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How to Use Technology for Customer Service (and SEO) :

It may seem that the days are gone when you knew everyone you bought from: the produce clerk, the corner butcher, the gas station attendant. With these shopping experiences came a sense of caring, a sense that the customer really mattered to the business owner or employee.

Today we shop online. We spend hours in shopping malls visiting a dozen different stores, leaving no time to connect with the people behind the companies to which you give your money for goods and services. However, even in this day and age customer service doesn’t have to be the last thought to go through your mind. In fact, technology can make it easier to provide customer service to a greater number of people while also saving some time and money in the process. Here are four cases in point:

The Proactive Tweet – Whether you’re a small business who recently noticed defects in a line of sold goods or you’re a large startup servicing thousands of customers, it’s better to address any negativity before it’s seen as negative. Something as simple as an apologetic tweet can keep your business image in a positive light. If ever you can anticipate complaints and address them first, you’ll come out ahead.

Be Personal through Email – Every good business owner wants to have that personal touch with his/her customers. It may seem that the only way to do that is face-to-face contact. However, a timely email response to a question or issue brought to your attention can do wonders. Email responses can also give customers something in writing that they can share with their friends via social media outlets.

Keep It Simple Silly (KISS) – No customer wants to be on hold for minutes and minutes only to be bounced around to three different people before they can get their question answered. Social media platforms can help you address a variety of requests of varying urgency if you have a team/person dedicated to responding to tweets, tags and wall posts. Of course, social media platforms should never replace a good old-fashioned phone number, but with a dedication to keep up with your social presences you can curb a lot of customer frustration through timely responses.

Feedback Always at Your Fingertips – Your customers obviously have opinions about your products and service – it’s precisely because they think favorably of you that they shop with you. Through polls, questionnaires and newsletters, you can open the floodgates for feedback that helps you improve a product or offering. And by asking for and receiving feedback publicly, it gives a certain accountability to your follow-up actions.

Now to put this all in SEO terms. Compare more classic customer service methods to ones that live and breathe online. How does that phone call help your search ranking, or where does that nice letter you wrote go after it’s been read? It doesn’t get shared or tweeted or “liked” – it probably gets recycled. Just think of customer service as another opportunity to get noticed online in a good way.