Why Big Brands are Shifting to Facebook for Providing Customer Services
Companies and brands are increasingly using Facebook for their marketing. They take advantage of mediums such as self promotion and word-of-mouth promotion, as well as the social nature of Facebook in order to increase their profitability while at the same time working to build a customer base.
Companies are also beginning to realize the value of using Facebook for providing customer service and many are turning to the social media network to help answer customer queries and obtain feedback to improve their product and service offerings. There are many reasons why adding Facebook to the customer service mix makes perfect business sense for these companies:
- Helping to save money and time. Setting up a Facebook page and managing it is completely free and takes hardly any time at all. All that needs to be done is assign a moderator or customer rep and give him or her some basic guidelines regarding your company policies.
- Improving customer service productivity.There are very few businesses in which the phones are ringing off the hook, which means that there are many times during which customer service reps are idle. Why not assign them to your Facebook page so that they can handle customer queries, post status updates for promotional purposes, and deal with customer complains there? You are keeping them occupied and increasing their productivity, without the need to add more staff.
- Providing your customer with a more satisfactory customer service experience. Think from the customer’s perspective. During a customer support phone call, there are times in which the customer rep has had to put the customer on hold to search for account information, which can make an already annoyed customer even more annoyed. In the world of social media, a customer who leaves a comment on Facebook is not really expecting an immediate response and won’t mind if the customer service rep takes time to dig up account information or contacting the appropriate department to direct your query.
- Saving the customer’s time. There is no way to track the time that customers have spent on hold waiting for “the next available operator”? For a critical situation, it may pay to hold, but many customers would not like to wait 20 minutes just to get a query answered or to solve a minor problem. While getting to speak to a customer rep will ultimately provide the customer with satisfaction, this can be greatly offset by a bad mood resulting from long hold times. In addition, the customers on your Facebook page may be able to get an answer from another community member or find that the same question has been answered for someone else. This means that they have been satisfied even before customer service rep has even had a chance to get to them.
- Leaving a public record of successful problem resolution. Your Facebook page is there for the whole world to see. Your Facebook page holds a record of how you have responded to customer queries and solved their problems. Many customers who mentioned not being happy do tend to respond with a simple “Thank You” on the wall after the problem, which helps to give the brand a boost and shows others how efficient customer service is.
This is not to say that businesses and brands should rely exclusively on Facebook for servicing their customers – there are some times when nothing would be as satisfying as listening to a human being’s voice. Rather, Facebook should be made a part of the customer service mix.