The pinnacle of great customer service is reaching your clients how they want to be reached, and for many, that’s on social media channels. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others offer a two-fold benefit to real estate professions: First, you can take interactions with your sphere to a higher level by creating meaningful relationships through comments, direct messages, targeted posts and videos, and photos, says customer service expert Shep Hyken. Second, it’s an avenue to demonstrate your professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication to your business.
“Regardless of the customer interacting with you in person, on your website or through social media channels, the experience should be one that brings the customer back, and more important, gets the customer to talk about you to their friends and colleagues,” says Hyken. “Customer service done right is one of your best marketing strategies.”
Kyken, who attended Social Media Marketing World in San Diego last week, says the conference’s social customer care track offered five strategies that brokerage owners will find useful.
- Do you have social media business accounts? Potential clients are looking you up on these channels, and two ways to turn them off include having no presence at all and having an outdated or abandoned profile that hasn’t published a post in a long time.The rule of thumb is to be where your customers are, Hyken says. “I’m amazed at how many companies choose not to participate on social media. This is no longer an option,” he adds. Make sure your brand is represented on pertinent social networks with pages that are up-to-date, include accurate contact information, and that you’re sharing content on a regular basis, even if it’s once a week.
- Monitor mentions on social media. “You want to know whenever anyone says anything about your company – in real time,” says Hyken. Some CRMs offer social media monitoring tools. There are also platforms such as HootSuite, Keyhole, Brandwatch, Trackur, and others that provide keyword, hashtag, and URL tracking. Setting up Google Alerts for your business name and personal name is also a good idea.
- Respond to complaints, but also to your supporters. Reach out to anyone who has a problem or leaves a negative comment or review swiftly and try to resolve the issue. “One of the worst things a company can do is ignore comments – especially complaints,” says Hyken. But don’t forget about everyone else. If someone leaves a comment or tags your Facebook page, mentions your handle on Twitter, or comments on your YouTube video, make sure you or your social media manager acknowledges it and responds in a timely manner. Hyken says that doesn’t mean days, or even hours, but ideally within a few minutes.
- Be authentic in your interactions. Is a corporate robot running your social media, or a real person? Customers shouldn’t have to ask themselves that. Add your own personality in all comments and posts, and never copy and paste canned responses—especially to complaints. You want clients to know you truly care.
- Engage with your friends and followers. Don’t flood your feed with listings or only post about your company. Share content that is relevant and interesting to your current and potential clients. Help them solve problems, offer market insights, highlight neighborhoods, and engage with other local businesses.