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The impact of social media on customer service

Social media is media for social interaction as a super-set beyond social communication. There is absolutely no getting away from social media. Think of the possibilities when millions of people can be reached all around the globe use of social media.
 
Two aspects in social media thus arise:
Social Media as Customer Communication Channel – using social media to listening for customer service issues and respond in real time
Social Media as Quality of Service Channel – delivering quality of customer service based on social media influence and engagement profiles
 
Facebook can serve as an informational platform, and a place to reinforce branding while Twitter can cut to the chase on customer service issues and immediately direct the conversation to direct contact with the customer. When it’s used to help customers and consumers solve their problems, it becomes a positive reinforcement for any company in terms of:
  • Increased customer retention rate;
  • Decreased operational costs;
  • Increased use of self help options on the organisation’s website;
  • Customers saving as there is a reduced time spent on phone calls;
  • Increased customer satisfaction leading to an increased customer base as the customers who use social media have a viral tendency and love to share and recommend their experiences; and
  • An increase in cross selling of the company’s products and services thus a reduction in overall advertising costs.
 
On the other hand, if not well managed, it can lead to loss of customer base, as the negative sentiments will spread real time.
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