Customer Service and Reputation

Manage your Customer Service and Reputation all at once!

Once upon a time, I worked for Spencer Gifts. Part of the training package for new employees was a cartoon video that talked about customer service. The video talked about how customers experience Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt when it comes to making certain purchases. Having good customer service can help overcome the “FUD” factor.Good Customer Service  overcomes Fear Uncertainty Doubt

The training continued with data that told us that a happy customer will tell 2 people, while a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 people. This was in the days before cell phones! Ten people spreading news about your business could ultimately damage your business’ reputation. So, customer service and reputation were tied together at the hip. But who are we kidding, customer service and reputation have almost always been tied together.

Enter social media. Those days of someone who is dissatisfied telling 10 people number has now multiplied by hundreds, thousands or millions. Depending upon the audience of the person who is posting, how active or passionate about a topic the followers are, a simple statement can raise up an item or make it crash and burn. That is how virility with a YouTube video, Facebook post or Tweet gets going. The reality is, most companies don’t know their Customer Expectations, and they get it wrong. Millennial’s, for example, want an immediate response with an immediate outcome.

Remember this story – United breaks Guitar – turned out alright after the fact Read more. But that video and example is used quite a bit in how customer service and responsiveness are so much more important now, then ever before. There are now over 14 million views of the YouTube video of an event that happened in 2009. All someone has to do is create a video, share it on their social media channels, and have a couple of key people share the posts before something spins out of control.

If you need to know more about managing your customer service and reputation through social media, check back. I will cover reputation management in my next article.

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B2B vs B2C – Twitter

 B2B vs. B2C – Twitter

While I was thinking about trying to do this post in a 140 characters, it seemed a bit impossible. Plus the fact that the SEO on a 140 characters would be insane!B2BvsB2Ctwitter

In B2B vs. B2C – Twitter is the shorthand of marketing your brand. The analogy some people make about Twitter is that there are two people talking loudly at a bar and all of the patrons hear the conversation.  Be careful what you say because just like anything else on the web, you can’t take it back.

With 500 million accounts and 215 of them active, Twitter has a robust group of users.

B2B – Twitter offers a great opportunity to provide excellent customer service.  It also provides a resource for lead generation if you make use of the advanced search functions. Another tool you can use is a TweetChat to engage your followers in in-depth conversations about products or how-to sessions. At events or conferences, live tweet during the event to share quotes from the event with followers unable to attend.  Tweet important points from webinars to bring home points.

B2C – Customer service is an important function for a B2C business as well. A few things you can use Twitter for include specials that drive customers to landing pages; alert fans to daily specials or locations of food trucks or pop-up sales; and, with Vine, you can share short looping videos to bring home a point or share fun moments about your business.

Check out the other areas where social media is useful for your B2B vs. B2C business.

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What is Hootsuite?

Last week my post about adding your LinkedIn company page to Hootsuite turned into a Do you Use Hootsuite? post in the groups to which I belong on LinkedIn.  One group member asked – Please explain the basics and advantages of “Hootsuite” to one that is not familiar with the concept.

Owly says “Hoot – suite”

I thought it might be useful to provide an explanation on my blog.

First let me say that there are other options, but I have found Hootsuite to suit my needs the best.

Hootsuite is a a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. For free you can have up to 5 profiles in one browser window. For each profile you can have multiple streams from that profile – for example from your Twitter account you could include the Tweets of the people you follow, tweets that include a mention of your Twitter handle, and any direct messages to you.  For this purpose it is a great customer service tool.

There are some limitations with a few of the profiles options, but in general this is a good one-stop location to follow most of the platforms on which you would have a profile.  Hootsuite is pretty responsive to the requests from the users and new options become available periodically.

Another major benefit to Hootsuite is the ability to schedule posts.  This is useful if you will be on vacation, in a meeting, on a webinar or otherwise unavailable to post at a particular time.  There is even an auto-post feature that Hootsuite will post at the best time for your fan-base.

Drafts is another feature.  I have found this useful when I was trying to promote a particular program or limited time feature on a product.  To me this would be more beneficial in Twitter than some of the other platforms.  The repetitive nature allows you to say the same thing and perhaps only change a word (a fundraiser would be a good example to use this).

Hootsuite also offers a team option – this is a paid feature.  If you have a team of individuals who would be addressing customer service issues, you can forward a post that you see to that individual for that person to address.

Some of the platforms don’t give as much “credence” to the third party applications like Hootsuite, so your posts may not have the same visibility (in Facebook especially) as if you post directly to the platform, but they are still useful.   If you want to manage your social media yourself, but need to be about the business of your business, sometimes, using a tool like Hootsuite is the best use of your time.  Remember that even though you may schedule a post, you still need to keep an eye on your social media platforms to be able to respond to comments or messages that followers may post that you don’t “see” right away in Hootsuite.

Nothing is perfect, but we need to make use of the tools and products that help us to our best at the time.

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