The term “customer service” conjures thoughts of restaurants, cell phone companies, and probably a few brands that you’ve sworn to never do business with again.
Think about your worst customer service experience. What was it that disappointed or upset you? A faulty product, a question that went unanswered after repeated attempts, the feeling that the business didn’t value you? Or worse– speaking to a representative with a sour attitude?
We’re in the customer service business, too, and our listeners are our customers. With social media, listeners are more likely to Facebook or tweet a question than call or email the station. Are you using this opportunity to answer questions, make a personal connection, encourage on-air listening and drive web traffic?
Is your staff social media service savvy? Here are tips to ensure that both you and your listeners are getting the most out of your station’s social media efforts:
- Appoint a social media manager. Many stations leave air talent responsible for checking comments on posts or tweets made during their shift. While this allows talent to personally connect with listeners on a topic they’ve started, it doesn’t account for the numerous organic posts made by listeners, or the comments on popular posts or tweets from days past. Have one person who is responsible for ensuring that all questions and comments have been addressed.
- Don’t overlook any avenues. On Facebook, view your wall using the Everyone tab so you see comments on your posts as well as organic posts from listeners. On Twitter, check @mentions and DMs. Use Twitter search daily to monitor and respond to other conversations about your station.
- Respond in real time to reinforce the on-air brand. Often listener questions refer to an of-the-moment topic, such as a show topic or on-air contest that is happening right then. When possible, respond quickly so your answer is relevant.
- Your station’s social media accounts often provide first-encounter experiences for listeners. Behave online the way you would at a remote or station event. Be thankful your listeners are there. Make them feel valued, and be friendly. While the latter sounds like common sense, two real examples I have seen this week say otherwise. One station made a post on Facebook asking for “NO COMMENTS”. Another responded to a listener question about a song that was played with “Ughhhhhh. Are you serious? That show is syndicated. I don’t know”.
- Answer questions by providing additional information that drives website traffic. For example, if a listener asks “Is there another chance to win Maroon 5 tickets today”, reply with “Yes, you can win again at 11:20 and 3:20. Here’s a link to more information on our website. Good Luck!”
- Answer questions with information that drives on-air listening. In the example above, you could respond with “What’s your favorite Maroon 5 song? We’ll play it for you before the contest at 11:20.”
- Use comments to create conversation. Part of social media service is connecting with listeners who reach out to you. Many comments are not clear-cut questions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a response. If a listener writes about their love for a song you just added, respond with information that reinforces their passion for the music you’re playing. Send them a link to the video, or background information on the artist.
- Respond to complaints. According to September 2011 research from Maritz and Evolve124: of 1,298 Twitter complaints reviewed, only 29 percent received a response from the company mentioned. The other 71 percent went completely ignored by the brand. 86 percent of the tweeters who were ignored said they wanted a response from the company. Your listeners want to know you’re listening. Address their concerns, have empathy, and try to solve the problem. Use social media to convert a frustrated listener into a P1.
written for Radio Ink Magazine
Kim Turner says
Stephanie as always you are right on. Your advice about being responsive to your customers or listeners has paid off for me in mending more than a couple of fences. Thanks.
Stephanie Winans says
I’m glad the advice was helpful. Responding quickly with a sincere comment can only help your business.
If you’re responding to a positive comment, you could turn a one-time customer into a regular. If you’re responding to a negative comment, you could convince a disgruntled customer to give you another shot.