I recently happened upon this great post "Top 5 Reasons Why Customer Service is Avoiding the Social Media Wave" and many of the points made rang true.
Two quotes in particular stood out to me, firstly: "Your customer service team is best equipped to handle service inquiries and provide content that helps educate your customers."
Many are afraid to make the first leap into social because they don't know what to say, or fear that no one cares to hear it, when in fact you might be the best expert for a particular topic. If you're avoiding social your voice is going unheard and customer service issues may be going unaddressed (as the voice of your company who is on social media doesn't have the knowledge or access to the solutions.) A social media strategy that is purely "owned" by marketing isn't providing the best possible experience for your customers and customer service needs to exist throughout all touch-points.
The second point that struck me was "Probably the most valuable aspect of social customer service (at this point) is pure acknowledgement of being heard." Uhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifltimately customers take to social media as a way to get their voices heard, and they will be doing so whether or not you're there to hear them. By addressing customer service issues on social media, you can then escalate private issues to a different channel, while allowing the customer to feel heard.
If these points still don't have you sold on social, I also recently read " 5 Businesses That Will Live (Or Die) By Social Media" on BNet. This post outlines some of the businesses that customers expect to see on social media, and the results may surprise you.
Is your company currently addressing customer service issues on social media? What strategy do you find works best for you? Share with us in the comments.
Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.