Web Design & Local SEO for Small Businesses

Social Networking

Using Social Media To Get Better Customer Service

Getting better customer service

In the past if you wanted to contact a company with an idea or an problem, you rang then up or even wrote them a letter. For example did you see the story about the girl who had the idea to change Sainsbury’s Tiger bread to Giraffe bread. Usually a letter will only be seen by a handful of people and with luck will eventually get to someone that will deal with it.

Now with email and the Internet we expect a much faster effective responses. But what happens if you have a problem with a company, they’re ignoring you, not responding to support tickets or your email? Have you thought about using social networks to your advantage?

Recently I had some problems with several domain names and their renewal. I followed the online system and sent off the ticket. I got a response quickly, saying if I responded within 7 days they could arrange the refund. I spoke to my client and replied to the ticket, (the ticket had to be re-opened because it had automatically been closed by the companies system. Two days later I still hadn’t heard back from them. I wrote another update on the re-opened ticket – still playing by the book. But when I still hadn’t heard by the next day I was starting to get really concerned.

This particular company doesn’t have an online chat option to chat in person, but they did have a facebook business page. As I already “liked” them on Facebook I thought I’d do something I’ve seen others do but I hadn’t tried out myself. I knew that someone from the company regularly responded to posts on the their business page ( a very important thing for any page admin to do). So I wrote a polite comment asking could someone please chase this ticket as I needed it sorting urgently. Within a few minutes the problem relating to the ticket was resolved. Ace! job done. However the next day their system then started acting up and not only recreated the original issue but did it twice! So it was time to raise yet more support tickets. After a day or more I had yet again received no response. So I took it back to the the Facebook fanpage.

So why does this work. No company wants to wash it’s dirty washing in public, pages of comments on pages of Facebook or Twitter of problems with a company, a piece of software etc. give a bad impression. But if they can be seen to be responding to these problems it does at least improve the perception of a company. Now I’m NOT proposing that you need to do this for every little problem, I guess the support team would be a little put out if you did. But if you’re not getting a response or you keep getting blanked, you may find that approaching via Facebook or Twitter may be worth a try.

I know people who have complained about bad service by tagging the restaurant chain in a post, who then got vouchers back.

If this doesn’t work (it may vary on the company and how well they respond to social network queries) then Google the company, if you have had a problem then chances are someone else will have had. Join any groups, blogs, forums. If one voice isn’t being heard the voice of many will be harder to ignore.

If you have any questions or want some advice then why not contact me on Pippas Web.

Image credit – © Sqback | Stock Free Images & Stock Photos

 

6 Top Tips How To Network On Facebook

Networking on Facebook

 

Since Facebook changed the way it worked and allowed users to create posts from their own fan pages on other users pages it has opened up a whole new world where you can take your fan-page out to other people rather than just waiting for them to stumble across you.

This has led to a large increase in networking pages of different sizes being created.  “Send in the troops“, “Rainbow small business network” and “a little birdy told me“, link dog”  to name but a few.  All with their own sets of rules.  When you come across a new site that’s allowing you space to showcase your site,  I suggest you look for posts that tell you how the page admins want you to post.  In business or personal mode, photos, tags etc.  If you break their rules your post may be deleted anyway, or you’ll get a virtual and public scolding, so check out the rules first.

1) Identify sites where your target audience is likely to be waiting.  Check out pages of people who sell similar products and see where their new likers come from.  (Lots of new likers offer this info very useful)

2) Identify the site rules, these may be found in several places.  Possibly in the info page of the site, or the documents section or possibly in the posts that the site admin post (to see this on the top of the page wall you have two options the name of the site on the left will allow you to filter the comments so only the page admins comments are visible, the right hand option allows you return to the most popular or most recent posts.

3) Don’t just say hi from ….. post something interesting and eye catching.  Post a photo of your products or something connected to the service you provide.  People will be drawn by the photo.   If you can’t post photos (back to those rules again) then post something different that will stand out, a joke, products or service description.  Imagine at this point you’re selling in the market competing with all the other traders, show them your business and give people a reason to “like” you over others.

Ok so you’ve set the trap and someone’s taken the bait and “liked” your page now what?

