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.

Do you REALLY know what attorneys are doing on social media?

How do we really know what goes on internally at a law firm and how do we really know what our attorneys are doing in social media?  As an administrator or a director of marketing the responsibility of helping someone become successful in their business development practice is really not that far out of your reach.

The goal is to make the attorney successful by providing them with the necessary tools.  Some are in the form of education while some are technology based.  Some are designed to protect our attorneys against malpractice or help our attorneys’ families with health insurance needs.  We ask that our attorneys embark on marketing practices – some of which they are uncomfortable performing.

We ask them to join groups and become members of prominent organizations to make them known in their communities.  Sometimes our attorneys are great public speakers and enjoy articulating to the masses and some are wordsmiths in the true sense, manipulating words and publishing an article in a trade publication to stimulate their client’s interests.  Our attorneys attend conferences to educate themselves on their practice area and network with their peers to share experiences that make them successful.

Our attorneys entertain in the hopes that when a client or prospect requires a legal service, there is no question who that client should turn to.  All of these activites – continuous actions are ones that are considered to be the traditional way of building one’s business, establishing the community or generating leads that may turn into business.

OK.  How are your attorneys creating their communities on LinkedIn?  What audience are they trying to attract through Twitter?  How often are your attorneys providing blog content and spreading the news to stimulate the folks interested in being educated?  How are your attorneys actually using social media?  Do they know how to use it for business development?

Your job is to know, to understand and to guide.  Where can you start?  How can you evaluate?  There’s a simple way to find out.

Start with a social media survey.  You want this survey to be comprehensive so your results can yield conclusions on how your firm’s attorneys execute their social business development practices.  The goal is to generate useful data from this survey so the information you are about to request should be relevant to the individual taking it.  Understand your audience.  Use logic in your survey to direct an attorney to only the questions that will be pertinent.  And don’t forget that when you have results and action items, you want to be able to quantify future direction.

Your survey should be one that allows you to sort on demographics for example, you would want to evaluate associate versus partner responses.  You may want to filter by a practice area to compare results from another practice area.  Remember that an attorney has an analytical mind, so the wording of the question is just as important as the idea behind the question.

Lastly, don’t keep the results to yourself.  Share the results — educate your attorneys on what you found.  Compliment where necessary, create the appropriate action items, review on a regular basis and visit your survey a couple more times during the year.  Understanding what makes someone productive is just as important as realizing a person’s misplaced practices.  Remember that the key to success is understanding what makes a person effective and prosperous.

FUD Got You Down?

JustEngage FUDIn the sales world they call it “FUD”—Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt.  Let’s check Wikipedia.  FUD “is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative and dubious/false information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs.”

I used to work with someone that believed the more confused you got your client with an unknown, the more likely they would trust your knowledge and ultimately buy your service.  Why?  Because most times when we fear something we don’t know, we end up placing trust in someone else who we believe is more knowledgeable.  We look for thought leaders.  We find experts.  So when you encounter a salesperson using FUD on you, get rid of that person and look to another with the same service that treats you to education.  Sharing is what it’s about today.  So go ahead and zap that word FUD into Wiki archives!

There is no secret in the pudding.  Share your knowledge and educate your peers.  Make yourself the expert in everyone’s eyes.  Use social media to make your message known.  No matter what you do for a living, find the time to share.  Create a blog post that you think is relevant to your client.  Tweet an article that you think others would love to read.  Reach out to everyone you know and have them reach out to everyone they know.  Make it a habit to do so each and every time you know something another person will benefit from your new find.  This is how YOU become the expert.

But most importantly, if you don’t understand how to use the social media channels to communicate, do something about it.  Educate yourself and don’t listen to the FUD!  Try Twitter and discover how to weed out the noise.  Try LinkedIn by not only completing your profile, but joining groups, joining your college alumni association and what you’ll find is the people you didn’t even know that are like you listening to you.  Create a video and post it on YouTube telling your prospects something that makes you stand out from the crowd.

When you don’t know how to do something, Google it and learn!  There is no reason for confusion anymore.  FUD sounds exactly where it belongs – in the trash!

#ILTAUSS – Don’t Be a Twit Tweets! from Webinar

Part 3: Trending Topics and Thought Leadership with Hashtags

In this post, we talk about hashtags as trending topics, and how to broaden your influence across the web and increase your network. It’s about building relationships and trust with those you influence and who influence you. We also give a special tip about what to do if you can’t find a hashtag you are looking for!

What trending topics in legal have you found to influence you? What hashtags have you used to increase your network and broaden your influence?

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