Have you ever traveled to a store or office and it was closed? Their open hours, posted right on the front door, even said they SHOULD be open at that time. But the door’s locked and the lights are off.
So frustrating, right?
Even standing in line to buy something at a store can perk up some nerves. Have you noticed?
In a world with 1-click Amazon orders, standing in a line to buy something you could’ve just bought online in about 45 seconds seems like a waste.
Wait a week for the next episode to air? No way – Netflix wins.
Stand on the sidewalk, waving your hand in the air for a cab? Yeah right – Uber dominates.
Our customers can order virtually ANYTHING and talk to virtually ANYONE they want in just a few clicks.
So what happens when your prospective customer reaches out to you on social media and hears crickets? They move on to your quicker-to-respond competitor. OUCH.
We’ve all been primed to grab our phones, type something in, click once or twice, and get the answer we’re looking for.
It’s truly a brilliant time to be a business owner. The consumer has never, ever been closer to us. It’s never been easier to reach them. It’s never been simpler to reduce barriers of entry and give them exactly what they want and need in just a few seconds.
But only if you’re actually serving them this way.
Are you? Can a brand new prospect find you online and in a few clicks, purchase your product or book an appointment with you? Can they reach out with a question and get a response within minutes?
Your website should have these capabilities. Remember, your website acts as the online version of your brick-n-mortar store or office.
But so often, your prospective customer finds you on social media before reaching your website. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide these customer service and sales opportunities via social media too.
Our latest blog post explained the concept of using social media, not just for marketing and advertising, but for sales, customer service, and to build a movement even bigger than you and your biz.
This week, we’re diving way deeper into the nitty gritty of HOW to use social media as a customer service and sales tool.
Remember, the value here is to not just slam our audience with marketing and advertising messages, but to also be there, on social, to service their questions, absorb their feedback, and be present when they’re ready to buy.
PROVIDING TOP-NOTCH CUSTOMER SERVICE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
More and more companies are offering “chat bots” on their websites – those little boxes that pop up in the bottom corner of your screen, asking if you have a question or need assistance today.
It’s now easier to chat with a customer service rep in a chat box than it is to email or call them, let alone go to the store, find a live human, and speak with them face-to-face.
Even those that resisted this form of communication a few years ago are catching on. Because, let’s face it – if your prospective client can chat with you while they’re picking up their kid from school or cooking dinner or doing the 5 million other things on their daily to-do list, they will. If they have to go out of their way to communicate, you may have already lost them.
Messaging in real time with someone from your business is ideal for your prospect. But as we all know, we can’t always be tied to our phones, responding to messages.
When you’re not able to respond right away, employ these customer service tactics on social media:
- Create a thoughtful auto-response message
Facebook allows you to create a message that will automatically send to anyone that messages your Business Page. Use this opportunity to let your prospect know you’ve received the message, when they can expect to hear back from you, and what to do in case they need to talk to you right this second.
Example: “Thanks for reaching out! We’re away at the moment but will get back to you ASAP. If you need us right away, call 555-123-4567. Talk soon!”
Use this Help Article from Facebook to set up your auto-response message.
- Consider using a Facebook Chat Bot
If your business has several departments or outreaches of service, you may consider using a Facebook Chat Bot.
Social Media Examiner, a leader in all things social media, explains, “Chatbots allow you to have an automated conversation with people who click on your Facebook Messenger to start a dialogue. A series of menus or keywords guides customers to the next steps, saving time and eliminating frivolous requests that don’t lead to sales. It’s an easy way to allow people to interact with your business to buy tickets for an event, get directions, see a menu, set up an appointment, or ask a common question.”Refer to this article from Social Media Examiner for a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your Facebook Chat Bot.
- Share the answers to Frequently Asked Questions often via posts
If you seem to get the same questions often from prospective customers, consider creating recurring posts that answer these questions. This may seem repetitive to you, but for a brand new customer, finding the answers to their questions near the top of your Page gives them what they’re looking for quickly.
GET THE LEAD AND MAKE THE SALE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Whether you are selling physical products or virtual services, selling via social media is possible.
The simple answer for selling physical products is to set up your online store and funnel social media traffic to it. Easy.
The simple answer for selling services is to set up your online appointment scheduler or contact form and funnel social media traffic to it. Easy.
Except, it’s not that easy. Our prospective customers aren’t always ready to buy as soon as they find us on social media. They usually don’t know us well enough yet to hit the “Buy Now” or “Schedule Now” button.
So in addition to offering the online store or appointment request form, offer an “opt-in” opportunity.
An “opt-in” opportunity allows your prospective client to exchange their email address for something of immediate value to them. This usually comes in the form of a downloadable worksheet, eBook, webinar, mini course, or even just the promise of a weekly or monthly email from you.
Once you’ve obtained your prospect’s email address, you can then continue the KNOW, LIKE, TRUST conversation – getting them to like and trust you enough to then buy your product or schedule an appointment with you.
Typically, the process looks like this:
- Prospect sees your social media POST or AD, offering a free, valuable resource.
- Prospect clicks on the link in the post or ad, which brings them to a LANDING PAGE.
- Prospect enters their email address and name on the landing page, which triggers an EMAIL to send to them with the resource they requested.
- Prospect continues to receive EMAILS from you, over time, that build trust between them and your brand.
- Prospect PURCHASES your product or SCHEDULES an appointment with you.
We’ll dive into WHAT to offer in exchange for an email address in the coming weeks. For now, it’s important to understand this basic process so you can imagine WHY and HOW you might use social media to obtain email addresses.
In review, your prospect expects top-notch customer service and the opportunity to purchase from you via social media.
Provide these two crucial elements of you social media presence by:
- Offering timely, if not immediate, answers to their questions, and by
- Offering a free, valuable resource in exchange for your prospect’s email address.
Next week, we’ll be showing you how to devise a social media content calendar and schedule social media posts ahead of time so you’re not constantly trying to think of things to post. (Can I get a hallelujah?!)