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Why Every Small Business Should Use Social Media as Customer Service Channel

There is no denying it: social media has transformed our lives for good. It is now one of the most prominent forms of communicating in the world, allowing us to connect with people in an instant no matter where they are in the world. One area where social media development is still taking place and occasionally requires a bit more attention is customer service.

The interesting thing is that social media connections continue to be about family and friends, with the occasional acquaintance and celebrity thrown in the mix. Brands and businesses are not getting many follows on social media – so far.

But using social media as a customer service channel can actually be rather useful. Why? Here are some of the reasons your business and brand would benefit from social media.

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2.8 billion people around the world use social media. This means social media platforms offer huge opportunities for businesses to be visible and market their brand to people all over the world, as well as in the local community.

Now, social media is undoubtedly great for marketing on its own but there is another opportunity for businesses out there. If you start utilizing social media as a customer service channel, you improve your customer service brand and spread the word.

This is because social media interactions tend to take place in a public forum. You’re not just talking to the customer in private, but other people can read those Facebook and Twitter messages. Therefore, when you handle the situation well, you make other people feel more positive towards your brand.
Customers will see that you put the effort into solving customer service problems and that you actually care about the person. You are taking the complaint seriously and even if the person doesn’t directly spread words of praise about your business, the proof is there for everyone to see.

Affordable customer service

Providing customer service isn’t cheap. Maintaining a customer service department to take in calls and respond to e-mails won’t be something many small businesses can afford. But social media can actually provide a cheaper solution.

According to studies, solving a customer problem on social media costs just 1/6 of the amount it would cost to solve it via a call centre. This is quite a big reduction in cost means your business won’t need to allocate a huge chunk of money on customer service. At the same time, customer satisfaction remains high because you solve the problem and often in less time than it would take the customer to call the call centre and get a response.

Helps increase revenue

Now, the above leads to one important reason customer service on social media is beneficial: increases in revenue. Profits are a big problem for small businesses. In the latest Small Business Report, 46% of small businesses felt that increasing profits was the most challenging problem they must solve this year.

How does using social media as a customer service channel help this conundrum? Consider the fact that customers spend 20% to 40% more money when companies engage with them on social media and you get the point. If you show customers interest and attention, they are more likely to reward you by spending more. You can build trust with good customer service and especially when it happens online.

There’s another aspect to this. Customers are often engaging the Internet when they are making shopping decisions. Therefore, a response or interaction on social media can push them quicker over the edge of deciding to buy something with your business if you didn’t connect with them.

Starting out with social media as customer service channel

Getting started with social media is not that difficult. It’s important you find the best channels for engaging with your target market – it’s not always necessary to be active on all. You can also find freelancers to work as your social media representatives – this can be affordable and effective. Furthermore, there are different small business software options, like HootSuite, you can use to automate your social media use better. When it comes to finding these small business tools, it’s always worth exploring retailers and to find what offers they have for you to keep the costs down.

Above all, don’t waste time in making a transition to using social media as a customer service channel. The above reasons should convince you of the immense benefits of doing so and the fact that social media use is increasing should ensure you take advantage of it.


While social media is undoubtedly great for pushing forward your latest products and marketing your newest offers to customers, you should also use it to engage in more meaningful ways with the customer. It can help a great deal if you utilise the power of social media in nurturing good relationships with your customers.

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