Social Media for Small Business Customers
Small Businesses Do it Better Small and medium businesses (SMB’s) actually have an advantage over their larger counterparts when it comes to leveraging the internet…
Small Businesses Do it Better
Small and medium businesses (SMB’s) actually have an advantage over their larger counterparts when it comes to leveraging the internet and social media for customer service. Jolie O’Dell, a guest writer for Mashable, states that “being able to monitorcustomer feedback, respond to complaints and help answer questions across a wide variety of websites is incredibly valuable, and it establishes a rapport with customers.” This ability is more pertinent to small business owners who can respond quickly and act unilaterally when communicating with clients.
Tools for Customer Support
To provide tips for small businesses, O’Dell interviewed author Marsha Collier, who "wrote the book on online customer service." O'Dell and Collier suggest a number of tools for small business owners to use:
- TweetDeck or Seesmic - these tools link all Twitter replies, tweets, and searches onto one feed, making it easier to see the channels through which customers are reaching out
- MeeboMe or Skype - chat and video chat services should be provided for customers to get instant and live help from a brand or business representative
- ZenDesk - an online help desk to provide additional support to the customer
- SocialMention or TweetBeep - to monitor mentions of a specific brand or product online
At the end of the day, honesty is always the best policy. Customer service is no exception. Collier advises small business owners to “Claim their Page” on review sites such as Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor as well as their “Place Page” on Facebook. Finding the negative comments on these sites and handling them honestly and sincerely will show you in a positive light and mediate any damage done.
Since more and more companies are making the switch to social media, Collier states that small businesses should “grab the opportunity and begin to make their mark.” The influence and power of social media in business is limitless, but being proactive and taking full advantage of the tools at hand is the only way to fully channel this into profit.