I have been a movie fan and in Customer service my entire life in one way or another. I’ve recently joined the ranks of social Customer service. After spending time on the couch watching a Karate Kid marathon, I was struck by how Mr. Miyagi’s wisdom could be used by more than just a teen-aged boy learning to defend himself from bullies.
Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape.
Not all businesses are ready for social media Customer service. That’s OK. Clients will be less annoyed if they know you are not going to provide Customer service in social media than if you do a poor job of it. If you choose to enter the social media world to provide service for your Clients, then provide the best service possible. To quote another Master, “Do, or do not”.
Miyagi: First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, Daniel-san, not mine.
Social media Customer service exists in the public domain, it’s not just a one to one interaction. Make sure you have the basics of strong Customer service down before putting it in front of everyone to see. Have a plan to develop your channel, allow for natural evolution as your Clients learn how to use your services everywhere and anywhere. Start slow, don’t try to be everything to everyone all the time. Unless your team is ready for 24 hour coverage, don’t promise it to your Clients.
Miyagi: I tell you what Miyagi think! I think you dance around too much! I think you talk too much! I think you not concentrate enough!
You hear it all the time, social media should be about engagement and conversations, not just as a megaphone for you to shout needlessly at your clients. If your Client wants to know your hours of operation, tell them, don’t just point them to a company website. Be clear and concise in your responses, but remember to answer the question! If you can’t answer it for privacy reasons or the answer is too long for the channel you are on, ask the Client if it’s OK to take it another channel. There is a reason the Client is asking for your help and it’s important for you to answer them.
Miyagi: Now use head for something other than target
Social media channels are for more than just allowing the public to bash your brand. It’s a great chance for your company to reach out and engage the client. Social media channels like Twitter are hand-held opportunities for you to service your Clients when and where they need to be serviced. Use your head for creative ways to turn angry Clients into brand ambassadors.
Miyagi: Someone always know more.
Never stop training and retraining yourself and your team. Be a true professional in Customer service. Read and share the work of others. Use the channels you are servicing your clients with for your own growth. Grow a professional network with other thought leaders in the industry with Twitter or LinkedIn. You never know when you might learn a new tip or become reacquainted with ones you have