Category Archives: Twitter

What Does a Community Manager in the Tourism Industry Need to Know?

What Does a Community Manager in the Tourism Industry Need to Know?

The tourism industry is particularly sensitive to clients’ opinions, that’s why we need to care for so much the service we give, including of course Social Customer Service offered by customer-oriented Community Managers with experience in that sector.

A Community Manager in the tourism industry needs to:

1.-Master several languages:

It’s fundamental to handle clients of different nationalities who value assistance in their mother tongue. This is particularly true for countries where English is not widely spoken, such as Italy, France or Spain. Ortography has to be correct in each of the languages they use to communicate.

2.-Make an appropriate Diversity Management and Segmentation:

Do not publish any post or make any comment that could be perceived as discriminatory by any customer because of his/her nationality, race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, political preference or any other reason. Furthermore, you should always be inclusive and take advantage of the business opportunities that these diverse characteristics offer to your brand by making a right segmentation.

3.-Know how to handle difficult customers:

Be always grateful for the valuable information you receive with their complaints. Be empathetic, seek the best solution, keep your promises, offer Social Customer Service excellence in due time and form. You need to make a special effort to change any bad perception of the brand you manage and turn it favorable.

4.-Provide attractive content:

Nothing better than a blog to help us selling the destinations we want to draw our target audience attention and enthusiasm. From the blogs posts link the product you want to sell. Create communities of fans in large or specialised social networks and enliven them with daily publications with interesting content and attractive pictures.

5.-Customise to obtain engagement:

If you have a good CRM or you can create it, much better. In any case, call customers by name, identify their needs in order to give them a customised product, handle them personally from start to finish, create enthusiasm. At the same time run promotions and contests through social networks. This will surprise your followers and help you to obtain their engagement.

6.-Know and use the social networks best suited to your product:

The tourism sector has the great advantage that the visual factor is particularly powerful to attract sales. Social networks like Pinterest, You Tube, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Vimeo are particularly suitable for touristic promotions. Regarding Social Customer Service, we recommend the use of Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Short response service times are particularly important for any brand in this sector.

7.-The geolocation and specialised social networks:

For hotels, restaurants and similar establishments it’s essential to have a presence on Foursquare, Google Maps, Google Places and Facebook Places. Manage the comments made through them and keep the information updated. Also control and be particularly interactive for those received through tourism specific social networks like Trip Advisor.

6 Useful Customer Service Tips on Google Plus

It is my pleasure to welcome you, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

Google Plus is a social network that is gaining more and more followers and companies are rapidly including it in their SMM strategy. It has about 540 million active followers, compared to 1230 million Facebook followers, yet growing fast enough especially in the younger age groups and new technologies lovers. There’s less interactivity on its brand pages because its use is still unknown for many of its followers. Yet it is highly recommended for brands to be present on it for many reasons such as SEO positioning and an excellent virality. I’ve made a study of Google Plus presence for several American and European companies in different sectors and I’ve found that many of them need to enhance their Social Customer Service on it. I don’t mention their names for professional discretion.

These are the tips on customer service on Google Plus brands need to follow:

1.-Do not open a brand page on G+ and leave it abandoned:

With few exceptions, customers interaction is not replied by brands as quickly as it should. If a brand is really interested to be present on G+, then it has to manage that account in the same way that it does with its accounts on Facebook or Twitter. We know that there are also cases of mismanagement on these other social networks but these are even more usual on Google Plus.

2.-When dealing with different countries, assist your customers in their language:

Of course your communication with your customers has to be in their own language. Consequently you need multilingual Community Managers.

3.-Make your feedback using the same channel (Google Plus):

If a customer wishes to contact a brand via G+, the response should be through the same channel. I’ve found the case of an airline passenger who complained because they offered to help him on Facebook since they considered their G+ account as promotional only and he had no account on that social network.

