Social media and customer service

As we are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year, I have been looking at how the industry has changed over the past decade. And there's one thing that stands out amongst the rest - social media.

In 2006, there was no Facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Trip Advisor (the list goes on), but these are now key to customer service and feedback.

There's no hiding any more. Before, if a customer had a complaint, they would tell a few people, write, or call you with the official complaint - or if you were really unlucky, go to the press. But now, with the quick click of a button, the whole world can pretty much see your dirty laundry.

That's why it's crucial that your social media is on-point and can be used as a customer service tool as well as a marketing tool.

• According to a recent survey, 67% of consumers have used a company's social media channels for customer support.
• Customers are expecting a fast response - have your account monitored constantly to ensure that they are responded to at the earliest convenience, and certainly within a couple of hours at the latest.
• An incredible 89% of social messages are ignored – that's the fastest way to lose a customer to a competitor.
• Over a third of people now prefer to use social media as a contact tool over email or telephone – make sure you are 'on it' and respond quickly.
• 71% of people who do use customer service to complain but get a really fast and effective response are more likely to recommend you to others.

So tighten up your social media. If you aren't already, embrace it and ensure it is part of your customer service ethos.