Customer Service And Social Media

I was reminded recently how much I value good customer service after visiting an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica.  We decided to book this vacation – more specifically book at a particular resort after reading reviews about the quality of food, cleanliness and “excellent customer service”.  Well, what we actually encountered was two extremes of service – either great customer service or incredibly horrible service.  Amazing how you remember the bad over the good.

It makes me think how understanding your use of social media or how you communicate through the channels is fundamentally following the ideals of good customer service.

We start with the proper etiquette.   Let’s use a LinkedIn sample for this.  Look at your profile settings.  First, think about your audience or your connections.  Under your privacy controls, do you let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies?  This feature has a purpose when used but some people may not be interested in seeing what you are doing.

Good eye contact – recognition.  A key step in good customer service is recognizing someone in the proper time.  If you were a waiter and you were experiencing being slammed with multiple tables seated at the same time; thinking OMG! – I don’t know how to handle this.  The approach will always save you and its part of recognizing your guests.  It’s easy to go to a table and simply let your guests know that you are happy to be of service and will be right back after servicing the two tables that were sat before them.

When someone follows you in Twitter, use recognition and engage with that follower.  “Look them in the eyes” and thank them for following you.  They recognized you – they chose to follow you for what you had to say or what you share.  It’s easy to send them a tweet thanking the gesture.

Appropriate behavior is also part of good customer service.  Make sure that you are appropriate in what you communicate to your audience.  Think twice before sharing a joke on Facebook.  While at the initial onset, it may make you chuckle, you may find that not everyone feels the same way about the punch line.  The last thing you want to do is to offend someone who is a friend connected to you.

Listening is very important.  One way of making a customer happy is listening to how you can fulfill their need.  Okay – you have a presence on Google+, are you listening to what your connections are saying?  If you truly are listening, then you’ll find that you also answering.  Listening is totally a form of engaging in social media and fulfilling your follower’s needs.

Taking an extra step can differentiate you giving good vs. fantastic customer service.  When sharing a piece of relevant information, make sure you take that extra step and research it properly and provide all the references that you used along with it.  I love using Zite on my iPAD and sharing articles on certain topics with my followers.  I always pay close attention before sharing something that is factual, whether or not the references associated to the article are valid.  That’s my extra step in sharing.

Now you’re ready…take one extra step towards recognizing, listening, engaging and providing exceptional social media interaction.

Worth Your Time? Google +

Google + Social Media Network

Google +

Google + launched a few weeks ago and I’ve been lucky enough to get in on the beta and start to test it out.  So, what is this Google +? It’s a rival of Facebook, meaning you can add people to your network and share collaboratively with them via links, video’s, status updates, and “likes” although Google calls them “+1′s”.  Yes, it’s ANOTHER way to SHARE. Click here to see some screencaps of the features of Google +.

So, how do you get on Google + social network? You can request an invite from someone you know – please feel free to request an invite from me here if you’re interested.  Big thanks to Nancy Myrland for adding me! Remember,  it’s still in beta .

But what’s even more interesting is that the legal community is already creating a Google + community started by Adrian Lurssen. You can check out who’s already on Google + in the legal community in the links above.  And a few of my friendly colleagues have already written a few posts about their take on Google +.  Samantha Collier writes a post Google + In a Nutshell and Nancy Myrland writes Google Plus: It’s Early But Interesting. Be sure to check them out!

Now, all that being said, here is my take on Google + and the skinny you need to know:

Google + has a few things working for them with the launch of this social network:

  • For starters, they already have a following (millions of users AND a reputation) which is great for creating a strong social community.
  • Google already has many products that integrate to create a social network community for sharing: Gmail, YouTube, Picasa, Documents, Blogs, Patent Search, Trends, and of course Analytics just to name a few.
  • There is a Google + Mobile App that allows for sharing anywhere anytime.
  • +1 was launched first leading up to the big Google + debut.

Here’s what they need to work on IMHO (in my humble opinion):

  • Google + doesn’t integrate with all the mobile apps and websites for ease of login like Facebook and Twitter. You can’t just enter your Google name and be linked to authorize an app.
  • There isn’t a strong way for businesses or law firms to benefit. It’s more for individuals at this point in time.
  • The Google +1 icon is starting to show up on many sites so folks can in a sense “like” a post or page, but it’s not easy to see what others have +1′d (like Favorites in Twitter).
  • There is no way to aggregate data like there is in Twitter around a specific conversation.  Not good for sharing at events or conferences to keep the buzz going.

While my first insight to Google + is fun, I’m just not sure at this point it’s advantageous of your time unless you just like to be on the cutting edge and have some spare time to try it out.  If you are a user of social media channels, at this point, it’s more important to send the right message and produce good content (adding Google + to sharing it might be nice once the following picks up).  However, the more legal folks that jump on board, the more advantageous it will become for your time. Click here to see some screencaps of the features of Google +.

Are you on Google +?  How do you foresee it being used in the legal community?

Want to Get ‘Sneak Peek’ of Google +? See Below.

Google + Annotations

Google + Streams with Annotations

Google + Profile

Google + Profile

Google + Profile About

Google + Profile About

Google + Social Circle

Google + Social Circle

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