The joys of social media. On one hand social media brings organizations closer to their customer base, helps with market research, and allows you to keep tabs on the competition. On the other hand it can be a dangerous minefield, where one wrong step can undermine or even ruin an organization’s reputation. This is just compounded by the complicated question of employee use. But the benefits of using social media, particularly for field service organizations, SHOULD strongly outweigh the risks and costs. Field service organizations can provide a better level of customer service through social media as well as more engagement with their customers and prospects to help with research and development. But probably most importantly, social media allows field service techs to communicate with the customers in real time, giving them an unrivaled customer experience, instilling confidence in the buyer and increasing the chances of upselling and customer loyalty.
The question remains, how do you make this happen without hurting your organization. Here are 4 social media strategies/policies that you should put in place at your organization to ensure that social media is being used to your advantage, and you are reaping the benefits:
1. Offer social media training to all of your employees, but especially the ones who will be representing your brand.
Training should include:
- Company Rules & Regulations
- Recommendations and Examples
What You Want to Avoid:
Justine Sacco, the head of corporate communications for InterActive Corp was fired after igniting an Internet firestorm for posting the racist tweet above on a trip to South Africa. During the 11-hour flight from London to Cape Town during which Justine had no access to wifi to fix her very bad mistake, the tweet went viral, enraging most, who called for her dismissal while following her trip with the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet.
To read the full story of Justine Sacco, click HERE.
2. Separate customer service accounts from accounts used for brand awareness and publicity.
Don’t counteract your active, social PR by combining your social customer service support with your brand awareness. By separating the two you reduce the risk that prospects are going to see customer compliants and issues. It’s not that you are trying to hide anything, it just ensures that the feeds offering promotions and company news are not dominated by issues and their resolutions.
Something like this:
3. If you are serious about a social media initiative, staff it accordingly.
If you are planning on using social media just for promotion, then maybe one designated social media employee will cut it. But if you are setting up social media initiatives that are going to help drive your business from various different angles then you need to add staff accordingly. You should AT LEAST have staff that monitors your social media and interacts with customers (and more than one person if you plan to use it as a customer service channel) and IT support designated to social media issues. Understaffing your social media efforts will show, very early on, and it invalidates your social media push. Social media is all about regular engagement and follow through, which can’t happen if you aren’t set up with the proper resources.
4. Integrate social media into all aspects of your customer engagement by:
- Offering it as a first contact solution (chat or video chat on your website)
- Allow customers to make appointments via your Facebook page
- Give customers the ability to communicate with their field tech via tools such as Chatter, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.
Social media is powerful and if the last few years have told us anything (as well as Facebook’s newest acquistion of WhatsApp for $19 billion), it isn’t fleeting either. Take it by the reigns today and mold a social media strategy for your field service organization that will connect you to your customers, without any consequences.