4.-Promote your Google Plus account:

It shows that it is alive, that you expect people to interact on it. Publish posts, ask questions, announce events, organise hangouts, open a community. Make it known online and offline that your brand has a page on that social network and promote it also on other Social Media channels.

5.-Use the Circles:

This is an awesome G+ advantage. You can create various circles and segment your messages to each target audience.

6.-Of course, use your experience on other Social Networks:

You can follow the same recommendations about Social Customer Service that I explained on my post 8 Steps for Effective Customer Service on Facebook.

6 Useful Customer Service Tips on Google Plus

Why is it Important to be Thankful on Social Networks?

Why is it Important to be Thankful on Social Networks?Welcome again to my blog, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

Being thankful is essential in human relationships and it is also key on Social Networks. I thing it’s important to thank someone who shares my blog on his/her paper.li, or RT one of my tweets, or follows me on the blog, or shares one of my posts on any social network. Sometimes, when I share articles by other authors on any of my accounts, I inform them about that. It’s a way of thanking them for their content and also of letting them know that they will get more visitors to their respective blogs. Well, I’ve found that in some occasions I don’t receive any feedback from them in the form of a comment, not even a “Like” on Facebook,“+1” on Google Plus or “favorite” on Twitter. Luckily, I have fans that make my pages interactive and of course I also participate on other people pages. I think that in such a highly competitive world only through these kind of gestures and cooperation we can make it more human. When we help each other we have real Attitude 3.0

And What Happens If We Talk About Brands?

With brands it’s just the same. More and more consumers are nowadays aware of many viral negative news about companies and they know that as buyers and users of social networks they have the power of helping to change those behaviors that they perceive as inadequate. Enterprises 3.0 work with the ‘Three P’: Planet, People and Profit. This means that production processes need to have at least some respect for environmental values and working conditions that society establishes as basic, otherwise consumers will stop buying their products and following them on Social Media. There is even an active minority of combative and committed people who can damage their image so much, that it would be very difficult to repair that harm, at least for a long time. Consequently, Community Managers have to “pave the way” for any contingency and must cultivate relationships with users on pages at various social networks and constantly thank, using phrases and words in that sense. It’s a way to help creating a “safety net” with a group of loyal fans that will always be useful in case of possible Social Media crisis. In conclusion I recommend you to always be grateful, it costs no money and instead it can help you to win it.

What Happens in Case of Absence or Bad Management of Social Networks?

What Happens in Case of Absence or Bad Management of Social Networks?Thank you for being here, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

In the current Social Networks era, brands need to have a well managed presence on them and this is sometimes better understood by small shops or restaurants than by many larger companies. I will briefly relate on this post two negative experiences as a client that I have recently suffered. One of it has to do with no presence at all on Social Media and poor Customer Service while the other case is about a brand with a Facebook fanpage but who makes a bad management of its Social Networks.

I was called by phone by an employee of a public service oligopoly who didn’t tell me his name or which department of his company he was calling from, but he did mention the name of the company and warned me that I was going to be charged an amount that month 6 times higher than usual and that if I didn’t agree I needed to contact a call centre. I went immediately to check my meter and realised by using a simple “rule of 3” and the previous month bills that they were wrong and that my consumption was within normal, then I called the Complaints and Incidents Dept. phone he gave me and they were unaware of the trouble, so I dialed another number that was on one of their bills as Meter Reading Dept. where they didn’t know anything either but noted my figure. I thought everything was solved. My surprise was that a week later the bill copy arrived by mail with the wrong amount, already deducted from my bank account. I called again their Meter Reading Dept. where I was “bounced” to Complaints and Incidents, where they said that in 7 days I was going to have the overcharged amount refunded. Since I was already mistrusting them, I searched on the Internet to see if the brand managed a Facebook page or Twitter account and my surprise was that they didn’t have any. Then I managed to find thanks to Google Maps their closest to my home Customer Care desk, went there and the agent who assisted me, who didn’t let me expose him the whole case, reiterated that I had to wait a week to get my money back.

