22 Feb I recently read a great article talking about the importance of customer service during a recession. I think customer service should be a top priority during any economic climate but it is crucial right now. The author makes a great point in that when companies begin cutting their budget during hard times, customer service should be one of the last things considered for removal.

I wrote an article last week about establishing trust and goodwill in order to sell real estate and the idea of this article is very similar. There has to be a sense of trust or customer service that goes beyond the product.

The article, which you can read here, gives us eight principles used to achieve superior service. I think it’s a great list and definitely worth a read.

While I was going over their list, I started to think of ways that real estate companies could utilize these principles via social media. I have taken a few of their principles and added my own little spin to how they could be used in social media.

“Understand how your customer’s expectations are rising”

How can you achieve this with social media? You could monitor what your consumers are saying about not only your product, but also your competitors as well. Tracking keywords in Twitter and other social networks can do this effectively.

This will give you a great idea on what your market is saying about your product category. The article cites focus groups as a sort of consumer feedback but lucky for us we have something cheaper, faster, and unbiased.

“Appreciate your complaining customers”

This kind of goes along with the above principle but it applies to your products only and it focuses of the negative. By listening to the negative aspects of your product, you can better fix the problem and prepare for the future. This sort of user feedback monitoring can be done with Twitter also.

“Take Personal Responsibility”

One of the most powerful uses of social media can be saying you’re sorry. Big brands such as Southwest Air apologize publicly on Twitter all the time. Why? Because they know that other consumers will see their sincere efforts. Taking responsibility has always been necessary when dealing with an unhappy consumer but social media can really turn that negative into a positive. When you apologize to an unhappy consumer via social media, it becomes public for everyone to see. By doing this, you are showing that you care about the satisfaction of your customer.

I think these are just a few ways social media can be used to increase consumer satisfaction. By using social media, you are able to display your goodwill to the world, which is something all consumers are looking for right now.

Sibet B Freides