It sounds like an oxymoron, but too many people have fallen in the trap of thinking that social media is the new client service model. I see it everywhere. Start with client service. Very few people know how to service clients today. Just a few changes can make all the difference.
If you can get the client service part right, social media is put in its proper perspective.
Client service starts with people and knowledge. It is critical to have the right people servicing your clients. Too many companies today, rely on automated email service and telephone tree selections to manage the client experience. This approach is less than favorable and tells the clients to basically take a number for the next available person.
Social Media is all about real-time | Client Service is about real-time with a record of prior history
For client service to be effective, the same type of real-time availability needs to be in place. Company representatives need to be informed about the following in order to best serve clients. This type of information must be easily accessible.
- Knowledge about products/services
- Price information
- Prior interactions with the client (CRM Model)
- Prior contact with sales and management personnel
- New products/services available
- Being able to interact quickly by phone, email and social media if necessary
Social Media is about sharing relevant information | Client Service staff must have a solid knowledge of products/services and stay current with company information
Client service is more than just note taking. A strong client service staff must be knowledgeable of the companys’ products/services and gain a better understanding of its clients. A solid clients service staff must be engaged with its customer’s dealings and take the time to record information regarding these interactions, especially in a shared client service staff. This type of relational information is key to building closer relationships with clients.
Social Media is about gaining recognition in the industry | Client Service is all about developing a strong reputation in the industry.
It all starts with the client interaction to a company. If this interaction begins on a negative note, it is really hard to overcome this negativity. At the same time, if clients needs are being met through interaction with a client service staff, people will take notice and be eager to come back. A strong client service staff is a manager and salesperson’s dream. It makes their lives so much better and it helps.
Social Media takes a lot of time to see return | Client Service takes time and resources too, but can be managed much more effectively.
When it comes down to seeing return, I am putting more and more of my resources into client service then social media. Client service is where the difference is. Social media falls under client service. Client service driven companies make all the difference. With a strong client service staff in place, goals can be drawn up and realized because people take ownership and they work at it everyday. Social media takes work too, but it takes so much work and there really isn’t an effective way to maintain client interaction history in an effective manner. I am not saying it isn’t possible. I’m just saying it is too much work for the returned value.
So what is the point here?
If you really take on a focus of building great client service, you will have the proper focus when it comes to your social media execution. In addition, you will also have a better direction when it comes to marketing planning. Start building a great client experience and the other items like mobile marketing, seo, trade shows, content marketing and other public relation initiatives will fall right in line. Don’t get sucked into thinking you need to spend time on social media. Use that time to list out your client service goals and find approaches to achieving those goals.
Picture Source: Pixabay