High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service

Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce

 High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service

Author: Micah Solomon
Pub Date: May 2012
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814439319
Page Count: 208
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417911

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Social Media Essentials for Managers and Executives

Even those Non-technically Inclined

“It’s crucial to have technologically savvy people supporting your social media customer service work,” customer service expert Micah Solomon acknowledges. “But the people responding to customers online need to be the same people who are responsible for interacting directly with your customers.” In his new book, HIGH-TECH, HIGH-TOUCH CUSTOMER SERVICE: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce (AMACOM 2012), Solomon shares the central principles of social media to help people with years of customer know-how who may not be tech wizards keep on excelling at their jobs:

* Avoid the fiasco formula: Small Error + Slow Response Time = Colossal PR Disaster. “A negative event in the online world can gather social steam with such speed that your delay itself can become more of a problem than the initial incident,” Solomon cautions.

* Digital arguments with customers are a losing proposition. “You can’t win an argument with a customer,” Solomon maintains. “If you lose, you lose directly; if you win, you still lose—by losing the customer. But online, the rule is multiplied manifold because of all the additional customers you’ll lose if they catch sight of the argument.”

* Reach out to online complainers. If possible, respond directly, in a private email. If not, reply publicly on the complainers’ forum, expressing your concern and listing your email address. Apologize and accept fault—immediately and fully. Satisfy the customer plus do something extra.

* Use the awesome power of the telephone. Give an online complainer, with his permission, a call. “The telephone has emotionally instructive cues that are missing from anything keyboarded,” Solomon reminds. “Plus, many times a customer will be as grateful as you are to have the cycle of postings ended by an old-fashioned two-voices-on-the-phone exchange.”

* Get happy outcomes into the public eye. Once you’ve worked out a solution that truly satisfies your complainant, then ask—as a favor, not as a demand—if he would consider withdrawing those original ugly comments. In a forum where deletion is not an option, you might ask the person to post the satisfactory results of your intervention.

* Use social media and e-mail to make your customers feel important. If someone follows you on Twitter, “likes” you on Facebook, or adds you to a circle on Google +, thank her. If someone posts something nice about you online, thank her, publicly and privately.

* Monitor. Set up a wide range of Google Alerts for discussions of your company. Search Twitter mentions, too. “It’s no use being poised to properly address customer service issues if you never hear about them in the first place,” Solomon points out.

Adapted from HIGH-TECH, HIGH-TOUCH CUSTOMER SERVICE: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce by Micah Solomon (AMACOM May 2012).

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