It is important to appreciate the fact that social media has managed to make a tremendous impact in the manner in which various business entities carry out their functions, something that is seen as a significant achievement in the way in which business is run. Social media has come in handy at a time when many industries have been grappling about the most effective strategy that can be used to create awareness as well as move on customer interaction to a whole new level. One of the most shared and instrumental ways in which social media has impacted business is the manner in which it has managed to create an entirely level playing field for all stakeholders. It is important to note that at the moment, consumers are no longer intimidated by big companies whether they can cut cell phone service, turn off cable or even turn off electricity as a result of customer disputes (Bowen & Ozuem, 2016).
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Many consumers are cognizant of the fact that the number of communication channels has tremendously grown over the years. At the moment, some of the most common avenues that customers can use to chat are via a website, email or even a phone call. On the other hand, research has shown that the avenues listed still have an immense influence on the balance of power in the relationship existing with the company. This has been a huge point of concern. Social media has come in handy and is turning tables around at a breakneck pace. Consumers have therefore become more confident, and companies have therefore learned that sure consumers could also be extremely loyal.
Secondly, social media has led to a cream of more informed consumers, something that did not exist previously. It is important to appreciate the fact that the advent of the internet has been instrumental in the dissemination of information to consumers. Interestingly, this has been significant in changing purchasing habits for high ticket products to be precise. That information has often been written by companies selling particular products and could easily be viewed with less trust. Social media can, therefore, be accredited for giving out more information than ever before making it have a direct influence on how it has impacted customer service (Barker, 2017). One of the most significant ways in which this has been achieved is the manner in which customers are at liberty to share amongst themselves their experiences, what they like and dislike about a company and its products. Previously, customers were limited to asking friends or relatives for recommendations about a product or service before fully committing to it.
Research has shown that most of the recommendations about a product on social media are usually influenced by personal experiences where people express either their satisfaction or disappointment with a particular product or service. This helps other customers to consider their decisions carefully before making big purchasing decisions. In addition to that, this also means that customer service personnel are also dealing with more informed customers hence forcing them to improve the services they offer. Hence, it becomes a clear indication that the clients expect most if not all of their needs to be met and issues affecting them be corrected with a lot of ease. Customer service must also lead from the front regarding communicating with the customers and eliminating any aspects of doubt that may arise about a product or service (Bowen & Ozuem, 2016).
Social media has also led to a crop of less frustrated consumers. On the other hand, many people may think otherwise because many avenues have seen customer service getting negative publicity, especially on vocal social media platforms. When this is looked at differently, it becomes visible that social media is vital in strengthening the connection that exists between consumers hence decreasing their frustrations. Research has shown that many companies have been asking their customers to follow their social media handles such as Twitter and Facebook and be actively be reading their blogs. In addition to that, they are trying to position themselves in a manner to suggest that their customers are more visible. This has turned out to be a very effective strategy since it makes sure that customers are always engaged, and their issues looked at within the shortest period (Barker, 2017).
Social media has also not been left behind when it comes to authenticity of customer experience. It has been proven via research that social media has a strong organic feel that is absent in other channels. Companies are therefore advised to harness the power present in all social media platforms to develop a firm relationship with their esteemed customers. In addition to that, social media also provide a conducive environment for customers to feel good. Lastly, customer service is a high priority. Research has shown that prioritization of customer service is an instrumental catch phrase is speeches and annual reports but it should be seen as a place where one can cut costs but not invest.
- Barker, M. (2017). Social media marketing. Australia: Cengage Learning.
- Bowen, G., & Ozuem, W. (2016). Competitive social media marketing strategies. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.