4) Show some personality; if it’s your business then you “the person” will be a big part of the process.  People will come for the products but you want them to want to read the future posts too and not unlike you.  Who would you rather buy from someone who you’ve chatted to online, or someone who just posts visit my website ………. to buy XYZ.

5) Encourage people to interact with you.
Ask questions for them to answer, welcome new people to your page, and answers any questions that they have.  Most of all don’t spam people, post if you have something to say, if you have something to add, but a lot of people will get fed up if you are constantly posting to the news feed.

6) Don’t become obsessed with the numbers.
Yes it’s nice to see the number on the left hand-side increase with people liking in personal mode but would you rather 1 person who liked in business mode but chats, asks question, and promotes your site  or 100 people who “liked” purely for the like back?  and then likely hid you from their news feed anyway.  The numbers on your insight pages give a more accurate view of the number of people who “like” the site as they also include the business pages.

Do you have a fanpage?  How to do you attract new “likers”?  Do you go out a network on other sites?  Or wait for them to come to you?  Why not drop me a comment and let me know your opinion.  Or if you’re not already a fan come and visit the Pippas web fan-page

Goodbye to the Google’s Local business center hello "Google Places"

Political correctness gone awray seems to be hitting our favourite sites at the moment. Today Google has changed the name of the section formaly known as “Local business Center”, has changed to “Google Places“. The press release claims it is to “better connect Place Pages – the way that businesses are being found today – with the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google”.

So far other than the name change, there don’t appear to much change for UK users.

The new features to accompany this name change are:

There are some additional things being announced with the name change:
Service areas :previously available allowing users to set up areas that they cover, serve or deliver to.
Enhanced listings ($25 per month) renamed “Tags.” Adding to its initial markets, Houston and San Jose (CA), Google is adding Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco.
Business photos: free interior photography of the business.
Customized QR codes that are unique to an individual business and “can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials, and customers can scan them with certain smartphones to be taken directly to the mobile version of the Place Page for that business.”
and later in phase 2
Favorite Places
All these available to US markets only at the current time.

Of course this is hot on the tails of Facebooks changing their “Fan pages” yesterday, previously you could become a fan of companies with their own “fanpages” however Facebook in their infinite wisdom decided that rather than become “A Fan” people would rather “like” the site.

“Like” sounds a bit lame to me. Although what could it be replaced with, Twitter has “follower”. So what would you call someone who signs up to your companies page? Stalkers, groupies, readers ???? Suggestions via comments box please.

What is a blog?

A blog is the the common term for a web-log or an online journal, documenting events, thoughts, theories or news. Blogs are usually written by one person about one thing, although this is not always the case. There are so many different blogs each with their own layouts, style of writing and features. Although most will have some key features in common.

Archive; The front page of the blog will hold the latest few entries and older ones are listed in the archives. Usually in date order.
Comments box; after an entry on a blog, there is usually a comments box. It allows the people who read your blog to comment on what you have just written, so that the blog can become interactive and not just a one way preach.
Some way for people to be updated when new blogs are posted: RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. In essence they are files that tell specific website software that a website or blog has updated it’s content, without the need to visit the site. This file can be picked up by various software, Google.com offers users Google reader or even the ability to add boxes of different blog updates on your home page iGoogle. Windows live mail also has a feed reader.
The aim of a blog will depend on if it’s a personal one, or if it’s a corporate one. A blog for a company could help encourage readers to become customers. Discussing your products or services on the blog is another form of advertising. As well as Pippas web blog were you can find out more about the tax refund that would cost you money, I also try and update a more personal blog, looking at my family life.
What is Microblogging?
Microblogging is part of the social networking culture currently leading the way on the web. Sites like facebook and twitter ask their users to write short statements about what they’re doing, thinking about, or reading. In effect a short blog shared with friends or followers. Facebook gives you an almost unlimited space to type, but Twitter the status is limited to 140 characters.
In my personal experience facebook is more for finding people you already know and leaving messages for them, twitter is more about finding people who you may or may not know in the real world but that you share an interest with. For example people who write about the type of work you do, or others Mums.
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