To be the most effective, customer service must constantly evolve and keep up with changing trends. Here are three strategies for successful customer service today:

No. 1: Connect through Social Media

Like it or not, social media is here to stay, and you must find ways to make it work for you. Your customers use social media to comment on your business, and their friends and acquaintances read their comments. You need to monitor social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to be aware of the buzz about your business – are you getting good reviews or complaints? Interact with customers, thank them for positive comments and for their patronage, and quickly correct any complaints.

Look at complaints as a PR opportunity and use social media channels to start a conversation – tell the customer and his or her followers what you will do to remedy any problems. You can turn negative feedback around to your advantage.

And go beyond just using social media to react and respond – actively use these channels to create more value and interest for your customer. Offer suggestions and tips about the use of your product, highlight special customers, and make your presence known to current and potential clients in the social media community.

No. 2: Build a YouTube Channel

YouTube is much more than music videos and cute kittens. Smart businesses are using it to connect with the world by offering informational videos and more. You could feature videos that teach about your product’s features, including videos created by you as well as by customers sharing their personal experiences with the product or service, or simply offering testimonials. Much that has traditionally been in print form, such as product manuals and support information, could also be offered in video format.

But, understand that this is an ongoing project – one video will fade away, so you must post new videos every week or month to keep it fresh. Be sure your descriptions optimize the YouTube search engine (which is owned by Google).

The YouTube strategy falls under the category of customer service, rather than marketing, because it is a way to give the existing customer a value-added experience.

No. 3: Don’t Forget the Basics

In your quest to connect with customers by keeping up with the latest technology, don’t let the proven basics of customer service fall away. Continue to build your customer focused culture by hiring the right people, training them well and managing effectively.

Author's Bio: 

Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more articles on customer service and business go to http://www.hyken.com.