How to Run Customer Sales and Support Queries Using Only Facebook
The "contact us" page has been around since the very beginning of website design, and despite been a fixture on just about every website in existence it has remained awkward and fairly unreliable at the very thing it is named for, establishing contact.
The "contact us" page has never gained much respect. For web designers, it’s the page on an ever growing list of other pages and features that need to be done at some point, nowhere near as important as the home or product pages, it's always done last. The address and phone numbers are scripted in and then it gets some basic styling to make it at least look like it belongs.
Then this conversation happens:
Web dev: Okay all done, just need a email address for the contact form
Business owner: Any address but mine, I don’t want all sorts of random emails
Sales team: We get enough mail as it is, and clients can find our direct info elsewhere on the page, so not us
Support team: We have our hands full helping customers with support queries via the support page, count us out
Admin team: We can help but we don’t want our direct emails listed either
Web dev: Okay… I will create a new email address called email@example.com anybody who may need to check in on it can just add the account to their mail client
Everybody: Great idea!
You can guess what happens next, nearly nobody adds the account. Emails to that address are checked very rarely and sent from one person to the next while everybody tries to figure out who’s responsibility it is to reply.
In a perfect world these emails would go to the sales manager to delegate, but again that hardly ever happens.
The same goes for the contact numbers and physical address info, companies or businesses move/change numbers and often forget to update the contact us page.
This tends to happen less for smaller business sites or blogs as the site owners will usually make more of an effort to check that mailbox and keep the information up to date.
Unfortunately, in the visitor's mind, one bad experience gets applied to all contact us pages, so they generally try to look for other ways to make contact. Relegating the "contact us page" to last resort status.
Not usually an issue if it is a sales or support related query during the day with staff ready to help. But after hours and during weekends people know those channels are not usually open, leaving them to go to the "contact us" page to leave a message and hope for the best.
Enter the saviour: Facebook.
But why instead of using one of the many ways you have clearly listed on your website are people using Facebook?
The answer is easy: Proof Of Life
Yes… just like a hostage drama starring that guy in that movie who’s daughter/wife/ son in law always gets kidnapped, the bad guys takes something Important from him and he says “prove that they are still alive” the bad guys send a video filmed in shaky cam of aforementioned important person alive but clearly in need of some rescuing.
Your visitors are doing the same thing. Minus the guns, drama and stern looks over the telephone but the effect is the same
Is this business still alive, and do they have the important thing I want?
Let me show you a real life Example.
I am planning on finding a new place to stay, chief of all of my moving concerns is a great Internet connection.
I know the name of the supplier my current landlord uses for fibre and I don’t want to change, the service is great.
I need to know if they service the area I am planning on moving to however.
To Google, we go
Now, between you and me this website hardly screams -
“you can easily find all the information you are looking for here”.
Sorry Kiklo, nothing personal, in their defence, they are likely far too busy running an entire internet company to create some fancy pants interactive map, no worries, I'll just use the contact form.
On… second thoughts maybe not, far too lazy to fill that in and besides, nobody ever reads those things.
All I need is a bit of information, do you service the area I am looking to move to, can you show me proof of life?
the page was easy to find, type up a message… hit send…. And a little later I have a message from Tammy, notice the time in that message7:51pm I sent the message to the page at around 6.PM by 7:51 I have an answer and I can sleep easy knowing that If I do move I will not die of Internet starvation.
Let’s do some ballpark math here (these are rough numbers don’t quote me).
Average installation is about R1600.
Monthly cost for the service is roughly R900 for the line I want.
I am on board as a customer for at least a year so R1600 + R900 x 12 = R12 400 for the year.
So far, direct marketing cost is R0 to R12 400 (again ballpark).
I know there is a lot of other things to consider like the fact that I already knew the company existed and so on, but the fact is, I have a answer to my question and the company now has a new client.
It didn’t require a fancy 3d coverage map of South Africa, or a super fancy website, would those things have helped? Sure.
But in the end all it really took was somebody armed with the information a customer may need reading the Facebook messages feed.
How can you leverage Facebook to win over customers in your business?
Be available: Let visitors know they can reach out to you on Facebook if they have any questions.
Be responsive: Facebook tracks the amount of time it usually takes you to respond and displays it on your page, so be sure to get to those messages as soon as you can.
Be reliable: If you don't have the information requested on hand, and you say you will check, make sure to get back to the person.
Set times: You need not have somebody watch over the Facebook page 24/7. Most businesses will answer questions during their normal operating hours.
Delight: If a customer has purchased something from you, check in with them via Facebook to see if they are happy. This lets the customer know you care about their experience with your company or product.
we hope you can now see just how easy it can be to win customers using your Facebook page.
Do you have any examples of how you have used social media to win over clients?
Let us know in the comments.