HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

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As more and more people turn to social media for knowledge about a business or product, the opportunity to provide great customer service increases dramatically. Not only do users expect brands to be actively involved (and relatively fast) in customer service support, but they expect them to be engaged in a very specific way. Learn how to fill this important role for your patients.

CREATE A STRATEGIC PLAN
According to the Harvard Business Review, customers who have had a “positive” social media interaction are three times as likely to recommend a business. Additionally, companies with “great” customer service strategy for their social media channels see a 92% customer retention rate (Aberdeen Group). Follow these two majorsteps to get into a great, positive ranking:

1. Define how to respond to crisis scenarios, including creating a list of common questions or comments patients may have, and create a list of answers to them.

2. Train staff on how to respond to reviews or comments, but consider electing a single staff person to handle a majority of the communication.

TAKE ACTION
Great customer service doesn’t just mean responding quickly and professionally to negative reviews. While a bad review needs your attention, general queries from patients should be addressed as well. One of the best ways to boost your practice’s credibility with customer service is to answer questions, comments, or concerns- whether good or bad-promptly, professionally, and with a move toward resolution. Listen carefully and answer truthfully, and your patients will appreciate the effort you put forth.

LISTEN TO FEEDBACK
Gathering patient feedback is a great way to discover new opportunities for practice improvements. Are patients complaining that office hours are not flexible enough to fit their schedules? Consider being open for a few hours one Saturday a month or extending hours one day a week. Increase your ability to gain patient feedback by posting a poll on your Facebook page and encourage patients to engage with specific topics you designate.

A great customer service presence on your social media pages doesn’t just build patient satisfaction-it builds an online community of loyal followers. Moreover, those followers can help spread positive feedback about your practice. You will also help boost your brand awareness and create a social media presence that is both credible and trustworthy.

Samantha Toth is the resident marketing rockstar for Innereactive Media, a full-service marketing company specializing in the optical industry, in Grand Rapids, MI.

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