Never has the connection between a brand and its customers been stronger than it is these days, thanks to social media. By opening up another channel of communication with your customers, you stand to get to know them even better, and can deliver exactly what they want. Here’s how you can ride the social media wave to get closer to your customers.
1. Provide Instant and Easy Customer Service
We’ve seen more brands like Dell and Staples respond to customer service inquiries on social media in recent years, and it’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere. People are beginning to prefer using social media to deal with an issue, rather than sitting on hold with the company’s 800 number.
You don’t have to be a giant corporation to leverage social media as a customer service tool. It’s simply a matter of:
- Having a dedicated person to manage your social media and/or customer service.
- Mention on your Contact Us page that customers can direct problems and questions to whatever social media channel you want to use (Twitter is especially popular for this purpose).
- Have your social media manager monitor all mentions of your brand and respond to issues accordingly.
- Take them to private messages so the whole world doesn’t have access to the entire conversation...in case your customer is difficult to appease.
2. Use Social Insights in CRM
By paying attention to what your customers and contacts are doing and saying on social media, you have the unique opportunity to connect with them in meaningful ways. Using CRM with built-in social insights (like Insightly), you can not only connect with your contacts across all social channels, but also monitor what they’re doing there.
For example, when you check in to see what a customer is doing on LinkedIn, you find he’s recently published an article, so you click Like and share it. Then you see on Google+ that he’s looking for a new marketing consultant. You happen to know a marketing consultant, so you reach out and make the referral. He’ll remember you for paying attention to his needs, and will be that much more likely to buy from you the next time he needs your type of services.
Each positive contact adds to your credibility and builds his trust.
3. Conduct Market Research
Who says you need to invest in expensive market research companies to find out what your customers want? Paying attention to social insights from your target market can net you plenty of valuable data.
Let’s say you’re considering expanding your product line and want to know what color product people would prefer. A simple tweet or Facebook poll can net you enough social feedback to make the decision. You can also gauge whether people would buy a particular product or pay a certain price by asking your social network.
Social media is good for so much more than sharing your content and connecting with other people. With a little creativity, you can find new and interesting ways to leverage social insights to better provide exactly what your customers are seeking.
Do you know your customers? Tell us about your strategies in the comments.