The What, Where and How of using Customer Service as a Marketing Tool?
Customer Service is important to every business, however big or small. Whether you work for a multi-national corporation on their Customer Support team, or man your businesses Customer Service yourself, you’ll understand the crucial importance of making a negative response into a positive as fast as possible.
And with more and more of us using public methods of Customer Service to voice our concerns, a new marketing method has made itself apparent, by using social media to improve the image of a company.
Hopefully if you’re a business, you already have Customer Service accounts set up on Facebook and Twitter. Social Media is a huge part of a customer’s experience nowadays, removing the need to sit for hours on the phone with customers when they only have one question to ask. You can engage with customers wherever they are, whenever they like and hopefully, give them an answer in a pretty short length of time.
It’s very easy to get a good feel of a brand’s personality through their Social Media accounts. It’s a more relaxed format of conversation. Not to mention if you see a brand regularly interact with it’s customers, your opinion of it may increase.
Making sure you’re available on the social media channels your target audience use is vital to implementing Customer Service as a Marketing Tool. If you’re using Twitter every morning, noon and night, and none of your customers actually use Twitter, your marketing efforts are wasted.
This is why utilizing Customer Service as Marketing method works so well, the engagement between a business and a customer is already available for all to see anyway. Why not make it to your advantage and use this ‘free’ marketing to your advantage.
So we’ve talked about why Customer Service should be used as a Marketing tool and where it should be used but how do businesses go about doing this?
Depending on your resources and time constraints, you can start off small by simply retweeting a positive Customer Service interaction like ASOS do:
Positive engagements should be shared on Social Media, but don’t share every Tom, Dick and Harry’s thank you tweet. Be a bit selective to the extra special ones that make your brand look even greater then it did before!
Or if you really want to go the extra mile, there are a two great ways to promote yourself via good Customer Service.
Firstly, you can go all out and utilize your brand’s image to respond to any tweet that vaguely linked to your business. Whether that is a tweet about the weather being a bit miserable today or a direct tweet with the business @ mentioned, some businesses take their Twitter accounts seriously.
Tesco, the large UK supermarket chain, are a prime example of Customer Service done effectively across Twitter to market themselves correctly. Across the many Twitter accounts they run, they will actively interact with basically anything.
From direct tweets, whether that is answering a question or just a general comment to the brand…
…to a relevant tweet Tesco can engage with, just to help boost their profile online and help improve the personality Tesco has created on Social Media.
Another great method of Customer Service is by going the extra mile!
Now every company receives some out there requests, from funny to the down right impossible. But the great thing about Customer Service on Social Media is, everyone can see it. So it’s no surprise some of the biggest brands in the world like to treat some of their customers every once in a while.
Samsung received a Facebook message from a loyal Samsung customer telling them how much he loved their products and asking (cheekily) for a free Galaxy S III to replace his old one. He even included a drawing a dragon! Samsung clearly loved his efforts, and replied with a similar drawing of a kangaroo.
Shane was so happy with this response he shared it across the internet, and unsurprisingly it went viral and gave them a lot of good of PR. As a thank you for the good press, Samsung decided to send Shane the requested phone with the exact drawing of his drawing etched on the back.
This kind of marketing is gold dust to big brands, as everyone loves a story like it.
So now you know the what, where and how of using your Customer Service as a Marketing Tool! If you’re starting to utilize this, the best idea is to start slow, cut down your response times as more and more consumers expect a fast response to any query they send. Even if you just send them a holding message to let them know you’ve acknowledged it, that’s a lot better than simply ignoring them while you work out the answer.