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Listening also helps with fielding customer service complaints. Thanks to social media a lot of customer service has shifted away from traditional call centers, and the public is watching every interaction. Always be proactive.
"When there are complaints, we suggest as soon as possible you acknowledge the person and see what you can do to rectify the situation. Don't shove them off to an email address, but you can try to resolve it through messages or direct messages," Foley suggested. "You want to communicate with people the way they asked to communicate with you, not your preferred method. Same thing we would do if the channel was the telephone and they left us a message—we reach out and try to solve the problem.
"Make an unhappy customer into a hero. It can really have great benefits, especially if they get back on that online channel and tell everyone how you helped."
Grekin agreed, adding that her team responds directly to any complaints as fast as possible. "If it is something complicated that cannot be solved online, one of our customer service superstars reaches out over the phone right away. One of our core values at Envelopes.com is 'Pride in Presentation' and we take this very seriously," she said.
Another issue some companies struggle with is finding their voice. Gilbert encourages marketers to humanize their brand. "Be quirky. Talk in a real voice. When I post content [online], I don't use a lot of corporate speak. I talk to people in my posts and in my articles the way I speak in general," he mentioned. "Be real with people and the results will come back to you."
Coincidentally, 'keep it real' is the official motto of Envelopes.com, and that's how the company makes things easy for customers. "Our social fans are fun and have a great sense of humor, so it's sort of easy to maintain personality with them. Also, most of the time, only one person is making the posts so the personality of our social presence is consistent and light," Grekin said. "When it comes to direct interactions online, we keep it real—actually that's our motto at Envelopes.com, and we definitely live by it."