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Series 1 Episode 3: Customer Service on Facebook

It’s inevitable. When you put up a Facebook page for your business or professional practice, you’re gonna hear from people who love you – and from people who hate you.

Or they’re already customers and have service or support issues and your normal channels just aren’t getting the job done. Perhaps your customer support has been outsourced or there are c technical issues. Instead of getting on the phone and receiving an uncertain reception, they go on Facebook, they complain and expect immediate action. What do you do then?

There was a company that offered a computer-related service. Their customer support was outsourced. They did a generally good job but maybe their English wasn’t perfect; maybe there were cultural issues — whatever. Some read from scripts. No disrespect to them, but there was some dissatisfaction with their telephone support.

When the company decided to pit up a Facebook page to promote their offerings, it was immediately inundated with customer support posts. But the people who put up the Facebook page were social media marketing managers and not technical support personnel, so their expertise was limited.

We’ll get back to this story shortly but here are some basic guidelines: First make sure that your product or service is a good as it can be. It doesn’t have to be perfect; just as good as it can be before you start to promote it.

And if you do discover any issues or deficiencies, try to get out in front of it. Don’t wait until there are complaints. Acknowledge the issue and say that you’re working to resolve it — and actually resolve it.

Address the issue as soon as it appears in a non-confrontational way. Acknowledge the person’s perception of the problem — and try to investigate it and resolve it immediately, since they may not be the only person experiencing it — you could have a much bigger problem. And try to take it offline and off Facebook. Get the person’s email or phone number, if you can, or chat. Try not to let things pile up on Facebook. And if you become aware of a problem before it appears on Facebook? Post the issue on your timeline along with how you’re addressing it. Be proactive! Again, this issue deserves several episodes on their own, but bottom line: Facebook allows nearly direct communication, so don’t argue, be abusive, ridicule people or minimize their concerns. Address them immediately! Be sensitive to your customers’ needs and feeling. Empathy is required. remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated.And you can post a note on Facebook or direct people to your own site or a landing page to deal with their issue.

Let’s get back to that customer service story. Remember the people who set up the social media accounts were marketing people, not technical support personnel. And their page was flooded with posts from customers with issues from Day One. So what happened? At first, the guy who set up the page and posted on

So what happened? At first, the guy who set up the page and posted on it, monitored things and responded. But he quickly realized he was a bit over his head, so he let his bosses know, then connected with some of the support people in the same building not in another country. They schooled him in the basic technical issues and he learned how to triage… prioritize and figure out which needed immediate attention. There was also an “executive customer support line” where people would be able to address the issues right there in the US too and instructed him how to determine who should get it. And he made sure to take the issues offline through direct message.

Every business is different and every issue is different but through social media — in this case, Facebook — you can address and solve problems in more or less real time.

Be there. Be present. Monitor your social networks and be proactive whenever possible.

Use common sense!

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Modern Marketing Series One

Host: Richard Pachter

Engineer: Brian Campbell-Skyhawk Studios

Introduction: Brit Somers

Music composed and performed by Peter Freudenberger

Modern Marketing written and produced by Richard Pachter

Executive Producer: Pablo Alberti

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