How To Become a Leader in Social Business

By: Cameron Joye

January 15, 2014

customer service
customer support
social business
social media

Good social business is not some complex concept for a few, privileged social initiates. Some people get so caught up in the minute complexities they forget about its roots. Just strip away all the technical jargon and industry terms and you’re left with this: the makings for good social business are the same as those for good offline business.

The need for good business practices has always existed. The way a business treats the needs of a customer now is no different than 50 years ago. What changed though, is the method with which businesses provide service and support to their customers.

Though customers constantly interact with companies on the internet, it doesn’t mean that they expect any less of a genuine interaction. It’s imperative that companies realize that an interaction in any environment, whether it be with an in-store employee or an online community manager, should always maintain the same level of courtesy and helpfulness.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to good social business:

Build Relationships Both On- and Offline

All the time and energy your company invests in growing a social network, building a brand experience, developing a marketing strategy, etc. is very important. But, it gets wasted completely if you’re forgetting the ultimate truth: on the other end of every business transaction is a person.

It’s not about the amount of Page likes or Twitter followers that move mountains, it’s the network of relationships you build with people offline. By taking the time to plant the seeds in those personal business relationships, you’ll be rewarded with a flourishing network of people that can AND want to help your business succeed.

Ditch Automation

Customers want to encounter real people in service and support situations. We all dread those automated, call-in customer support lines where you have to fight an uncooperative options menu and a dead computer voice. Why should people feel any differently in regards to social media customer service? In many situations, it’s better to avoid automation and have a small staff to respond to social media customer service issues for a human touch.

Entrust Your Social Team with the Reputation of Your Brand

At times, there can be nothing more frustrating than the forced smile and nod of a customer service agent who truly understands your problem but is powerless to provide a proper solution. A company’s support team serves as the face of that company and should be equipped to handle problems in the most thoughtful and professional manner possible. Customers don’t want your sympathy, they want you to remedy their problem with an expeditious and equivalently appropriate solution.

Every company has to decide for itself what makes for an effective social business strategy. What will set your brand apart in the minds of customers is the unique way you customize your social business practices. This is what will keep people talking about you and nothing beats word-of-mouth!