Winning Customer Service Strategies


It’s important to realize that you cannot ever please a customer too much. You’re not in danger of doing that anyway, but you are in danger of having unsatisfied customers who will leave your business in a heartbeat for someone else who offers better customer service. Remember, it’s not all about the product either; it’s about how the customer feels.

Feelings aren’t always rational. If you and your staff (if you have any) can learn the basics of human behavior and communication, and then use that information to adapt the response to the customer based on the individual client, you’ll go really far toward providing excellent business- winning customer service. It’s important to differentiate your business from all the rest, and today, the best way to do that is to develop top notch customer service.

2-helpfulBe HelpfulEven if you won’t make a profit today, being a resource to your contacts and customers is a great way to build long-term relationships. If your product is not right for them, and that does happen, don’t push it. You don’t want a customer who is unhappy. Instead, turn that person into a resource for other more qualified customers by being a resource to them.

Help that person find a product or service that is right for them.  You’ll catch the person off guard when you admit that your product or service is not right for them, but this other product or service is. Don’t be surprised if they then turn around and try to convince you that they’re right for your product or service. Either way, they’ll leave happy and recommend you to others.

Demonstrate IntegrityIntegrity is an important component of any business that wants to last a long time. You wouldn’t know it from recent headlines, but if you really want to provide excellent customer service, demonstrating integrity will go a long way. You can demonstrate integrity mostly via customer service. Integrity is about being consistent in your actions.

Everyone in your business should be on the same page and be able to demonstrate via their actions the business’s values. If your mission statement says that you value your customers above all else, or that you donate 10 percent to a charity, then you need to show that you do that. In other words, don’t be hypocritical. Simply put, integrity is doing the right thing no matter how it affects you personally.

3-trainingTrain Your StaffWithout proper training, how can they provide great customer service? According to the book, How to Win Customers and Keep them for Life, almost 70 percent of customers who leave a business do so because of perceived indifference of the person they dealt with, whether that was an owner, manager or employee.

That’s why your customer service needs to be customer focused. We often talk about systems and processes when it comes to doing business, but when it comes to customers, if your business is not customer centric, you’ll lose in the end.

By training staff how to speak to customers, whether in chat, in a help ticket, email, or the phone, you’ll reap the rewards many times over by teaching them how to connect properly to a customer, thus making the customer feel important. Not only do you need to train your staff, but you need to give them the power to actually affect change and solve problems. Whether that is a dollar amount, or some other measure of how far they can go to helping your customer feel taken care of, you must do it. Let go of the micromanaging and control of your customer service staff and you’ll see great rewards.

Under Promise Then Over DeliverDon’t make promises you can’t keep, because customers expect you to do what you say you will do, and they expect you to do it right the first time, and they expect you to be on time. Those are lots of expectations. In order to be a successful business, if you’re going to offer online customer service, then you need to live up to all those expectations.

Therefore, never promise to do something “right now” or “today” unless you know for sure it’s possible. Instead, give a reasonable date by which this problem will be fixed and then make it happen, and if you make it happen sooner than you stated, so much the better. If you solve a problem sooner than you said you would, your customer will feel special and cared for in a way that you couldn’t achieve any other way.

Don’t forget that the concept of under promising and over delivering isn’t just about solving a problem your customer has. It starts from the moment that your customer comes to your website to purchase from you. Your customer should have a good idea what your products or services will do for them, but don’t promise the moon and the stars. Be realistic about the promises you make and the hope you put into the heart of your client. You want them to expect something, of course, but not everything. The reason is that you want them to be extra pleased when they end up with more than they thought they would. Customers who are happy buy more.


Show Your KnowledgeWhether it’s you or your customer service team, it’s important that anyone working directly with customers understand the business they’re trying to support. If you don’t understand your business and cannot show your expertise to clients and customers, it’ll be really hard to provide excellent online customer service.

When you demonstrate your knowledge about your product, you’ll truly be able to point your customers in the right direction. Many problems that your clients have are probably easily fixed with simple trouble shooting. 

Use AutomationHaving a FAQ and self-help area prior to offering an automated ticketing system on your site, that will enable customers and clients to empower themselves to help themselves, is a great way to use automation. Providing customer self-service is an essential element of offering excellent online customer service. First of all, most people prefer to try to help themselves before submitting tickets and certainly before they call anyone. This is true especially in relation to online business, because this target audience is often surfing the web in the middle of the night or early in the morning before work and hope to get help before  typical business hours.

