Best Social Media Customer Service Tool for Small Business

GooglePlus, the relatively new social media platform entrant, has untapped potentials as a social media customer service tool. It is commonly used and touted as a great tool to help with search engine optimization (SEO) and also to help brand awareness. Fact is, it’s Hangouts has features that a small business can harness to improve quality of  service you provide to clients.
We already know that clients use social media to complain or laud about their experience with a brand.  To prove this point,  just try checkg Yelp, Tripadvisor, Facebook, Twitter, etc and you will note there how (un)happy they are with a company.  Use of social media for social care will only grow.
According to a survey by AmericanExpress:

  • Three out of four consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences, similar to last year (75% in 2012; 73% in 2011).
  • Of those surveyed, 50% use social media to  “Seek a response from a company to help you with a service issue”

There is nothing like a loyal client for a small business.  Loyalty is earned. And to earn that, you have to be quick and responsive.

Google+ Hangout as Social Media Customer Service Tool  

Image cred: Google

Google+ Hangout is a video chat that enables you to communicate with your clients regardless of what part of the world they may be located. This plugin is free and easy to install. It is part of Google+ suite that can be used as a social care tool for small businesses, like you.  Using Google+ hangout for client support humanizes your businesses. There is nothing like the client seeing you or your representative in real time as you help them with their problem. Seeing a person live albeit virtual can potentially influence their sentiment toward your business.

What is best type of Google+ Hangout to use for Customer Service 

Before jumping in and doing hangout with a client, note that there are two types of “Hangouts” (see image)


  1. Google+ Hangouts (Green, right side)  is private and can only be viewed by people or “Circle” that you send an invite to. It is located below your Google+ avatar or image. The conversation here is not recorded.
  2. Google+ Hangouts on Air (Yellow, left side) is public. Anyone can watch it and listen to the conversation. You can have, including yourself, up to 10 people in a hangout. Anyone beyond that can watch and listen to it. Google records conversation on this one.  This is located right side of your Google+ dashboard under “Home.”

Between the two, Google+ Hangouts is the best choice when handling social care.

What makes Google+ Hangout better than other social media customer service tools?

  1. It is free and very easy to install.
  2. It puts a face to your brand instead of just a logo.
  3. You are able to provide support to your customer in real time.
  4. You can use Google+ Hangout for customer service using smart devices, and your customer can too.
  5. Your customer can SHOW you what is going on or vice versa.
  6. The attention you give your customer using video chat gives you the chance to change customer sentiment

What makes Google+ Hangout as the best social media customer service tool

It is the features that make it as the best social CRM available out there. Here is a look at what is inside a hangout if you haven’t tried it yet for customer support.

Google+ Hangout Features
Inside Google+Hangout: Features that make it the best social CRM tool for small business
  1. Chat: You can type here link/URL of documents you wanted to share to the customer or site that you want them to visit. You can also use it to type instructions. Your client can also exchange emails if further investigation about the support incident is needed.
  2. Screenshare: Sometimes there is a disconnect on what you are telling the client  and how he/she understands it. You can “show” them your screen by clicking that. The client can also do the same.
  3. Capture:  You can use this to take photo of the document on-screen.
  4. Hangout Toolbox: Other tools are on there if you need them.
  5. Remote Desktop: There are times when you and your customer just often are not on the same page. That can be very frustrating to customers. The best way to do this is “show the talk” by controlling your customer’s desktop  with their permission. This is one really neat tool that you can use as you show your customer what to do.
  6. Google Effects: Silly hats and more silly hats. I wouldn’t use it for business, unless the customer is aBFF of yours. Just as an example, here’s why I wouldn’t use it:

    @SocialChirps in silly hat!

It has other apps that are yet to be tapped.

Important: Note when using Google+ Hangout  as your Social Care Tool

  1. Make sure you have good internet connection. It can get static-y. Voice stutters sometimes.
  2. When  using Hangout as a social care tool,  make sure that the “look” of your background on-screen is business-like and not distracting.
  3. Make sure your dog is not around. I’m not kidding.
  4. Light should be even…meaning not just behind you. If light is behind you. That means you are back-lit. You will appear like a black glob.
  5. Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing. I don’t know why I have to say that but I feel compelled.

 Rule of Thumb for Social Care Support

Caveat: When you call support, a tech rep usually asks you for a phone number, right? Do the same when using Google+ Hangout. Why? Sometimes the video chat stutters and the on-screen image can get blurry. And worst, it may get disconnected or hang up!  Make sure that you have a contact info as back-up in case the tool fails you.
According to Amex Survey, clients share to people about their customer service experience more than anything. What would your client say about you?   What social care tool for business do you use? Your turn, my friend.
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