelty, eager entrepreneurs flooded the network inboxes of average users with sales information rather than customer relationship building interactions.

well-established CRM paves the way to effective SCRM

Interactions are what matter when it comes to SCRM.  Social Customer Relationship Management is not all that different from traditional Customer Relationship Management – essentially SCRM is simply a continuation of this transparency-enhancing, mutually beneficial customer communication strategy. The customers who will choose to engage with your business via social networks will still expect a high degree of customer service. They are no different than the consumer with a complicated product question phoning your helpline in search of a personalized service solution. However, these customers also:

·      Are tech savvy

·      Already expect corporate brand involvement in their everyday online social interactions

·      Desire an active role in their favorite companies’ brand evolution

For these reasons, interactive dialogue promoting tools like Facebook and Twitter provide useful opportunities to get to know your customers and correctly employ tried and true CMR basics:

·      Truly listen to customer concerns & questions, acting and reacting accordingly to ensure optimal, individual service experiences

·      Investigate sources of customer frustration to create personalized solutions

·      Discover and showcase positive customer experiences

·      Unearth complete data regarding customers’ brand expectations as they relate to your company’s current agenda

If you don’t have the marketing background to develop a thoroughly integrated SCRM strategy on your own, partner with someone who does. Don’t rely purely upon SCRM’s social component to generate results. Even in the digital era, good old-fashioned strategy still matters.

For more information on what esd & associates has to offer, visit the digital creative agency's website.


The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily The University of Texas at Austin.

About The Author

Erik Simpson

Creative Director, esd & associates

Erik Simpson is a partner and the creative director for esd & associates, San Antonio's leading digital...

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