Even if you have a bricks and mortar store, a proper website should offer some form of online customer service, including online self-service options. Having this option can tremendously cut down on the in-person customer service needs your clients have and actually make them more satisfied in the process. Customers enjoy being able to find the answers they need on your website because it makes them feel like you know your product and can stand behind it by answering possible questions and helping with trouble shooting in advance.


A FAQ, or frequently asked questions page, is an essential component of any self-help customer service area that you want to provide. Your customers can go there at their convenience and look up problems. Even potential customers can read it, and often will decide to buy based on the FAQ if it makes them feel secure about purchasing from you. The FAQ is a great place to put information about: 

  • How to contact you
  • Shipping policies and procedures
  • Return policies and procedures
  • Other answers that have been given previously
  • Access to submit a ticket for more help

Customers hate having to hunt for your content information, or return information. Don’t make them. Make it super clear from the start of your help desk. Making it harder for someone to make a return will not prevent returns from being made, but, making it easier can. Why? Because if it’s super easy to return something those who are going to make that choice anyway will do it right away. Those for whom another solution will work will look for another solution or contact customer service personally without having made a return yet. This is yet another way to qualify people so that you don’t waste more time and money on customers who cannot be pleased. The key word here for customer self-help is KISS — Keep it Seriously Simple.

6-satisfactionAlways Offer Money BackWhile it can be scary to do so, especially if you offer a service, it’s important to offer some form of money back offer. If the product is digital or even physical, a return can mean just selling the product again, but if it’s a service where you cannot ever get back the time it took, you’re going to have to sometimes suck it up and cover the cost yourself.

This isn’t to say you have to be walked all over, but there are ways to at least break even on such situations. For instance, you can offer a percentage back based on how much work has been done. But, if a client is really unhappy and you cannot make it right, sometimes it’s best to just give them the money back, take back the rights for them to use the work you did, and move on.

Be PersonalThey say “It’s not personal; it’s business” all the time, but the truth is that from a customer’s standpoint, giving you money is very personal. The customer wants to feel like they know you and trust you before opening their wallet. When using email for communication, or chat for that matter, always use your customer’s name.

Thankfully, even in email there are automation possibilities, so that even canned email can be addressed to the name of the customer. So, whether email, chat, or phone, always use the customer’s name as naturally and as much as possible. They will feel more connected to you and more likely to appreciate your help.


Don’t Ignore ComplaintsWhen a customer complains, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, a blog post, or privately via your ticketing system or email, don’t ignore it. Even if there is no apparent solution, the best thing to do is respond in a way that attempts to tone down the situation and seek to offer a solution. Your customers expect to get answers via whatever form they choose to register their complaint, and if you’re going to offer these lines of communication, then you had best be monitoring them.

Even if a complaint can’t be directly addressed to the person, don’t ignore it. If customers know that you will respond to these types of complaints, customers will actually spend more with your company. Even if they weren’t the one who registered the complaint, seeing how you dealt with the complaint, especially public social media complaints, gives future customers confidence that they’ll get any problems they have solved, too.

Ensure that you monitor all social media accounts so you’ll know what is being said about your business, and have a plan in place of how you or customer service contractors will deal with the complaints. You’ll need to determine if it’s a real complaint or spam. Real complaints need answers; spam can and should be deleted. The more personable you can be on social media, the better. Customers want to see “you” and the people behind the business on social media.

Offer Solutions Not ExcusesCustomers want you to solve their problems, so go to them with solutions to the problems, not excuses. If you are having trouble dealing with all the questions you get via your customer service channels, then it might be time to get some help. You can hire a customer service Virtual Assistant who can lighten the load for you tremendously. When your customer or client tells you what they need, provide it. If it’s not possible, apologize and refund their money.


Go Above and BeyondMake the customer feel special and you’ll earn a customer for life. Being simply adequate at customer service is not enough. There is far too much competition out there for that. Just for one moment put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about the last time you received truly exceptional customer service. There probably are less than a handful of cases. Right?

In the cases you can remember where a business went out of their way to solve a problem for you, didn’t you feel great?  One way you can differentiate yourself from your competitors is to visit their online customer service and figure out where they lack and then fill that hole. Even if solving the problem is going to take time, you can make a customer feel super special by providing frequent updates about the status of their issue so that they know that you’ve not forgotten them.

Try a few extra special touches when you’re dealing with a specific complaint as well. Do things such as give a large discount due to their problem, or give them something free. Send them a personal note in snail mail if you have access to their address with a special coupon code or a sneak peak sample of a new product or service you’re developing. Ask for feedback. They’ll appreciate the extra thought, and likely do business with you again.

