Entries Tagged 'Customer service' ↓

How Consumers Use Social Media

If you’re going to use social media as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need to know how your consumers are using it to make sure you’re getting the right type of information to the right people.Social media and shopping habits

As more and more people start to dabble in the ‘social side’, the marketing landscape begins to change. People want to get their information in different ways, they want to connect with companies directly and quickly and how they access social media is also changing.

A recent report by Nielsen and McKinsey, called Social Media Report, looks at the survey results of consumers to discover how they use social networks.

Mobile time is increasing

With the rising number of smartphone users, it’s hardly surprising that the report found consumers are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to access social media.

The main device used is still the PC, 43% of users said they used smartphones to access social media, with 16% using a tablet.

That would therefore suggest that as marketers, you should be investing in your mobile content. That means a mobile website, using social media and perhaps even getting your own app.

Pinterest rises

As a copywriter, Pinterest is something that I still haven’t really got to grips with.  But perhaps that should now change as the report showed that it had not only the highest increase in audience, but also the largest amount of time spent on any social network across all devices.

Of course, simply having an interesting display of great items on Pinterest isn’t going to do you any good unless you actually engage with other ‘pinners’.

Feel good feeling

One of the most surprising findings is that 76% of social media users said they experienced positive feelings after using it.  The felt informed, excited and connected.

Of course, you’re not going to please everyone all of the time.

Social TV and Twitter

Twitter was also discovered to be the most powerful driver of ‘social TV’ – that means that it’s the one platform people (usually adults aged between 35-44) use to share their views and opinions about what they’re watching (e.g. sports events, Elections etc.).

The report goes on to say that in June 2012, one third of active Twitter users tweeted about TV content, up from 26% from the beginning of the year.

Customer service through social media

The report showed that 1 in 3 social media users prefer is receive customer service through social media platforms as opposed to contacting the company by phone.

Of course, for marketers that means that consumers are used to receiving instant feedback and in fact expect it, so it’s important that your use of social media allows you to respond quickly.

The emergence of the social advert

What do you think about the social adverts you see on Facebook etc.? Well, apparently 33% find them annoying, but surprisingly 26% of those surveyed said they were more likely to pay attention to an advert posted by a friend.

Perhaps you should give some extra thought to your social advertising plan.

The social buying decision

The growing use of social media is changing the way people shop. Today, consumers use their social media channels to learn about other peoples’ experiences (70%) and information about a brand’s products or services (65%).

So, you really need to think about your brand image and how you come across as a company.

Over to you

How do you feel about using social media today?

Did any findings in the report surprise you?

Leave comment and tell us what you think.

How to Boost Referrals For Your Business

Most marketing strategies concentrate on email, direct mail, social media, print marketing and web marketing.Referrals worth their weight in gold

That’s good news for us professional copywriters as it means there’s plenty of work to be had.

But there is one other stream of customers that’s not been mentioned – referrals.

Referrals (or word of mouth marketing) are worth their weight in gold. After all, people are coming to you as a direct result of someone else recommending your products and services.

As a result, they already know about the quality of your work, your level of customer service and what makes you stand out from other providers – so most of the hard work has already been done for you.

So how to you get more of them?

Sowing the referral seeds

Put simply, there are no short cuts to generating referrals.

If you want people to talk about you favourably to others, you’ve got to provide them with good reason.

1. Above and beyond

Every contact you have with a customer before, during and after making a sale has to be perfect.

You must constantly exceed their expectations and make them feel valued.

That’s easier said than done, especially when faced with one of ‘those’ customers, but it will be worth it in the end.

2. Staying in touch

Once you’ve completed a sale and your customer’s gone away happy, it’s very tempting to move onto the next person. But what about the relationship you’ve just spent weeks (months or even years) developing with the person that’s just walked out the door?

The relationship is far too valuable to let slide, so make sure you keep in touch with regular newsletters, offers and great information.

How about offering an incentive for referrals – perhaps a discount on future purchases for every person they introduce to you?

How ever you decide to approach it, keeping the relationship going is vital  – after all, if they’ve bought from you once, the chances are they will again.

3. Engage

Marketers band around the term ‘Engaging with your audience’ quite frequently. So what exactly do they mean?

Well, if you want someone to buy from you and develop a long lasting relationship with your company, there has to be something in it for them. You could argue that the product/service they buy is enough, but today’s customers are far cannier than that and expect much more.

Offering them useful, relevant and interesting content will help you engage with them. They see it as getting something for nothing; you see, it as a way of maintaining contact and keeping your company’s name firmly lodged in their mind.

But more than that, if your content is really useful to them, you will be opening up the opportunity of it being shared with their friends and colleagues. Facebook ‘Likes’, re-tweets and other social media sharing tools will help spread the word about your company – and that can’t be bad.

So you see, if you want to boost and encourage referrals, you must engage with your customers and go above and beyond what they would expect.

Take some time out to review your current procedures; what efforts do you make to retain customers and stay in touch? How many referrals do you receive?

Perhaps it’s time to give some of these suggestions a try.

