Thinking Social / Value

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How To Use Customer Service To Drive Sales With Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman

Like Minds New York kicked off today with Peter Shankman moderating a discussion with Patrick Sheridan, CEO of Modus Create, Matt Doherty, Associate Director, Global Digital Creative & Strategy, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and David Down, North America Sales Director of Hootsuite.

So, how do you use customer service to drive sales, and how does social help? There’s a shift in the social landscape from crowing about yourself to letting customers tell people how great you really are.

  • Don’t focus purely on numbers such as likes and follows. It’s about the quality of the interaction.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Think about how the various social media platforms interconnect, and how you can work across them.
  • Empower your customer service representatives to use their initiative and creativity instead of following scripts. If you make a customer feel like an individual they will have a positive experience even if their issue isn’t fully resolved immediately. Netflix are a great example of this, by noting what customers watch their reps can respond personally to problems.
  • Brands need to interact with customers not to acquire likes but to put the brand in the centre of peoples’ minds even if they aren’t customers. Hilton Suggest does this amazingly well, by helping out people even if they aren’t staying in a Hilton hotel

Predictions For The Future Of Customer Service

So what can we expect in the future? How will businesses tackle the changing landscape of customer interaction and brand loyalty?

  • Customer Service is becoming more like a game/role play allowing for natural and intuitive response to each customer.
  • Walls are breaking down between departments in firms so that the whole firm is customer centric.
  • Customer service will spread across the company, so that even non-customer service reps will respond to problems.
  • Eventually there will be no need to friend/like/follow. The system will note interactions and order how much we see from people and companies based on our positive or negative interactions.

The fact of the matter is that your current and future business relies on customer service. People value recommendations from people in their network, and they trust them, so if you want to get new sales and business keep your current customers happy and the rest will follow.

Remember, to gain a new customer costs 7 times what it does to keep a current one happy. Look after your peeps and they’ll look after you, and bring new business to your door.