[Edit 12-18-09: As a follow up to this post, check out CRM News' excellent article, the Social Piece of the Customer Service Puzzle, discussing social media customer service strategies that will accurately reflect your company's brand.]
Social media monitoring is step one. Set up Google Alerts and Twitter searches for your company name, your competitors' names and keywords related to your industry.
Step two is applying all your existing customer service principles to the space.
Step three is NOT sounding like a robot and sending the customer away.
How not to respond via Twitter:
What did mumble-mumble Rent A Car do wrong here? Think of it this way: if a customer came into the store, face to face, would you say these words to her? Of course not. You're the customer service rep. Your job is to help her, right then and there, and give her a reason for her to tell all her friends about her wonderful brand experience. Instead, this car rental company:
- Failed to meet the customer in her space.
- Failed to engage with the customer in the space she choose.
- Sounded like a corporation, not a human.
- Made more work for the customer by insisting on following company protocol instead of offering to help then and there.
What should Brand X Rent A Car have done?
Replied with: Can I help? Why:
- The "I" indicates that it's one human being reaching out to another human being, not a faceless company following protocol.
- The offer to help shows that someone at Brand X is willing to take action immediately.
- The transaction can take place personally, over direct message. If @shelikespurple is willing to DM her location and details, the CSR could make the call for her, with her, or at least be a listening ear. Even if the issue can't be resolved immediately, taking a personal interest rather than putting the burden of action of the customer is what converts a complainer into a raving fan.