As small business owners we pride ourselves on offering unique products and services. Equally as important - offering a high level of customer service. When I shop a small business retailer, part of the charm is the individualized attention. A majority of the small businesses I frequent make me feel welcome and that they will go out of their way to make sure I’m satisfied with my shopping experience. How does this excellent customer service relate to social media?
It used to be that a customer would talk about your business, good or bad, to a hand full of people and that was the extent of it. It was important to keep customers happy because that word-of-mouth referral business was crucial to bringing in new business. Now, with email, texting and social media your customers can talk about your business to hundreds of people within moments of walking out your door. I’ve even tweeted and posted from within a store while living through some excruciatingly bad customer service. Maintaining good service for word-of-mouth referral business has become even more important. Now your clients aren’t just talking to close friends and family about you; they are talking to people they met for 5 minutes in a bar last weekend and Bubba from high school 20 years ago.
Good customer service has always been important but in today’s social world there’s really no room for mistakes. Get your employees on board. They need to understand that social media news can spread like wildfire. Good customer service may not get its due recognition but bad service will be posted all over the place. Here are some additional reasons to train employees in the skills of good customer service:
- Your clients are talking. They are texting, tweeting, posting, and checking-in all the things they love and especially all of the things they hate. Make sure your business is on the “love it!” list.
- One customer can equal many new customers. Build a good relationship with customers and they will let their friends know how amazing you treat their clients…and maybe they’ll do it more than once! Have social media conversations with clients that visit your store. If you see a tweet or post about how awesome your business is, respond with your own positive. Thank the customer for shopping with you and for the shout out.
- You can ask for stuff. If you’re building good relationships with clients it’s easier to ask them to share your Facebook page, check-in at your business or tweet about their experience. If you’ve been good to them, they will be good to you.
Be nice, courteous and accommodating. It’s the right way to do business. It will make you feel good about how you run your business and it will also help build your business organically. This is a key way to build your following without paying for advertising. The clients that walk through your door and those that follow you socially are your own personal marketing team. Treat them right.
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