The introduction of private messaging for brands has made customer care on Facebook more personal, but as Christopher Heine at ClickZ recently discussed, there are both pros and cons to the new system.
Tesco Fresh & Easy have been piloting the new direct messaging service for months and have been overwhelmed by the positive customer response. The American supermarket chain has been using their own individual accounts to respond to customers who have posted comments or questions about a product or retail problem. “It blows people away when they notice the [Facebook] message is from our brand" explained Nicole DeRuiter, social media manager for Tesco. “We've never received a response from a consumer saying they thought it was creepy to hear from us."
The set up of the new messaging system is simple: brands can respond to messages from Facebook users, but cannot initiate contact. This is a step up from the previous system which limited all brand - customer communication to wall posts. The system is designed to let brands respond more personally to customer feedback, comments and ideas and the restrictions Facebook have put in place to prevent unsolicited emails should stop brands using the feature to push sales.
While private messaging paves the way for a more one to one approach to customer care, it’s crucial that brands have a strategy in place to manage this new two way dialogue with consumers. "Brands absolutely must stay on top of their private messages coming in from consumers or else risk turning off or even losing customers" said Lisa Mabe, founder of Hewar communications.
With email, Twitter, phone and possibly live chat already on your customer care list, keeping on top of private messaging on Facebook is going to mean a significant amount of work. But with your resort’s online reputation at stake, it’s a task that is vital to get to grips with. Are you ready to talk one to one with your customers on Facebook?