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Social Media Customer Service—To Address Concerns or Not?

February 1st, 2010 | | Social Media & SEO

Social media channels can be powerful tools for your business in a number of different ways. Notably, most businesses are seeing social media channels as a way to directly address issues with their customers, either notifying them of product updates or acting as a customer service avenue. There are a few hazards to consider before attempting this with your own business and whether the same results could be better accomplished using search engine optimization and a self-service help system.

The Customer’s Truth Hurts

It’s important to know your customers. They have great insight into how your products or services are really used and what the public perception is of your company as a whole. Your customer’s are saying things, but do you really want to listen? Are you going to act on what they say or deny it? Being able to accept what your customers say is important in this step. Use a proactive and optimistic attitude to turn the bad situation into a good one for the consumer.

Response Grading

Some customers can appreciate that a business is being proactive and wanting to engage their customers about their problems with the businesses products or services. As with most customer service, some users won’t think you’re doing enough online. These are the same people that would assign you a performance grade offline, as well. They may not be happy with your customer service performance, no matter what you offer them, and no matter what channel you perform the customer service in. Be prepared to recognize when “the fish is off the hook” and there’s no way you’re going to get that fish back.

Can SEO Do Better?

There are some clear positives and negatives to using social media over relying on SEO to deliver a customer to the correct, helpful information located on your site. First, you’ll obviously have to hope that the optimization is working the right way and it is efficiently delivering users to the right places, if it’s delivering them anywhere at all; take the case of a user having to navigate to several pages of content before finding the information they needed, thus aggravating them more if they haven’t already left by then. On a positive note, the user will find the information they were looking for without having the chance to vent to a customer rep and get more worked up by their lack of initiative to solve the problem. There’s even more here; that might be another article.

So, What Do You Do?

Using both tactics and not abandoning one or the other is important because they serve different types of customers and their different types of issues. You’ll never be able to address all of your customer’s concerns and you’ll address even less of them if you choose to use either social media or SEO self-service. Just be wary of the bottle you’re opening when you begin to use social media for customer service, or in any other fashion. Amy has additional tips on using Twitter for your business.

Facebook   IN   Stumble Upon   Twitter   Sphinndo some of that social network stuff.