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5 Ways to Optimize Customer Service with Social Media

With a persistently booming popularity in e-commerce these days, it seems that web entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels are emerging onto the scene daily, snatching up what’s left of the domains with their bright eyes and big dreams of fortune.

And, although, an online business promises many advantages to that of a traditional brick and mortar – little or no overhead, flexible hours and no face-to-face interaction – it’s important that these self-starters don’t neglect the crucial details that can make or break any business, online or not. Customer service.

Fortunately, Mashable.com, with help from social-media blogger Lauren Vargas, has extended a helping hand to these go-getters by providing some invaluable advice to industry newcomers. Below, they have highlighted five key areas worth noting to ensure that your business excels with many happily returning customers.

1. Apply Your Current Service Strategy to Social Media 
“Take time to review how customer inquiries and outreach are currently being handled. What are the customer service goals? Do any current processes need to be updated? Can current strategies be adopted for social media implementation?”

2. Put Human Relationships Back into Your Service
“As elementary as it may sound, organizations need to empower their workforce to go beyond canned responses and develop a more relationship-building approach to customer service, as opposed to one-off interactions. Social media policies and guidelines can provide the education and structure for how to engage online, and empower your workforce to operate within accepted and encouraged boundaries with the freedom to be themselves.”

3. Establish a Knowledge Base
“Establish a company wiki where all departments can contribute social media knowledge and lessons learned. Train agents beyond their role. Develop subject matter experts who can handle taking conversations to the next level and solve issues in real-time on the channel of the customer’s choice.”

4. Set Expectations
“One of the goals and challenges of providing customer service through social media channels is to mine data for actionable insights that will enable highly personal and proactive service. Determine the channels where the bulk of your customer conversation is occurring. Avoid the trap of participating in all channels to serve all customers, which may only overextend your team. Pinpoint the channels your organization can afford to place resources and invest in community participation.”

5. Perform Quality Assurance
“Improve your online engagement by asking the community about your performance. Similar to a typical call center experience, after an agent or employee has an exchange on Twitter or another social channel, send the person a survey about their recent online customer service exchange. Use this feedback to assist in overall response strategies and evaluation of participation in social channels.”

Visit Mashable.com for a complete and detailed list of advice.

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