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Harrison Kratz, Founder of KratzPR and EngageTV, recently blogged about his frustration with customer service. In his post, “It Was Great Meeting You,” Harrison discusses the pros and cons of implementing social media into a customer service strategy. While many organizations are implementing real-time systems to respond to customer inquiries, many loyal clients are being left with unanswered questions due to their personal lack of an online presence.
Should customers be treated any differently if they have a strong network of followers online?
I had, similarly to Harrison, blogged about a customer service experience of mine. However, while Harrison voices frustration over the biased responses he witnesses over customer service 2.0 (see introduction), I focused on the lack of traditional customer service skills and no adoption of current digital communication tools in many small businesses.
So, where do we stand? If I am allowed to state some generalizations – this is my blog after all. Small businesses do not have a firm grasp of traditional customer service skills. Small businesses have not embraced new technologies as a customer service channel. Small businesses are behind their larger counterparts.
However, the significance of social media, in my personal opinion, is that it levels the playing field. Small businesses should be able to compete with corporations. Many social media tools are free and there are endless resources on the internet, like this blog, that offer insights into how to utilize the newest technologies – I mean, do any of you small business owners know about insto.re?
If your customers are on social media you should be too. And, just to clarify, they are! However, this does not dilute the importance of treating every customer equally. Furthermore, your new presence online does not excuse you from communicating with clients on traditional channels as well.
Social media should be an addition to your small businesses customer service strategy. It should not replace face-to-face interaction or a simple phone call. And by all means, regardless of your communication method, be personable. Let your customer know, “It was great meeting you!”