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Customers have gone social so should you. Customers don’t want to be left waiting on the phone or waiting around for a customer service rep to call them back.  Emails can be impersonal and misunderstood.  Many businesses are turning to social media and in particular Twitter to speak to their customers.

Twitter is a great customer service tool.  It is a very cost-effective customer service channel, (no need for call centres with lots of staff).  You can respond to customer issues quickly and resolve any problems that they have without leaving them dangling (not literally although you may feel like it) on the phone.  All of your staff can see what’s going on and being discussed. Your other customers will see how you deal with customer complaints and questions.  If they see a customer’s problem dealt with quickly, efficiently and fairly then you’ll gain more trust from them as well as any prospective customers following you on Twitter.  It goes without saying that if a customer has a more in-depth or sensitive problem then you pick up the phone and speak to them but Twitter can be used for a large percentage of customer service queries and problems.  Be active and ask your customers to follow you on Twitter.  Be honest, thoughtful and transparent even it is difficult at times.

Engaging in conversations with your customers on Twitter will enable you to build good relationships with them. Talking and sharing with your customers has never been easier and using Twitter to enable customers to share their good experiences with you is a great endorsement of you and your products.

Finally, always monitor what your customers are saying about you, if you see anything negative respond and diffuse immediately.  Sometimes just a simple “we’re sorry” or “we appreciate your feedback and will follow this up immediately,” is enough to diffuse an angry customer. Often, they just want to know that you’re listening to them. You may just need to go back to that dusty old contraption called a telephone and call them…..

Tina Hayward has worked for various online retailers and digital agencies. She recently set up a small marketing consultancy called SOMAS and is working with small to medium businesses in London.   You can visit SOMAS here: www.somas.co.uk for more information or call Tina on 07747 463440 for a FREE consultation.

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