You probably know by now that connecting with customers on a personal level through social media is beneficial to your bottom line, right? Though how exactly are you supposed to go about that? Do you know where to start? It’s actually not that difficult, but I can understand how getting a good foothold in social media in regards to your customer service efforts can cause confusion in the beginning.

How to Start Getting Connected

Building a sort of “bridge” would be a good idea for your business, and in this case, that bridge would come in the form of a business blog. You might think, “I have a business, so why do I need a business blog?” – especially a blog devoted to customer service. It’s not that you NEED it, but it definitely helps to expand your online presence. Having a blog for people to reference, to learn about updates to your company, to gain insights into how you perceive, establish and work to maintain an intimate connection with your clients and prospects is highly beneficial.

While constructing a blog for your business, build a social media presence via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. at the same time. Commit the necessary resources to allow your staff to be online representatives for your company, and with anybody mentioning your business name in their posts, your employees will be able to find the posters and – depending on whether their experience with your company was good or bad – will be able to reply to the customer accordingly.

Giving Yourself a Second Chance

Sometimes accidents happen and you end up with an unhappy customer. Why should you have to lose them forever? You don’t have to, and the opportunity to remedy the problem is right under your nose. Either you or your staff can easily find a person who complains on Twitter or Facebook, and address their concerns immediately.

Keep in mind that people want to let everybody know about the experience they had. If they feel jilted, they want to tell EVERYBODY what a horrible business you are. If they had a wonderful customer experience, then they’re happy to spread the good word about your services. Keeping in touch with those who praise your business will further get them to advocate and promote your services because they enjoy your praise and want to do right by you. For those who had a bad experience with your business, talking with them, being open and publicly professional with them, and showing that you want to remedy the problem, will likely get them to give you a second chance.

Finding the Customer Service/Customer Experience Balance

While many customer call center organizations are fully committed to multi-channel customer interactions, some are just coming up to speed, or else their business model and market don’t require as much social media alignment. As I stated before, connecting to your customers in every way possible is beneficial, so you may need to shift your customer service agents to handle social interactions, and that’s where defining your social media customer service process and using sound queue management procedures are critical. Remember, if you aren’t using social now, you need to or you’ll get left behind. And the social interaction traffic is only going to increase, so prepare ahead of time.

How Does this Affect Your Bottom Line?

Here’s an interesting piece of information: American Express performed a study in 2012 that showed those who are involved in social media (meaning just about everybody online) are willing to pay a 21% premium when doing business with a company that’s giving them an exceptional customer experience.

When you build your business to deliver an incredible customer experience, you put yourself in the position of being able to charge more for the same services as your competition. People like doing business with other people they like. Make yourself the person they like, the business they like, and you’re going to be the one they pay.