Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service social media platform that allows users to create custom Facebook tabs. Its easy-to-use interface provides small businesses, individuals, graphic designers, agencies and corporations with the tools needed to build mini-websites within their Facebook pages that help drive user interaction and increase fan page likes.
Valentine’s Day makes February the uncontested month of love. At ShortStack, we wanted to know how companies show their customers the love, so we conducted a survey asking businesses and brands to rate their own customer service. Turns out, most see their efforts as the kind of stuff George Gershwin was writing about when he penned “S’Wonderful.” A whopping 76.9% of the 1,403 companies polled said they give at least “great” customer service, while 30% rate their service as “stellar.”
Most companies reported using multiple means to deliver their support, with social media taking the top, most-used spot at 79.7%. E-mail (78.3%), phone (63.3%), in-person (51%) and website submission forms (49.1%) rounded out the top-five means of customer service.
Interestingly, when asked which method was most effective, in-person was the runaway winner, despite being the fourth most-used. It seems that even in today’s world of impersonal, electronic communication, there’s no substitute for a warm smile and a handshake.
“In a day and age where, ‘Your call is important to us, please wait,’ has become the norm, making a personal connection and being responsive to customer needs seems the obvious answer for success,” said Severn C. from Camp Run-A-Mutt.
While businesses can make every concerted effort possible to ensure their customers receive sterling support, you can’t always keep everyone happy. So what happens when the customers start singing a less-than-loving tune? More than 98% of those polled manage a Facebook page for their business. When fans voice their dissatisfaction on the company’s Facebook wall, what’s the response like?
Missy S., of Southern Belle Store, was in the 65.6% majority who said responding to and addressing a wall post publicly is the best way to approach disgruntled fans.
“The complaints are rare but when we do get one on our wall, it stays there. Removing it only implies that we have something to hide. Customers like to see things handled openly. We reply offering assistance with the issue and follow through until it has been resolved. The entire exchange is public and available for everyone to see. I believe that this approach says much more about a company than a complaint ever will,” she said.
Others chose to deal with disgruntled fans differently. An initial public response followed by private correspondence was the second most-common method at 31.2%; 17.5% did nothing and let their fans respond for them; and 11.6% ignored the dissatisfied customer’s complaint completely.
The high social media numbers (98% of those polled have a Facebook business page and 79.7% provide customer service via social media) reflect a trend of customers turning to social media for support.
This is especially true of the Facebook wall. The wall is conspicuous, available and easy. More and more customers are using the wall to air their complaints, grievances and frustrations.
Is your company ready to show your customers the love, even on the Facebook wall?