In today's world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is no excuse for ineffective or delayed communication. Social media has opened the door for companies, large or small, to improve their customer service. By aiding in transparency and personal interaction and also allowing for direct and immediate response between company and client, social media is changing the way companies communicate with their consumers.
More and more, consumers are using social media as their first attempt to reach a company when needing a question answered or help in solving a problem. A study done by J.D. Power and Associates found that millennia's are more likely to use social media for customer service than marketing. While 33% of consumers access social media to see a company's marketing, 67% use social media as an access point for customer service. This shift is mutually beneficial for both company and client.
From a consumer's perspective, utilizing social media in an attempt to have questions answered is quicker, easier, and generally more convenient than the old school customer service hotline via telephone. In a corporation's eyes, social media is less expensive than service hotlines, helps to monitor satisfaction rates, and allows for employees to connect with their target audience in a personal way. So in this case, both parties win.
In order for businesses to satisfy consumer needs and gain trust, they must remain transparent. Transparency is the glue that holds together the relationship between business and consumer. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow a business to identify and express their identity and brand in a unique and personal way. Once this personality is developed, consumers feel as though they are interacting with a person rather than a computer and in turn rely on social media for a personal connection and conversation when getting their questions answered.
Companies like UPS and US Airways are making personal connections with their consumers through social media and utilizing these platforms to better their customer service in a mainstream way. Direct messaging via Twitter is a tool US Airways uses to communicate with its customers in lieu of a flight cancellation or delay. Instead of standing in line at a ticket booth or staying on hold on a cell phone, US Airways connects instantly with consumers in a personal, easy way. UPS makes personal connections with their audience by adding images of employees on their Facebook page. When a customer has a need or question, he or she can visually connect with each individual, making for a more personal conversation.
Customer service has gone from agonizing and frustrating to simple, personal, and convenient. The social media platform has completely transformed the way businesses communicate with their audiences and this transition has benefited both sides of the conversation, both business and consumer. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have all aided companies by giving them an outlet to be transparent and personal which in turn excels their servicing ability.