Social Media is an Extension of Customer Service

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records. -William Arthur ward
Whether brands realize it or not, social media is an extension of customer service, and it is important to have the right team skillfully managing the accounts for unexpected online situations. Nobody likes a loud, verbal hater, but they certainly need to be addressed in a timely manner. Some haters want an answer; others simply want an audience. If left unattended, their volume and wrath escalate, offering competitors the open door to swoop in for the win, gaining positive marketing for themselves.

People have differing opinions about haters on social media and times have certainly changed regarding how to handle these inflammatory people. It is certainly easier to avoid them at all costs. But the dark cloud they cast might actually offer a silver lining. Haters on Social Media are the customers who take the time to complain, and let us know where we fell short in their eyes. Their intentions may vary, but there are more of them than ever, and they are louder than ever. Meanwhile, rest assured that this online hornet’s nest is a spectator sport for more people than you would care to realize if it is your brand under attack. The onlookers are as important to satisfy as the haters because all eyes on the situation should be considered potential customers.

Haters are the early warning detection system for your business. It is important to realize that they are the ones who are passionate enough to speak up about problems, allowing you the opportunity to up your game. If they care enough to take the time to give you feedback, that means they care, and for that you should be appreciative. The silent dissatisfied ones are the ones that will wipe out your business because they simply move on- to a competitor. For this reason, it is important to act on the opportunity that haters create. Author of Hug Your Haters, Jay Baer, is the hater-whisperer. He covers the topic in great depth in his book with the baseline that “They are not the problem. Ignoring them is.”  Think about it this way: The ones who care enough to complain are handing you a blueprint for how to fix what might be ailing your business. Complaints might be wisely viewed as massively valuable, free information that can be a catalyst for excellence.

Zappos customer service philosophy on

Zappos impressively sets the bar for customer service, swiftly responding to both positive and negative customer engagement and resolving issues efficiently. Because they realize that customer service, marketing, and social media are equal opportunities to honor their customers, their success stories travel far and wide across social media channels, initiated by the customers themselves. That in itself is the goal of social media. What does Zappos realize that we could learn from?

Their customer focus is not the customer is always right.  They put the customer first, showcasing the customer. By doing that, they enable their customer to take their business to the next level. It’s all about an intensely focussed customer identity. Well done, Zappos.

Social Media is an Extension of Customer Service. Does your brand take this seriously?