Business Practices | | Published August 29, 2012

Create a Customer Service Community

There’s a school of thought that social media is a type of customer service – after all, when customers have a complaint, they often hop on Facebook or Twitter. Unfortunately, many companies use these tools as a simple one-way communication or “branding” tool. In other words, they aren’t using it as a means to talk to the people who buy their stuff.

But readers of TeamSupport know how important solid customer support is. Another social media tool we offer that companies can use to their advantage is a company community. If you have a chance to talk to every single one of your customers through one of these tools, why wouldn’t you take the opportunity?

Spread the Message

How many times have you called or emailed a company and been informed that your problem is one they “get all the time.” You’re left wondering: Why, if it’s so common, haven’t they fixed it – and possibly more importantly, why haven’t they already told everyone about it?

This is exactly what a community is for. Once you post something in the community and make it readily available you’re able to share messages to your entire customer base at once. If the company above had a community all they would have to do is post about their common problem and tell everyone they’re working on it.

But don’t you want that personal conversation with your customers you may ask? Normally, yes, and if the problem is crazy enough they’ll probably contact you anyway. However, you should give them the option of reading about it online and then contacting you later if need be. Otherwise if you force them to call or email it may upset or irritate them.

Better Feedback

Another reason customer service should have a voice is it can lead to opportunities for great feedback. If you’ve ever wondered what your customers thought about a particular subject, this is an arena where you can discover the answers.

Of course many use Facebook to get quick answers to certain questions about the company or their products. However, posts in the community can be a bit more detailed and lengthy, so you’re bound to get more in-depth answers. One can better explain their point in a community rather than in a simple Facebook post. Once you start including pictures, videos, graphs, etc. then you’ve got quite a bit to start that discussion with your customers!

One last important thing to remember: write and share stuff your customers care about. Since you’re going to talk on their level you should stick to things they want to read about or subjects that directly impact them. Otherwise you might waste a great opportunity to connect!