Making the Most of Your Email Customer Service

Let’s face it dealing with phone calls takes time. Unless you have multiple phone lines, you can only answer one customer at a time leaving the others hanging on in frustration.

That’s also why so many customers like to deal in email rather than waiting in phone queues. That’s a bonus for you because you can sit back and deal with each email as it comes in.

But how you deal with them will say a lot about your company and your customer service.

So, how can you make a good impression?

1. Make sure you have an email address shown on your website

More and more companies just have contact forms on their websites. There’s nothing wrong with that so long as you make sure they are working and that they are monitored.

I’ve lost count of how many companies I’ve tried to contact this way only to never hear anything.

If you also list an email address, it offers reassurance to the reader that you’re a real company that wants to hear from its customers (the same goes for the inclusion of a telephone number and postal address).

2. Answer promptly

Even though they sent an email, your customer will still want a quick response. At the very least this should be the same working day, but preferably within the hour.

If you know it’s going to take a while to look into their query, at least send an email to reassure them that their email has been received and that you are looking into the matter and when you will get back to them. If you keep them updated in this way they at least know their query is important and is being looked into.

3. Name

Make sure you use their name in your response. There’s nothing worse than sending a company an email that included your name (in your signature and email address) only to receive a reply that started ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.

4. Thank you

It might sound obvious, but start off your response by thanking them for their email. Even if they were complaining about something it’s important to show them that their correspondence is important and valued.

5. Answer everything

Many emails will ask several questions, so make sure you answer everything. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a reply to your query only then having to send another email because part of your initial question wasn’t answered.

Before you hit send, re-read your response to:

a)    Make sure answered everything

b)    Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors

6. Get straight to the point

The recipient of your response doesn’t want a great long essay turning up in their in box, so make sure you get straight to the point and answer their query.

Oh, and always end with something along the lines of ‘If we can be of further assistance, please get in touch’.

Although each of these points appears to be common sense, you’d be amazed at how many are ignored.

Over to you

Do you have any other tips you can add about using email as an effective customer service tool? If so, leave a comment below.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter



What Does Social Media Mean to You?

Worldwide, there are now over 1 billion users of social media . Plus with over a quarter of all adults and half of all teens (Ofcom) owning a smartphone, access to social media sites has never been easier.

So with all those users out there, how do you, as a company owner, view social media?

Do you still see it as a fad (albeit a very popular one), or have you embraced it as part of your marketing and customer service strategy?

The two sides of social media for business

Did you see what I did there?

I asked whether social media was part of your marketing and customer service strategy.

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are 2 way conversations – you can offer advice and offers to your customers/followers and they can make comments and ask questions of you.

But, according to a recent article in The Drum, 70% of complaints made by customers on social media are ignored because many companies still view it as a purely marketing tool rather than a direct link for customer support.

Big mistake.

The research by A.T. Kearney’s annual social media survey found that between 5% and 20% of all complaints to many organisations are made through social media.

Of course, unlike traditional letter or phone complaints, those made using social media are visible to the world. Other customers can sit back and watch how you deal with a situation, giving them a good idea of what type of company you are and how seriously you take customer gripes.

Benefits of social media as a customer service tool

It’s fast.

It’s personal.

It can be used to offer help and advice to those who aren’t customers yet.

What more do I need to say?

Plus, because everything you write (unless it’s a DM through Twitter) is visible to your other followers, you can show yourself off as a company that puts its customers first and is willing to go that extra mile for them.

Brownie points all round.

Basically, using social media as a customer service tool will have a massive reputational impact on your business (sadly, that also means if you get it wrong it will have a negative impact too).

So make sure those in charge of your social media accounts understand your social media policy, monitor them regularly and respond quickly.

Jim Close, Managing Director or Datapoint sums it up:

“Social media tools are for two-way dialogue with customers as well as a (mostly) one-way marketing channel. They differ from more traditional media because often the interaction is globally-visible and there is potential for massive reputational impact. The organisation  that learn this lesson the fastest – and use contact centre systems to do this effectively – will be the ones that win the customer retention race.”

Sally Ormond – Copywriter

Adding Value to Existing Customers Through Social Media

We all know it’s cheaper to retain customers than to get new ones, so why are so many companies still so hell bent of grabbing more new customers?

Maintaining relationships can be time consuming, but the returns can be impressive. Social media has opened up a whole new way of engaging with and adding value to customer relations, so isn’t it about time you harnessed that power to boost your income from your existing customers?

If you’re not sure how to go about this, take a look at this following aticle on SocialMediaExaminer.com. They give you 5 tips to help you gain more revenue from your existing customers using social media…

Are you using social media to keep your existing customers happy?

Do you want to figure out how to drive revenue from existing customers through the social channel?

This post will give you 5 tips to gain more revenue from your existing customers using social media.

Why Focus on Existing Customers?

For many companies, connecting with their existing customers is a natural fit for social media. These companies are seeing conversations about their brands, their competitors and their industry that provide them with an opportunity to engage others in dialogue.

There are two types of strategies that revolve around existing customers on the social media channel. The first is to offer customer service help through the social channel. …