Problems are going to occur in any and every business. It is how the business responds to the problems that determines their reputation. We’ve all told our friends and family about an awful experience we have had at restaurant or with a plumber. Truth is that most people will spread negative experiences more quickly than they will rave about a wonderful one.
Either way, people are talking and they are sharing their opinions and thoughts in social media where everyone can see it. But a proactive business owner can use social media to their advantage as customer service tool.
Comcast’s Frank Eliason quickly earned the reputation of a savvy customer service director when he introduced Twitter into their customer communication arsenal with the handle @ComcastCares. Comcast invited customers to share concerns on Twitter and then responded directly to them on Twitter.
The responses appear in the user’s feed and their friends and followers see the interaction. Those friends get to see that Comcast…well, cares. Eliason, who is now with Citibank, said that using Twitter has been a great way to build relationships and even friendships with customers. Much of the communication starts with a negative feelings about Comcast. However, because they are engaged with what their customers are saying, they have the opportunity to turn it into a positive experience. That’s a pretty powerful way to build a positive brand reputation.
All the while, the customer’s Twitter followers get to see how the problem is resolved. Addressing the inevitable problems in a forum like this is great way to create word-of-mouth-marketing.
In order to create brand loyalty and raving fans, a business must first have the trust of its customers. People are more likely to refer a product or service if they trust that the company will prove them right. There is no way to fake trust. It has to be built honestly and organically by a business, and it starts with customer service. How you treat your customers and their concerns along with product quality sets word-of-mouth in action.
Taking an active approach in customer service can help create repeat business from current customers and generate positive chatter. Social media can spread this chatter like wild fire, so get involved and help direct the positive word.