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Pros and Cons of Social Customer Service

Pros and Cons of Social Customer Service

in InfoSource, Marketing 101

Standing out in a sea of sameness is an age-old challenge for every small business, especially those in me-too industries. Smart marketers realized this long ago and began differentiating themselves by providing superior service and a stellar customer experience. In today’s digital marketing environment, this strategy has expanded beyond the help desk to include Twitter, Facebook and other social media. 

But engaging the world in a highly visible and potentially volatile forum has both benefits and drawbacks that should be carefully weighed before taking the social-service plunge.

The Upside

In social media, stories of great customer service can easily go viral. Millions or even thousands of shares and likes equate to a lot of free and favorable publicity—exposure that costs you nothing and builds great favor with the public. A great reputation can lead to increased loyalty, advocacy and referrals that help your business grow. Satisfied customers not only tell others about their experience, they’re often willing to pay a premium to buy from you­—up to five percent more, according to studies. 

The Other Side

Effectively managing all your digital channels requires a serious manpower commitment. Once consumers know you’re serving them via social media, they’ll expect nothing less than an immediate response. Even a brief lapse can be met with public frustration and brand-damaging scorn. Sure, everyone loves a customer-service success story. But with social media, there’s no place to hide when the customer experience goes south.