10 Things Not to Do on Facebook When Posting as Your Brand


Let’s discuss a little bit about posting as a brand on Facebook. There are many examples of brands messing up on social media and you don’t want to be one of them. Think: Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro ( ). Look it up to see what happened with them. Essentially, they’re a fabulous example of what not to do.

9-no-slashDon’t Argue & Defend — So you get a poster who is complaining about you, your product or both, and you feel hurt and defensive. This is not the time to post an argumentative post back to the person, putting them in their place. It’s okay to admit mistakes and it’s okay to delete obvious spam, but it’s never okay to be rude, no matter how bad your feelings are hurt.

Don’t Post Only a Link — Everything you post should have a blurb about what you’re sharing, or posting. Whether it’s an image, a video, sharing other people’s content, or your own blog posts — always post a tease about it, plus don’t forget an obvious call to action. If you don’t ask your readers to share, follow, buy, or like, they probably won’t.

Don’t Automate Too Much — This might seem like a time saver, but in reality it’s pretty much a waste of time to automate too much. While all kind of apps and plugins exist to help you with these tasks (some mentioned in this report) it’s really not helpful to post the same thing to Facebook as you do Twitter. They are very different systems. Also the way EdgeRank works is that automatic status updates are relegated to wherever posts go that don’t wind up in newsfeeds.

Don’t Post Only Text — Images and Video get more love, that’s just a fact of both the EdgeRank system and human nature. Humans love video and images more than plain text. It adds interest to the page and gets fans curious to look further. Plus when someone who has not liked your page sees this as shared from a friend, they’ll be prompted to like your page.

Don’t be a Control Freak — It’s okay sometimes to let others take care of some choices for you. For instance, you can let your audience choose your next product title, the features of the product and more by posting a poll asking for their opinions or posting a link to a voting page. Offer incentives for participation.

Don’t Skip Days — It’s understandable if you get sick, or something like that happens, but it’s imperative that you keep a consistent pattern to your updates to guarantee maximum exposure and engagement. If you have a plan, and it’s only taking you 10 minutes a day there won’t be may excuses to not seeing it through. When you need to be absent use a scheduling feature or outsource it.

Don’t Ignore Comments — When people take the time to comment on a page, or share something, it’s nice to make a comment back, or “like” their share. They’ll see that you did that through notifications and appreciate that you noticed and do more of it in the future. Making people feel special will always win them over.

Don’t Post Too Much — Posting a continuous stream of stuff can actually cause your fans to be turned off. Try working your way up to three posts a day by starting with just one per day. Consider your target audience as to when the right time to post your updates are. Each audience is unique.

Don’t be Irrelevant — You have a target audience, and you have a niche. Stick to that niche and make each posted update fit into that niche. Don’t try to go outside of your area of expertise or you’ll create confusion amongst your target audience. Be relevant and post only useful, valuable and targeted information on your Facebook page.

Don’t Ignore Metrics — It’s imperative that you know whether what you’re doing is affecting your goals or not. There is no point wasting time doing things that are not seeing the results you want. If you don’t study the metrics you will be shooting in the dark without benefit of night vision.

Not only should you avoid these actions when posting as your brand, if you’ve connected your personal profile to your business page, be very careful about what you post there too. People can get offended very easily.

4 Tools To Automate RSS to Social Media



One of the easiest ways to automate your social media is to take an RSS feed and plug it into your Twitter and/or Facebook profiles. RSS feeds can be made from just about any kind of dynamic content: From blogs to news sources to video channels.

This technique can save a lot of time, but should also be used with a bit of caution. Avoid spamming your feed with RSS content. If you want to build a real audience, it helps to mix in a bit of automated content with hand-written content.

Start by identifying the feed(s) that you want to push to your social media accounts. You can use your own feed, or you can use any feed from anywhere on the internet. Make sure that if you’re using someone else’s feed, you check your Tweets regularly to make sure that you really feel good about what’s going out in your name.

Here are four of the best services to use for RSS to social media automation.


Twitterfeed is one of the original RSS to social media services on the web. They support Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

To get started, create an account, then click


Fill in the details about the RSS feed you want to add.

Click “Advanced Settings” to specify more details about how you want Twitterfeed to use your RSS feed.


Select which social network you want to post your RSS feed to.


Then authenticate the account you want to post to.



It’s that easy! Twitterfeed is 100% free, so just about anyone can use it to automate their RSS to social media postings.


ConvertSocial is a social media integration, automation and management suite with a wide range of different features. They have a 30 day free trial account, after which you’ll have to pick one of their paid plans.

To get started with automating your social media posting, create an account, then click “Add/Edit Services.”