The expected day arrived and there was still no refund in my account so I insisted again with Complaints and Incidents and that time they gave me a reference number, asked for my mobile phone number and told me they were going to call me later. The day after and without being contacted I called back again and they said that only 24 hours of my notification have passed and that I was going to receive the refund within another 7 days time and that the only way of sending them a letter of complaint was by postal mail! I asked for a supervisor and the agent on the phone replied: “I can’t because I am in charge of this call and have to assist you from start to finish”. Then I went back to the Customer Care desk and their employee told me in a rather rude way: “You have no reason to complain, this is the normal time for both billing and refunds.” The day after I received a refund invoice with the correct amount without even an apology letter. Finally, I received my money back.

Leaving aside the wrong billing and their lack of reaction when I communicated them the right meter reading, I will focus on their Customer Service mistakes:

1.-Employees who didn’t mention their names unless the customer asked them to.
2.-A Customer not handled either by the same agent or by the same department from beginning to end.
3.-Both the Complaints and Incidents and the Meter Reading Dept. said they didn’t have in their database the wrong misreading they had made of my meter.
4.-The Customer Care desk employee didn’t let me explain him my case and he behaved at all times with a “defensive” and lack of empathy attitude.
5.-The first time I contacted The Complaints and Incidents Dept. they didn’t give me a reference number of my complaint.
6.-I was never contacted on my mobile phone despite they promised it.
7.-In the second decade of the 21st. century they only accept written complaints by postal mail.
8.-They didn’t let me speak to a supervisor.
9.-No presence on Social Networks where they could have a feedback with their customers as a way to know why and how their service fails and improve performance at all levels.
10.-I never received an apology letter from the company.

The other case is about a chain of meat products stores. I started to follow their page on Facebook and wrote a post praising the quality of their products but complaining that some packs of beef burgers that I used to buy, now contained beef and pork, wondering why they did not continue selling the earlier version with less fat. I was replied that what happened is that the product always had the same composition indicated in the ingredients but now by law they had to state it clearer in capital letters and then their Community Manager wrote: “What happens is that you failed to read the whole label”. No comments! They also commited another social customer service mistake: It took them 23 days to give me that bad-mannered reply! Of course I immediately stopped following their page and buying their products.

How to Handle Difficult Customers on Social Networks? 10 Keys

How to Handle Difficult Customers on Social Networks 10 KeysBe very welcome, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

The role of a Community Manager has a promotional and technical side oriented to online marketing : the Social Media Marketing plan, content creation and curation, the measurement of your results and the analysis of your competitors. Another basic aspect is the need to be continuously updated on the different Social Networks, the various management tools and everything related to technology. Finally, it requires a great time availability, empathy, self-control and bargaining power: the Social Customer Service, the speciality of this blog. Today we will give some advice on how to handle difficult customers on Social Networks with these 10 keys:

1.- Appreciate their feedback :

Firstly you need to create receptivity. Consider that if an user has protested by no longer buying the goods or services offered by your brand or simply by not following your SM accounts, you are losing customers without knowing why. So let’s start thanking his/her involvement and showing interest in his/her complaints.

2.- Obtain and analyse all the information :

If the client has not given us enough information to assess the reason for the claim, you need to obtain it courteously by asking questions immediately afterwards in order to exactly know what happens. Do not act defensively in any case. These are basic customer service and ettiquette standards, valid both for online and offline assistance.

3.- Be empathetic :

Put yourselves in your customer’s shoes. How would we react if we had been treated the same way? Phrases like “I understand” or “I know what you mean” can open up many doors.

4.- Note that in Social Networks other people also read the dialogue :

Normally other readers tend to side with the unhappy customer and not with the brand, so you have to take good care of your language to avoid further exacerbate that bad perception. Instead of that, you should offer an acceptable solution to that claim in order to turn something that at first was a problem into an opportunity to enhance your image.

