LinkedIn is a big deal – and that’s not just true for individuals looking to find a new job, but for big companies too. Some examples of companies that have spent a lot of effort on their LinkedIn pages are Starbucks, Salesforce, and Verison. They all put significant effort into sharing engaging news and reports their audience would much appreciate. Salesforce even went further and created an integration app allowing their customers to save time by focusing on their sales process without a necessity to switch between the platforms.
But it’s not just big outside companies that need to worry about their customer service profile. Similarly, the networks themselves have to get it right. After all, if they get it wrong then their own networks will work against them as people spread stories about their bad experiences. And so, they have to get it right.
Do they? Well, it turns out that it’s rather hit and miss, with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter all scoring in the sixties in a recent survey – with them scoring 65, 68 and 67 respectively on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. If your kid came home with grades like that, you’d get them a tutor!
Of course, there is a caveat with many users still not quite getting used to the fact that these platforms need to make money. The chairman of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, Claes Fornell, said: “Consumers have not fully accepted advertising as a necessary cost for online services they have come to expect as free.”
At the same time, other platforms do better. For example, Google+ got a rating of 75, while Wikipedia came in at 78. So it would seem it is possible to get decent ratings. Again, that does come with a caveat as the user-base for the different services is different and professionals may judge on different merits than other users do.
It turns out that there are a few nice services out there to use, actually. Though they don’t always receive as much attention as they deserve. Let’s look at a few good ones.
The LinkedIn mentoring service has been designed to give people new to the market access to people who know their stuff. This service matches up people so that both can benefit. The mentored getting a chance to boost their specific skills and make connections, while the mentor gets the opportunity to hone their teaching skills, get access to potentially high-value people starting in the industry and, possibly most importantly, gets to do all that without having to fear that it’s just another sales pitch.
It’s useful for students, businesses and anybody else who would like to get some expert advice. Of course, it’s still small scale, so make sure you check whether it’s actually available in the country and city that you’re in.
Facebook Groups get a lot of coverage, but really it’s the LinkedIn Groups that we should pay attention to. This is because nearly everything worthwhile that happens on LinkedIn happens in groups. Small biz nation and Social Media Marketing have over 20 thousand followers and allow you to find like-minded people who share your passion and can help you along, be it or customer service representatives, travel or top companies reviews. That’s also where you can get the introductions that you need.
The great thing about the groups is that they aren’t run by LinkedIn directly, they just provide the platform. Instead, they are run by people who are actually passionate about the group that they’ve created. In this way, when there are any problems, you know that the person handling it is going to deal with it with a full understanding of the facts and with a real ambition to resolve the situation to the benefit of the group – rather than some customer service rep who is just trying to get through their workload for the day.
What’s more, because these people are simply fellow voyagers on the LinkedIn platform, we cut them a little bit more slack (and hope they do the same to us).
You might think that trending news is a bad idea, based on how these networks have often lead to fake news getting boosted. And yet, LinkedIn too has delved into this field. What they’ve done differently from Facebook, though, is to make sure that the initial selection of articles is done by a team of reputable journalists, so as to avoid the danger of fake news once again taking over.
Another advantage might well be its audience, as those people who use the network are more likely to be qualified professionals. No, they are not immune to fake news (and certainly shouldn’t think that) but they are hopefully taught to be a bit more skeptical and will have learned to check their sources.
This means the service is a little bit more trustworthy than the other social media giant’s attempts. What’s more, as it’s free and you actually need to go to the ‘trending’ tab on LinkedIn to see it, it’s not being forced upon us and instead is a personal choice that each of us gets to make. Now that’s a good service!
The best thing about networks like LinkedIn is people that are on it. Really, the power of these networks lies in the connections you can make there. The more social media platforms get out of the way and allow communication to happen as naturally and constructively as possible, the more useful those networks will be to their customers.
The strange thing is that social media platforms only recently started to realize that, with quite a few venturing into the territory of trying to become a platform for everything else in our lives, when we really needed it to be a good way for us to connect with the people around us.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, didn’t lose sight of that. Perhaps that’s because they know what they’re for. Unlike the other platforms, they’re aimed at a specific market and aim to help them do a specific thing. That means that while the other platforms were experimenting and doing things that ultimately made them lose sight of their ambitions, LinkedIn managed to stay on target.
And that shows. All the tools that we’ve looked at today boost their central mission – which is to enhance your business network. Now, despite the mediocre score that many people give the platform, that is something to be celebrated and a good lesson to learn when you’re aiming to make your customer service more meaningful.