Go to the RSS tab, then click “Add” next to “RSS Auto Poster.”


You’ll then be able to adjust your feed settings. Note that automating your social media is a paid feature. You won’t be able to access the settings screen until you’ve subscribed.



Hootsuite is one of the largest social media integration sites on the web. They also have a special feature that allows you to post an RSS feed to your social media sites.

To add an RSS feed, log into your Hootsuite account. Then go the launch menu on the left, click the Settings icon and then RSS/Atom.

Click the “+” button next to your RSS feed screen.


Then specify how you want your feed to be setup. You can add the feed URL, specify the account to post to, specify how often to check for update, specify how many posts to post at each time and pre-append text to the tweets.


If social media integration is important to you, using Hootsuite for both your automation and your integration will make managing your whole social media strategy much easier. is a very basic service that allows you to quickly and easily post your RSS feed to Twitter and Facebook. There aren’t a whole lot of advanced features. You get the social media automation, quickly, no more and no less.

Start by creating an account. It’s a simple process: Just enter your email and password.

Then type in the URL of the feed you want to add.


Choose which social media site you want to add your feed to.


Then authorize to post to that website.



Social media automation allows you to constantly update the content of your website, without always having to put in many hours of work.

Make sure you create a coherent strategy that’ll allow you to keep your users engaged, while mixing in a bit of automated content that your readers will still love.

10 Tips on How to Avoid Looking Like a Robot on Social Media

social_mediaOne of the big risks to using social media integration is looking impersonal or robot-like. After all, if you’re regularly posting updates from your blog to your social media, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it’s automated. If people start feeling like you’re not interacting with them personally, they’ll disconnect.

Social media integration can be a very powerful way to speed up your social media strategy and get more done in less time. However, it’s crucial that you’re also aware of whether or not you appear automated.

Here are the top 10 ways you can integrate your social media without looking like a robot.

#1: Respond to Personal Messages En Mass

Social media integration tools will allow you to check all your messages in one easy to access location.

For example, sign into Hootsuite and you can see all your Twitter DMs and Facebook PMs in two different columns. You can quickly and easily identify new messages that you need to respond to.

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t come across as a robot is to respond to every single private message or direct message that gets sent your way.

Build personal connections with the people in your network. Social media integration tools can help you save time when you’re responding to these messages. If people can’t get a hold of you, chances are they’ll feel like you’re not being authentic. If you’re regularly dialoguing with your audience however, it’s very hard to come across as a robot.


#2: Add Personal Comments to Cross-Posts

Whenever you do a cross-post, add personal comments. Don’t just use an automated system to do all the work.

For example, let’s say you have a system that lets you cross post from your blog to your Twitter. Whenever you write a new blog post, it’ll create a shortened link for you and post it to your Twitter.

Instead of using an automated tool to do it, add a personal touch. Share the blog post with a brief one-liner from you about what the post is or why people should read it.

Just this one personal touch can change the perception of the post from “automated” to “highly personal” and “added value.”


#3: Reach Out to People Who Regularly Interact With You

One fantastic way to appear more personal is to be more, well, personal.

Use your social media integration tools to follow a variety of different feeds, including feeds from all your Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.

Look for people who’re regularly participating in your feeds. Look for people who’re retweeting your content, commenting on your content or sharing your content.

Whenever you spot someone who you think appreciates your work, reach out to them directly. Send them a quick thank you note. Begin building a personal relationship.

In reality, there’s no such thing as what your “social media” thinks about you. Your social media is just the collection of all your one on one relationships. Deepen your relationships with the people who matter most and you’ll have zero risk of coming across as a robot.



#4: Look at the Birds Eye View of Your Posts

Do you sound repetitive? Do your posts have soul? Are you connecting with your audience, or are you merely putting out “clinically good” content that doesn’t have any personality?

When you look at your social media on a post by post basis, it’s very hard to gauge what the overall “vibe” of your social media messages is. However, when you take a step back and really look at your posts from a bird’s eye view, you can learn a lot about your own voice.

Using your social media integration tools, load up all the feeds of your previous posts in one screen.

Then read through your last 10 to 20 updates on each of your various accounts. What would someone who only saw these updates think? Were they warm and inviting, or did they seem corporate and stiff?

Use social media integration tools to get a bird’s eye view of your current strategy. This will allow you to see your brand the way your audience sees it. Then make chances accordingly.

#5: Retweet and Share More Often

If you’re only posting content, blog updates and tweets about yourself or your company, you won’t look like an authentic social media user. Real Twitter users also read other people’s feeds, follow other people they’re interested in, retweet great posts and share on Facebook.

