Hold the Phone: Customer Service in the Digital Era
Article Date: February 16, 2022
How Building Materials Marketers Should Adapt
From instant messaging and social media to apps, today’s increasingly digital world means the days of calling a company to voice a complaint are becoming a relic of the past.
When your customers have an issue with a product, they turn to the internet to solve the problem. That typically means engaging your building materials company’s website for a chatbot if it is available. It may also mean turning to their favorite social media platform to voice concerns and spark a conversation with their friends and your brand.
When thinking about whether your building materials company should start utilizing social media for customer service, consider the following:
- 1 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses every month on Facebook Messenger.
- 64 percent of people would rather message than call a business.
- 36 percent of respondents to a U.S. survey said great customer service is motivation to recommend a brand online.
So, how has social media changed customer service? As the world gets more connected through social media, companies are seeing the need to use social media as a customer service tool. Maintaining effective customer service and connecting with customers through social media is a critical component of a building materials manufacturer’s marketing strategy.
A photo of a bad product installation from a homeowner with your company tagged on Facebook. A complaint of a late delivery and delays on project timelines on a contractor’s Twitter feed. When your company ignores those complaints, consumer loyalty decreases by 50 percent. (Hootsuite)
According to Hootsuite, more than 60 percent of customers believe that solving an issue quickly is the most important part of good customer support through social media. This is largely due to the nature of social media being a near-instant form of communication with a brand.
There are several benefits to using social media for customer service. You’ll show other customers your brand is dedicated to keeping customers satisfied and helping them. In addition, if other customers have the same questions, they can find answers and join the conversation with those using the products already. Through these conversations, your brand can reach more customers and build stronger relationships.
A few tips for creating a social media response strategy for customer service:
- Understand the common questions and concerns your customers have. Address those questions in organic posts, and have standard answers ready to quickly reply to customers. This will save time and allow your team to respond to more customers on social media.
- Create a pathway for escalating public customer issues. If a customer writes a public complaint on your Facebook page, it is best to deescalate by taking the conversation offline and addressing the customer in a private message.
- Offer social media customer service where your customers are. For many B2B companies, that means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Keep tabs on where your customers are posting and engaging with your brand most often.
- Prioritize customer contacts and issues. Highest-priority issues to resolve first should be reserved for technical or account questions, unhappy customers, or situations that could become larger crises if they are not immediately addressed. Second-priority concerns are nonurgent issues that present an opportunity to show your brand is proactive, such as general mentions of your products and thanking those who offer feedback.
Customer service is an ever-changing world that is becoming more digital as customers have more access to brands through social media. BLD Marketing has the expertise to help you audit your building product company’s social media presence and establish a strategy for responding to customers online.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.