Using Social Media for Customer Service

social media support for android appsA few months ago, I downloaded a screenshot utility from the Android Market to my Android phone. I had to pay for it, but I needed it for work, so I was fine with shelling out the dollar or so that it cost. (It was actually 100 Japanese Yen.) It worked great and I loved it. I used it for the screenshots in my app and in many of my blog posts here. About two weeks ago, my phone started acting weird. The home screen didn’t come up right, so I asked my husband, who in addition to being a juggler, is also an engineer, and he said “reset it.”

I reset the phone, and it worked perfectly. My contacts are stored my SIM so I didn’t lose any. I went to Android Market to download the app again, and something had changed. The app wouldn’t download to my phone. It registered that I owned the app, but the app was no longer compatible with my phone. I looked at the developer’s information, got their twitter handle, and tweeted them a message. Within minutes, they asked me to email them, and within the hour, they’d changed whatever they needed to change in Android Market to allow me to download the app again.

This is an example of what you should be using your social media for – getting problems solved. There are a few things to take away from this example.

  1. Try to be on top of things. Speed is important. You obviously can’t be on 24/7, but try to be on at least once every 24 hours. The faster you get to a complaint, the less time a person has to spread the complaint to all their friends.
  2. Take complaints out of the public forum. Get them to email you immediately. Once they’ve emailed you, everyone sees you’re working on a solution, and no one has to see if the solution fails.
  3. Try to give your customer a good solution. Even if your product is inexpensive or free, you still want your customer to take away a good experience so that they’ll recommend you to others.
  4. If you can’t give the customer a solution, apologize, but not too much. Let them know that you hope they’ll find a good solution and that you’d love to have them use your products another time.
  5. If a customer paid for a product and can’t use it because of a flaw in the app or a change in the app and you can’t find a solution, refund their money. This might hurt, but it’s good business. It also means you won’t get a negative review from them. Remember that negative reviews also hurt your ranking in the Android Market.