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Eight Rules of Social Media Customer Service You Can’t Afford to Ignore

We’re seeing more and more companies using tools like Twitter and Facebook to reach customers and address service issues. I personally am loving this, and have been helped by numerous companies this way (sure beats calling an 800 number).

In  High Tech, High Touch Customer Service, author Micah Solomon covers eight unbreakable rules of social media customer service. Whether you’re currently using social media for customer service or simply considering it, these are worth examining.

1. Avoid the fiasco formula: a digital stitch in time saves nine (million)

Solomon says that the longer you wait to address a serious issue that’s been brought to the public’s attention via social media, the bigger the fiasco it becomes. He uses this formula to illustrate his point:

small error + slow response time = colossal PR disaster

2. Lie back and think of England: digital arguments with customers are an exponentially losing proposition

The same rule applies in any customer service scenario: arguing with the customer never works. But it’s even worse when it’s done online, because the whole world (or at least the whole Twitterverse) can see you looking like a jerk.

3. Turn twankers into thankers: reach out directly to online complainers

When someone bashes your company on a social channel, it should be your mission to quickly resolve his unhappiness and make him a satisfied customer again. If you succeed, he should be more than happy to revoke his previously damaging comment.

4. Consider getting a complainer on the telephone (with permission) even if the relationship started in social media land

People tend to be more publicly irate on social sites than they might be on the phone, so if a situation escalates on Twitter, see if you can call the customer to resolve the issue. Don’t be afraid to move the conversation to another platform.

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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