With more than half of social media users using their accounts to research goods and services, can you afford for your workshop not to have a presence on social platforms like Facebook?
These days, customers expect to find businesses on social media and 19 per cent of them are actually using social sites to ask businesses like yours questions. Those are warm leads that, if not replied to quickly, could soon go cold!
Customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author Shep Hyken in his article Social Customer Care Cannot Be Ignored, said workshops cannot ignore social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which have become primary customer service channels for many customers.
“Regardless of the customer interacting with you in person, on your website or through social media channels, the experience should be one that brings the customer back, and more important, gets the customer to talk about you to their friends and colleagues,” he said.
“Customer service done right is one of your best marketing strategies and social customer service allows you to take the interactions with your customers to an even higher level.”
Done right, your Facebook page can actually drive business, helping you gain, retain and engage with new and existing customers. Shep has provided a few simple strategies you can introduce at your workshop to help you get it right.
Start by having an account on social channels
“I’m amazed at how many companies choose not to participate on social media,” Shep said. “This is no longer an option! And, when I’m asked which channel a company should participate on, I respond with a simple answer: Wherever your customers are.”
Start small. You don’t have to be everywhere. Work out where your customers are and start there.
Monitor those channels to catch any mentions of your company
This can be done with various software programs (some are even free). You want to know whenever anyone says anything about your company – in real time.
Respond to all mentions, not just complaints
One of the worst things a workshop can do is ignore comments – especially complaints. Social media is a public forum. If someone leaves a comment, there will be others watching for a response. While this is especially important if a customer complains, all comments should be acknowledged and responded to.
If you are going to respond to every post, as you should, do it correctly. That means respond quickly. Don’t wait for hours, or even days. Respond within an hour – ideally within a few minutes. Setting up your account to receive notifications can help you achieve this.
“When responding to comments and complaints, make it personal,” Shep said. “In other words, don’t use copied and pasted responses. People are watching and you’ll get caught with canned, impersonal responses that make it look like you don’t truly care about your customers.”
Proactively engage with your community
Don’t wait around for a customer to post something about your company. Instead, be proactive and create content your customers will find interesting and relevant.
This is not blatant promotion, like a discount coupon on a vehicle service. It’s about providing great information that adds value for your customers – like advice about when regular services are due, how to identify when it’s time for a wheel alignment, or a video showing how your team can repair hail damage so it looks like it never happened.
You could also consider holding competitions, which boost engagement, or running an awareness campaign, perhaps around vehicle safety.
“Some call this marketing, and I won’t disagree,” Shep said. “But, then I go back to what I mentioned in the beginning: customer service is marketing!”
What to do next
If you’re not on social media, or you are but you’re not using it effectively, now is a great time to come up with a plan for your social media accounts.