5.- Show yourselves always courteous and don’t take anything personally :

Good manners can always help to solve a complicated situation. Moreover, in response to any aggressive customer comment do not forget that you act as brand representatives and that they don’t really know you or have anything against you.

6.- If necessary, continue by other channels :

Tactfully and always thinking about the rest of the community watching your interaction, try to continue the conversation if it turns difficult to a more private channel such as a DM on Twitter, a Facebook message, a phone call or e-mail.

7.- Fast but with caution :

“Habillez-moi lentement, je suis pressé” or in English: “Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry” it’s said that Napoleon ordered his assistant when he had to get ready to fight a battle. What I want to emphasise is that while it’s true that in Social Networks replies have to be made in a very short period of time, they must also be cautiously reasoned. That’s in fact an advantage in relation to traditional offline customer care, either by phone or face to face, where in extreme situations there is rarely a time margin for an agent to think about the answer given and only Customer Service experts are normally able to react appropriately.

8.- Prepare standard replies in advance :

A crisis protocol allows you to have different possible solutions to difficult situations, yet the variety of complaints that you will have may tend to infinity and there will always be something new, so you must also be able to improvise and have good negotiation skills.

9.- Good relationships with other staff :

It will allow you an easier access to technical data and tools better mastered by your colleagues in other departments. To obtain this you should always treat them as your internal customers, so they will be willing to help you when needed.

10.- Meet your commitments and make a good follow-up :

When you promise something to a customer, you must keep it. Likewise, you should contact afterwards to verify his/her satisfaction. This will surprise your client and make him engage to your brand and talk other people positively about it.

10 Steps for Effective Customer Service on Twitter

10 Steps for Effective Customer Service on TwitterThanks for visiting Premium Social Customer!

Twitter is the most interactive Social Network, with the fastest flow of information, this characteristic makes it extremely viral and allows it to convey brand messages to a very high number of actual or potential customers, particularly those who visit Social Networks via mobile devices. It is also a very effective communication channel with brand users. All this makes it highly recommended to be used by different kinds of companies. On this post I will explain some steps for an effective Customer Service on Twitter:

1.-Rapidity :

There are many posts where bloggers recommend a maximum elapsed time for a customer tweet to be replied as a fixed rule. Nevertheless I would say that it depends on what’s the business about, on the urgency of each request and on how valuable that customer is for the brand. We could talk in any case of a maximum of 5 hours and that the shorter the term, the better the perception of the brand image. That period should be shorter in B2C services like banking, tourism or medical care than in manufacturers, but there can also be emergencies in this sector, consider the case of a factory that requires an urgent piece so it can continue to operate its assembly line. Similarly, the VIP customers should have priority and even an alternative channel only for them.

2.-Synthetic but effective messages :

Tweets are characterized by their brevity because we have to convey in 140 characters all the information our customers need and that we want to transmit as part of our brand strategy.

3.-Etiquette and Know-how :

Always be cautious when writing (a message can sometimes be interpreted in a different way than what you wanted it to express) Thank customers for their feedback. Whenever possible, make a follow-up to clients after some days, this is something that will positively surprise them, it will make your brand be well valued and consequently facilitate their engagement.

4.-Fix the problem if possible by the same channel (Twitter) :

If a customer contacts us through Twitter, it is because he/she expects a response through the same channel. If necessary refer the client to continue interacting via DM, provided it doesn’t generate any mistrust on him/her or the rest of your community. Only in cases where for whatever reason it becomes essential to continue the communication by phone or mail, they must be used. It is also recommended that customers are treated by the same person from start to finish of the conversation.

5.-Use a tool to help you schedule messages at specific times :

The most used are: Hootsuite and Buffer. They are very useful for you to planify when to post in your promotional marketing strategy, so once filled up you have plenty of time to be used for your relational marketing.

