Social media services like Facebook and Twitter are a wonderful way for businesses to connect with their customers. But this is not an option. As more and more customers use these networks to vent their unhappiness about businesses to their friends and followers, being inactive here could easily spiral these tweets and posts into a customer support nightmare. The onus is thus on businesses to ensure that they are at the top of their game here so that these tools could rather be used as a customer support medium rather than one where you lose reputation.
In an increasingly social world, customer support over Twitter or Facebook is also an opportunity to build a brand reputation. Every support transaction between the business and an unhappy customer is visible to the public – with the right strategy, successful engagements can be transformed into PR opps to build your business reputation.
But how do you go about it when you deal with customers who are not tech savvy? This is particularly true for senior citizens or older industries like law firms and medical labs. In such instances, engagement with customers still happen mostly over telephones and fax lines. Forget social media, a lot of these customers may not have an email ID to begin with. It thus becomes difficult to use the power of social media to connect with such customers. In other cases, while the business may not particularly need social media marketing, they may still prefer support over social networks and emails over phone lines for the lack of sufficient budget to afford a full-time operator or legacy infrastructure like fax machines and 1800 lines.
In both cases, there are a number of ways businesses can use technology to connect with customers who are not tech-savvy. Here are a few options:
Rental Toll-Free Numbers: Gone are the days when only large enterprise businesses could afford toll-free numbers. Thanks to cloud-based service providers like Twilio and Vonage, it is now possible to get your own toll-free number for a monthly fee of just a dollar or two. Since these are accessible over native API tools, it is possible to integrate these calls with your computer so that you will not even require a phone to receive calls. What more, you can also alternatively choose to forward these calls to your own mobile phone so that you can answer support questions over toll-free numbers from anywhere on the go.
IP-Based Legacy Tool Integration: Typically, businesses choose to share documents with customers over email to avoid the hassle of physical documents. But what if your non-tech-savvy customer wants you to ship them those documents? You may either invest in a photocopier, but if that is an expense you want to avoid, you can instead sign up with cloud based fax services or try one of these several options to send physical letters to your customers online.
While the above solutions help you reduce your physical investments, they do not directly help you use social media marketing while serving customers. One way to do this is by using the API provided by these cloud based service providers to connect your engagement with social media so that you may log these offline transactions too as a social media communication. This helps your customers view these multiple channels of support offered while helping you promote your brand as one that commits to the needs of every customer regardless of the channel of support they require. This is a wonderful strategy to not only reduce your support infrastructure expense but also use social media and other technologies to serve all kinds of customers.