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Customers turning to social media for answers to service questions

April 12, 2013
Mastering social media is getting tougher for dealers and manufacturers because of shifting consumer expectations. Consumers increasingly want their service questions answered via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and fan sites. And, the new study by J.D. Power and Associates predicts, companies that lack the ability to address questions on social media will lose customer loyalty.
Social media previously was used primarily to enhance the relationship between a dealership and its existing and potential new customers. But now, younger consumers are more likely to use social media for service questions, J.D. Power found.
In the study, service issues include all communications that involve customer product questions, requests for help and complaints about a problem.
Handling the issues via social media might involve as little as posting a Facebook answer to a question or as much as providing instructions on what to do about a malfunctioning part.
The study notes that automotive dealers lag behind their manufacturers in connecting with consumers through social media primarily because they don’t have the resources to handle what can be a time-consuming, but critical effort.
Some of the common social media gaffes made by companies include:
♦ Failing to respond to questions and problems.
♦ Passing the buck. Followers, said J.D. Power, don’t want to be told “I can’t help you.”
♦ “Talking” too much. Consumers have limits to how many times they want to see posts.
♦ Advertising too much. Consumers tire of receiving promotional tweets.
♦ Having no fun. Followers want to see people having a good time.