7 ways social media can improve customer satisfaction

Social media and customer relationship experts share tips on how to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to enhance customers’ experience with your brand.

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“When you're faced with negative reviews on social media, apologize publicly and follow up privately,” says Adi Bittan, cofounder and CEO of OwnerListens, a customer service app. “Your apology to the original post lets viewers know you're addressing the issue, and [the] followup makes your response more personal for the customer.”

4. Use social media to highlight your customers. Use social media to “spotlight customers who have done cool and interesting things with your product or service,” says Rani Mani, director, customer success and social strategy at Adobe. “Not only does it shine a spotlight on your customers, but it humanizes what you are offering the world. Lead with the success of the person and make it secondary that some of that success was powered by your company,” she says. “The public is inspired by stories and the people behind those stories. So make it a point to tell compelling stories about ordinary people who are achieving extraordinary results [with your product or service].”

5. Use social media to get feedback from customers.With social media, feedback about a product or service, the purchasing experience or customer service “can be gathered as simple as tweeting or posting a question about [it on Facebook],” says Levine. “You no longer have to go through the hassles of creating a survey. It’s short and sweet and customers can tweet/comment what their experiences have been.” Though if you go this route, be prepared for negative comments.

You can also use your Twitter or Facebook channel to “ask your audience what they'd like to know about [or see] next,” says Broom. “If you're using Facebook, you can even give them options in a poll, so it's easy for them to respond, e.g., Would you like to know more about A, B or C? This gives you two bonuses: Your audience feels heard, and you know exactly what content to deliver to keep them happy.”

6. Use social media to humanize your brand. Customers like to feel they know a company, or can relate to it. So by giving your company a human face, that is, assigning an individual or several people to manage each of your social media channels, who customers can get to know by name (and posts and photos), you help build the customer relationship.

“We use Facebook and Instagram to show our users that we are more than just a voice on the phone or a Twitter handle,” says Bubley. “We are real people who are passionate about what we do and who we do it for.”

7. Don’t use your social media channels to sell or pressure customers. “Customers aren’t looking for sales pitches and press releases,” says Brewer. “They want help, support, to get the most they can from your products, services [or] brands.”

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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