Group of Business People with Social Media Concept

Social media is no longer merely a platform for socializing.

Its accessibility and open sense of communication provide great ways for customers to engage with their favorite — and even not so favorite — brands.

Whether used for the purposes to promote, complain or admire from afar, social media will continue to soar in use.

With that in mind, companies have an opportunity to build and maintain relationships with customers and prospects alike.

However, there’s also the issue of responding to customer service issues. While this practice can sometimes prove difficult, it must be handled appropriately.

Here are examples of brands that do customer service on social media right.

1. Delta Hotels

Today, there are a number of social platforms where your brand can receive mentions, both positive and negative.

In order to respond to complaints, correct false accusations, and remain aware of what your customers like and dislike, it’s important to monitor discussions.

By using tools like Mention or Google Alerts, brands can easily be notified when and where users, well, mention them and then respond accordingly.

For example, Delta Hotels does a great job addressing both positive and negative feedback.

A Delta hotel customer recently tweeted something not so nice about the view from inside his hotel room.

Even though the guest didn’t tag the hotel or ask for anything, Delta picked up on it and quickly responded.

Not only did Delta provide the guest with a new room, but the Marriott-owned hotel chain also offered him candy and a handwritten card.

From there, the hotel guest shared his positive experience with the brand on social media later that same day.

Through this, Delta was able to turn a seemingly innocuous but negative situation into a positive one, which can be especially important in hospitality.

2. Jet Blue

Today, one of the most common — and effective — ways customers can relay customer service issues is through social media.

Due to the wide reach of social media, this practice can be concerning for companies.

JetBlue failed to provide a functional TV on a passenger’s recent flight. The passenger, in turn, complained about the issue on social media.

JetBlue representatives could have ignored the issue, but had already developed a plan when faced with this type of issue: tweet their apologies and offer a credit for an upcoming flight.

Talk about empathy and a fast, friendly approach. The result? The JetBlue customer tweeted again, praising Jet Blue’s prompt and courteous customer service.

The importance of this pre-set plan can be applied to any industry.

Hospitality, for example, thrives on fast and friendly service that caters to guests’ specific needs.

Thus, formalizing actions and responses to customer service issues can save you time when these issues arise.

3. Starbucks

In business, social media is all about customer engagement — and brands should take advantage of this practice to better appeal to and satisfy their customers.

Starbucks has already made it big. But how can the coffee chain continue to widen its appeal? Well, Starbucks turned to its customers to answer that question.

By rolling out the My Starbucks Idea campaign, which is supported by a dedicated Twitter account, Starbucks encouraged customers to post unique ideas about to make their coffee experience better.

Starbucks collected more than 200,000 ideas — installing solar umbrellas to charge smartphones and introducing morning coffee delivery — and effectively utilized the reach of social media to provide customers with better service.

Social media is a great opportunity for brands to form and build relationships with their customers.

If handled correctly, companies can get to know their customers better, come up with unique experiences, and improve their overall level of service and attention.

Guest Contributor
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