Many of us have become well versed in the various social networks. Whether for fun or business, the amount of time spent on social networks continues to grow. Companies, both large and small, have gone from a slight toe dip in the water, to swimming laps in Olympic sized pools. Though the number of social media channels continues to grow, this blog post will focus solely on Twitter.
Twitter defines itself as “a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.” This translates into everyday people being able to “follow” their favorite actresses every move (no kidding, some celebrities have been known to tweet on a minute to minute basis) and keep anyone interested aware in real time of hunger pangs, the difficulty of a spinning class, getting cut off in traffic, that they are at Starbucks, where they are going to dinner, etc.
So I guess that’s considered some of the fun stuff Twitter is known for, but what about the business component?
For some organizations, Twitter has taken the term customer service to a whole new dimension. This goes beyond setting up a company page, which every business ought to do, by the way.
A friend of mine recently tweeted, Oh Zappos I hate you!! Why don’t you have my size?!?!?! Within 30 minutes, she was contacted (via Twitter of course) from @Zappos_Service with: Oh no! We want to help you find perfect shoes. What size/style were you interested in? Maybe we can find them elsewhere. This is a perfect example of a company that is truly on their A Game. Personally, I think Zappos rocks in every capacity, so it is not shocking that they are savvy in Social Media.
How did Zappos know that my friend was tweeting about them, when she does not follow their company? They more than likely have some sort of “Twitter Alerts” (think Google Alerts) in place to monitor what is being said, as well as to protect their brand. Tweet Beep and Tweet Alarm are two of the many services you can utilize for this effort.
It is safe to say that customer service as we once knew will soon become obsolete; the days of sitting on hold with a representative are numbered. We are a society that is consumed with instant gratification and Twitter and other social networks provide us with the immediate support we crave.
I recently had dinner with some friends and the conversation turned into a debate about the merits of shopping online. I was mentioning how I had just made a fabulous purchase on Zappos and not only was I extremely pleased with my new shoes; I was upgraded to overnight shipping at no additional cost to me! What could be better than that? Imagine my surprise to hear that not only do these particular friends never shop online, they said they would never consider it, insisting they feel they would not get what they ordered, it would not meet their expectations, it would take a long time to be shipped and unless they can actually see and touch what they are buying, they would not feel comfortable giving a credit card to an online retailer.
My argument was how easy, fast and reliable online shopping really and truly is, as well as the numerous discounts I have received (and continue to receive) almost every time I shop. I was flabbergasted by their stance on the matter and could not help but argue (all be it nicely) my point. All I could think about was how much time and money (not to mention gas) I have saved by shopping online.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of online shopping:
Free Shipping, Free or Easy Returns. Nowadays many online retailers waive shipping costs and make the return process seamless.
Fast Delivery. You can get what you are ordering the next day in many cases.
Special Online Deals. Many sites offer “online only” specials, discounts on future purchases, free gifts, repeat buyer/loyalty savings, last-minute promotions, rebates, etc.
Free Gift Wrap. If you’re buying a gift, many retailers offer free gift wrapping, as well as a card that is shipped with your order.
It’s not scary to shop online, nor should it be. Give it a whirl!