6.-Create a channel for Social Customer Service only :

For large companies and as far as possible it is recommended that you have different channels for SCS and for promos. Nevertheless, the Twitter account for Customer Service can insert a promotional message about service improvements to create a positive image and help reducing any negative comment that you may receive as a brand. Promote this channel everywhere and of course on your Facebook or other Social Networks fanpage.

7.-Monitor your performance :

In terms of satisfaction level obtained by clients and response times. Compare them with your competition.

8.-Information on the account :

On your brand’s Twitter profile it must be clearly indicated information such as operation hours, communication language used, links to the company website and Facebook or other Social Networks accounts. It must obviously be done in a visually attractive way with the official brand logo and slogan.

9.-Create separate accounts for different languages :

Particularly in large companies it is recommended to create separate accounts for each language you need to use to communicate with your customer. It avoids creating a perception of “Social Babel” in your readers.

10.-Do not use Twitter to ask for personal information or bank data :

Or any other Social Network. Use other more private channels such as mail, phone or fax.

The Multilingual Social Customer Service

The Multilingual Social Customer ServiceIt’s a great pleasure to welcome you once again to Premium Social Customer!

There is an ever increasing number of Multicultural and Multilingual Social Customer Service Centres. In the same way that the existence of free flat telephone rates regardless of the point of the planet from where you call from has led to the creation of macro call centers, there is also an online version for Social Networks. The advantage for large companies is to unify in one place previously dispersed desks, allowing multilingual staff flexibility in addressing various countries and ability to meet different peak demands in each market more effectively. On the other hand, offices use to be established where costs of human and physical capital are lower. For medium and small companies in addition to the above, they allow an easier internationalisation because they no longer need to have a physical office in every country where they want to sell their goods or services.

We need to consider the following factors in an international Social Customer Service Centre, which are also valid for any Community Manager dealing with other markets in different languages:

The Multilingual Social Customer Service

1.-Multilingual personnel available:

It is better to have personnel with a high level of several languages than people fluent in only one of them. This will allow greater flexibility to adapt to the moments when there is a higher demand for communication in a country and lower in another. Imagine for example a holiday in France that is a working day in Italy, in which case we will need that some of the people that serve the French market help in the Italian market and therefore they should also have a good Italian level.

2.-Good ortography:

It is basic for any Community Manager since it is an important factor for the brand image in Social Networks. This is also valid of course for all the languages that you need to use to communicate.

3.-Make a good Diversity Management:

Communicate respecting the different customs of each country. It is not the same to target Mediterranean consumers than Nordic or Muslims or Asians. The role of the company in this sense is to instruct and educate staff to be respectful and sensitive to cultures and needs of different kinds of people.

4.-Do not post about controversial issues:

It is important when working only within a domestic market and even more when dealing with other countries. Avoid sports rivalries or political, religious, social or moral issues. If it is the customer who starts writing on your brand account about any of these points, quickly and politely deflect the conversation to commercial aspects that are in your interest or at least to another neutral and non-confrontational dialogue.

5.-Consider the time differences:

Take into account the different time zones and customs in areas such as working hours and meal times when you post.

6.-Segmentation by language:

Languages should rather not be mixed in the same account in a social network because it may confuse and/or irritate some users and create an image of “Social Babel” not positive for the brand. In that case you have 2 options, either you create separate accounts for each language ( e.g. on Twitter ) or segmentate on those social networks that allow it, such as Facebook or Google Plus.

7.-Consider local holidays for promotions:

For example in France on July 14 or in Italy on “Befana” day. These are great opportunities to reach the target audience in each country, improving the image of the company and making it seem more local.

8.-Know and comply with the laws of each country:

Regarding tax matters, consumer rights and copyrights as well as other legal issues.

Without pretending to be exhaustive, all the factors mentioned above must be taken into account for Community Management when you need to interact with other markets, which is increasingly usual in this global world.