Friends or Enemies? Bad Social Media Strategies Could Turn Customers Against You

Bad-Service-300x199“NO I would not like to speak to another representative and NO I will not stay on HOLD!” Sounds familiar? Hey, we’ve all been there and we have all encountered the famous runaround from customer service representatives who seem to love making our day miserable. Most of us have even taken to social media to share our grievances about a horrible customer experience.  And don’t worry you’re not the only one who’s fed up with bad customer service. In fact, 60 percent of customers believe that companies have not taken steps to improve their customer service. Whatever happened to the customer is always right?

With Twitter’s 100 million active users and Facebook’s one billion users, your customers could become your best assets or your worst enemies. According to a 2012 Accenture Global Consumer Survey, one in five consumers switched providers in 2012, with 67 percent describing a customer service issue as their end-all, be-all for leaving. One bad experience followed by a ruthless Twitter rant and before you know it you’re hiring Paula Deen’s crisis manager to restore faith in your tarnished brand.

In business there are certain things you just can’t control, but when it comes to delivering customer service there is no excuse. Today, customers are holding companies to higher standards than ever before. Data shows that 71 percent of customers expect help within the first five minutes of contact and if they don’t receive it 48 percent will leave the site.

Show Your Customers Some Love

Today, it’s not enough to just sign up for a Twitter or Facebook account and claim your company is deploying social media strategies; you have to actually engage with customers. Yes, engage—meaning posting relevant, thought-provoking content that matters to your customers, holding contests, re-tweeting other industry players, asking questions and, most importantly, answering your customers complaints.

Nothing bothers a consumer more than being ignored, which companies seem to forget. In fact, 70 percent of companies ignore customer complaints on Twitter and a recent study found that only 29 percent of Twitter gripes got a response out of 1,298 complaints.

Show your customers some love. When they have complaints, respond to them or else you may find yourself in the midst of an angry Twitter or Facebook outburst which could be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of other existing customers or potential ones. When done right, engaging properly with your customers could be the best way to generate leads and garner new business. After all, 90 percent of customers would recommend a brand after directly engaging with them through social media.