Waiting for several minutes that feel like hours on the phone, trying to get through to someone “sensible” enough who can take your order for the bunch of roses you wish to order for your mom’s birthday. One word, “frustrating”. Such a simple job ends up becoming a nightmare. So what is the solution? Log on to a website that sells flowers, like www.myflowertree.com, select the flowers, and click on buy and voila! Easy job done in less than 60 seconds! And since you feel great about the efficiency showed by that brand, you leave a wonderful comment on how great their services are! That is how social media has changed the face of customer service.
While that was just one scenario, there are several ways in which social media has changed the way services are provided to customers. From food, to clothes, to bathroom essentials, there is an ‘order online’ or ‘leave review here’ option for practically everything these days. Whether a situation goes well or on the contrary, bad, a customer would never hesitate in expressing their views for the world to see since it is available at the click of a button.
- It’s all out in the open: Gone are the days when people sent letters or emails to company’s complaining about their bad experiences with the product. With blogging and online forums, people can voice their dissatisfaction, and no company can hide from that. This also increases the pressure on businesses to perform well 24-7 since anyone can post a review if they are unhappy and a third person can see that and form an opinion real time.
- Customers solve each other’s problems: Online public forums help customers identify issues that are relevant to them, and at times they don’t have to reach out to anyone since they can read and review an issue discussed earlier which might be similar to their own. Also they can openly offer advice to anyone who needs it.
- Wake up Call! Companies have become more sensitive towards customer’s issues and customer centricity has become a key factor in driving businesses. Since there is a lot more transparency between the seller and the consumer through social media, the core of every business now is how to improve customer satisfaction.
Social media is the strongest platform for customer service. Whether it’s the good, bad or the ugly, a customer has every right to express his or her appreciation or discontent for any brand or type of service. Sometimes however this may cause people to voice opinions which may not be relevant or may seem over the top and unreasonable. Social responsibility goes both ways. It is a relationship between the consumer and the seller, and social media happens to be a mediator between the two.
Image courtesy mashable.com