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3 Tips to Improving Customer Relations on Twitter

While customers will still make a phone call or send an email when they have an issue or need support, they are utilizing social media more and more to address their needs. How does this shift in behavior impact your business? Well, it impacts it in several ways.

First, you have to take into consideration that if they are using social media to communicate with you, you can make an educated guess that they may be doing so for one the following reasons:

  • It’s more convenient.
  • They may expect a quicker response.
  • They are upset and want others to know it.

It is very important to realize that with this shift in behavior, should also come a greater urgency on your part to be responsive. This means staying on top of your social media channels to potentially address issues that could impact your business/brand negatively.

A recent article published on business.com highlights 3 ways to improve your customer service on Twitter:

  1. Better Listening
    Social listening is crucial when you’re looking at customer service. According to Conversocial, 37% of tweets mentioning retailers are customer service related. Yet, only 3% of users use an @mention. This means your business needs to monitor the network more closely than just by your username and handle.
  2. Increased Response Rate
    Managing the negative impact of a disgruntled customer can be crucial on networks such as Twitter. While not every brand mention may solicit a response, your business should aim for a high response rate. The average response rate to customer service mentions, according to Simply Measured, was 42% with the best response rate for an account being 75%, though getting above 60% is considered high.
  3. Faster Response Time
    Without the right resources, the response time can suffer. With an average of just over 5 hours, customers are left waiting for a response. On a fast-paced and ever-changing network such as Twitter, a slow response time may not be meeting the expectations of customers and causing your service to suffer. According to The Social Habit, 42% of social media users expect to receive a customer support response within the hour, but only 10% of dedicated customer service accounts have an average response time of less than an hour.

You can read this article in its entirety here.

While this article was geared towards Twitter, this practice shouldn’t be limited to it. It’s important to closely monitor every social network that you have a presence on.

This also means that you should carefully consider which social networks will benefit you most before registering for them. The last thing that you want to do is frivolously register for every popular social media channel you can think of without taking into consideration the management aspects. One of the most valuable tips to take with you, is that you’ll want to ensure that you have the resources available to stay on top of your business on social media. If you don’t, it can really have a negative impact on your business.

Social Net Speech Is Protected? Not So Fast!

Steven Greenhouse, a writer with the New York Times, reports that many of the blanket restrictions on employee social network activity are illegal. There has not been any new legislation cited, but the National Labor Relations Board is simply applying old laws to new technology.

National Labor Relations Board

…workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook.

So what does that mean?

In Greenhouse’s article, several cases of termination have been over-turned and forced employers to re-instate their former employees. Those cases correlated the nature of the termination to be against a worker’s right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution.

On the other hand, termination of employees who could not prove to the board that their infraction had been in fact, discussion of work conditions, were affirmed. Personal venting, being offensive or crude is not protected by the National Labor Relations Board.

Many view social media as the new water cooler,

said Mark G. Pearce, the board’s chairman, noting that federal law has long protected the right of employees to discuss work-related matters.

All we’re doing is applying traditional rules to a new technology.

It’s still a very slippery slope for both sides. Employers want to keep a good reputation, and employees want their rights of speech protected. Until further legislation moves forward, the safe bet is to be careful of what you say to whom you say it.

That’s called tact.

Click here to read the full article.

No Matter How Big You Get, You’re Still Accountable

Scott Monty is no slouch. He’s the global head of social media at Ford Motor Company, and checking out his personal blog is the easiest way to get some insight into how the world of social media works.

Monty wrote an article about the the out-lash Instagram received after changing the wording in their privacy policy and terms of use.

The short version is simple:

Instagram gave its users the idea that it would be using their photographs for advertising without compensating them in any way. And the response from its users was a unanimous “Awww, heck no!” The anti-tin-foil-hat truth is, the language used in the changes was not much (if any) different than the other major social media sites. They can’t sell your photos outright. However, Instagram and its affiliates responded to maintain accountability for their actions.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom stated,

It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear. To provide context, we envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following. Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.

After careful consideration of the opinions and feelings of its user base, Instagram’s Systrom updated their blog days later,

Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.

Like ’em, hate ’em, or indifferent, the company has at least let its users know that they are listening to feedback, and are continuing to find a middle ground that suits both parties’ interests. These actions confirm; no matter how big you get, you’re still accountable.