For many years, phone and email were the two primary contact methods used by those who wanted to connect with a business or organization. Today, social media has been added as yet another way to reach out for help. Most businesses, small and large, have accounts on the more popular social media websites. What many wonder is whether or not this form of contact is the best option? Everyone should also know how to safely ask for help on these highly public account pages.
Safety should come first, and this means that social media contact is not the best option when your question or problem involves personal information. If your request or question requires you to provide any type of personal information or payment method details, bypass social media and opt for a more secure contact method. At the very least, opt for sending a private message, but know that if the account is hacked (which does happen), your information could fall into the wrong hands.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more are now being used as customer service contact methods. In some cases, they are a perfectly suitable method of contact, such as times when you have questions about a product. Other times, they are not, such as when you wish to update payment information. Give some thought to how sensitive the information you will be sharing is before deciding which contact method to use. If there is any question about security, opt for phone or email contact rather than social media.
One of the perks of social media is that companies who care about their reputation are often quick to respond to public complaints. If a product or service does not live up to expectations, posting about it online is one of the fastest ways to solve a problem. Some companies do not allow for public posts directly on their page, but there should always be the chance to respond to a post that they have submitted. Private message should also be an option, and this option sends a direct message in a fashion similar to email.
Note that not all companies have staff that is dedicated to social media customer service, and even when they do, your public post may be overlooked. Social media can be an excellent way to get the attention of a business, but that is not always the case. For time-sensitive or personal matters, phone contact tends to be the better option. After that, email, but that too can take some time to receive a response. Social media does have its place in the world of customer service now, but consumers need to be selected about how they choose to make use of it.