Unfortunately, if you’re managing multiple Twitter accounts and multiple Facebook pages, it can be very difficult to do this in a personal yet systematic way.

Social media integration allows you to do this, without looking like it’s automated. You’ll be able to load up feeds from all your different accounts in one place, then quickly identify posts that you find valuable. You can then retweet or share those posts all from one screen.

This won’t appear robotic because you’ll only be retweeting or sharing things you genuinely like. People will get more of a sense for the kinds of content that you value.

It’ll help you appear more like a real person, rather than someone who just posts updates.


#6: Write and Rewrite Your Posts to Increase Expressiveness

One of the best things about using social media integration tools is the ability to schedule posts in advance. Instead of writing a post once and having it be final, you have all your future posts laid out in one place.

While this saves a lot of time and makes things a lot more efficient, it also has one side benefit: You get to change your posts after you’ve written them, as long as they haven’t gone live yet.

The best writers in the world often spend hours writing and re-writing paragraphs. Stephen King was once said to have spent a whole day writing and rewriting just one sentence.


Assuming that you can write a status update or tweet and have it land just right on the first go simply isn’t realistic. Instead, why not write your tweets, then rewrite them, then rewrite them, then rewrite them until they’re maximally expressive and impactful?

The scheduling features of social media integration will allow you to do just that. Use these tools to refine your posts until your personality really comes out. Don’t let your posts come out stale or impersonal. Scheduling gives you the time you need to really perfect how your voice comes across.

#7: Do Something Spontaneous

Sometimes you want to meticulously plan out each and every one of your social media messages. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to be completely spontaneous.

Spontaneity is a great way to let your personality shine through. It’s a great way to let people get to know you. It’s also the only way you can respond to extremely fast current events.

Social media integration tools will allow you to be spontaneous in a big way. Instead of having to post one message, then log out of your Twitter account and back into another, you can just post your spontaneous message to all your accounts at once.

There’s nothing quite as ironic or vibe-killing as posting a “spontaneous” message across multiple networks over 30 minutes because you had to keep logging out and logging in. Instead, use social media integration tools to post spontaneous thoughts and events as they happen to all your networks.

#8: Post Different Content to Different Profiles

One thing that screams “automation!” is when you just constantly post the same content from one network to another. While not all of your social media followers will notice, enough of them will that it’ll seriously hurt your brand and reputation.

Yes, if you write a great blog post you’ll probably want to share it on Twitter and Facebook. Yes, if there’s something important going on at your company, you may very well want to share it on both networks.

But go out of your way to shift things up and make things a little different for each network. For example, re-word the way you introduce your blog posts. Or wait a week between posting the same content to each network.

That way, anyone who’s subscribed to both networks won’t get the sense that you’re mechanically posting across the board. Instead, they’ll get the sense that you’re personalizing your message to each network – Because you are.

#9: Respond to Questions Publically

When someone asks you a question in public, try to answer it in public. Use integration tools to scan all your networks regularly to see what kinds of topics people are talking and asking about.

If people see a lot of questions getting asked without an answer, they’ll be discouraged from asking questions of their own. They’ll get the sense that you’re not really looking out for them or trying to connect with them.

On the other hand, when people see that you take the time to answer questions in public, they’ll feel valued. They’ll feel more involved in your community and want to participate. You’ll appear more real and less robotic.

Watch for @replies and mentions. Talk to people who talk to you. Whenever a question is asked on your Facebook page or in a hashtag you created, try to answer it as quickly as possible.

Social media integration tools can help you get to these questions quickly and efficiently.

#10: Make Your Branding Personal

Don’t want to look like a robot? Make your branding personal.

Start with your Facebook cover and your Twitter profile picture. Pick a color scheme and graphic scheme that makes sense for your brand and make it as personal as possible.

Use your social media tools to create posts that go along with that brand. For example, if you have a vibrant brand, post fun and lively messages. On the other hand, if you’re branding yourself as an expert on a topic, make it a habit to answer questions in deep details.

Social media integration tools can make posting, answering questions and disseminating a core brand message much easier.

Your core brand should in some way be tied to your voice. It’s okay if you have a company whose image needs to be extremely personal. You can still add your voice to it. Even Google often uses phrases like “Don’t be evil” and “We made it suck less.” Figure out your brand internally, then use the tools available to you to proliferate that brand.
These are ten different ways you can make sure that you don’t come across robotic, monotonous or automatic when you’re integrating your social media. Social media integration can be a huge blessing when used properly. Just make sure you don’t tarnish your reputation by coming off as using computer generated content.