In the digital-first world, the way we approach customer service has drastically changed. Gone are the days of customer complaints getting resolved through traditional call centers or mail.
Today’s customers require their complaints or concerns to be resolved quickly. And social media is increasingly becoming the space where customers raise queries or share their bad experiences with a business. It is where a major share of customer service interactions happens today.
Consequently, businesses are gearing up to deliver reliable customer service through social media. In this blog, let’s explore social media customer service in detail and we have listed the best practices for delivering customer service through social media.
What is Social Media Customer Service?
Social media customer service is the practice of using social media tools for providing customer service. It allows businesses to resolve the queries or concerns of the customers quickly. Social media allows businesses to provide omnichannel customer service and encourage interactions about the brand.
Though social media was initially used by businesses for marketing and advertising, it is quickly evolving as a customer service platform. People expect personalized attention from businesses these days and they don’t want to wait long for their concerns to be resolved. They are more likely to post their opinions or share their concerns on social media. They consider social media as a platform for instant chat support as well.
Why is Social Media Customer Service Important?
The major benefit of using social media as a customer service platform is the flexibility and accessibility the customer gets to connect to the business representatives. Studies show that over 60% of customers believe quick support is an important aspect of good customer service. In social media, customer concerns are heard and resolved quickly. Since there are multiple social media platforms, the customers can use their preferred channel for connecting with the customer service department.
Failing to respond to customer service requests on social media can significantly impact the brand’s image. A study by Gartner shows that it can lead 15% increase in churn. By proactively responding to customer queries, companies can expect customers to increase their spending with the company.
In fact, customer service through social media is mutually beneficial. The customers get easy accessibility to the company’s representatives via social media. On the other hand, businesses can aim for better user engagement and improved social interaction. It makes the customer feel closer to the brand and helps in building a strong emotional connection.
Providing quick assistance to the concerns or queries of customers will boost the authenticity of the brand. It can be really advantageous for small businesses. Moreover, it is a cost-effective strategy to consider social media as a customer service platform.
10 Tips For Delivering Better Customer Service Through Social Media
Regardless of the size, providing customer support through social media is a challenging task for any business. Small businesses may face a shortage of resources and large companies may find it difficult to connect with each customer. Here are a few essential tips for streamlining social media customer service.
Keep A Separate Handle For Customer Support
Apart from your primary social media channel, set up another handle for dealing with customer service requests. While you can assign the primary channel to a social media team, you can give the second one to the customer service team which makes the whole process easy and effective. It will help to keep the support and service requests separate from your primary handle.
However, people may still connect with concerns and queries through the main channel. When a service query comes to the primary account, the social media team can direct it to the customer support handle.
Focus On Relevant Social Media Channels
There are multiple social media channels, and it is not required to focus on all of them. You can choose the platforms that are relevant to your business for delivering customer service. Try to understand where your target audience spends their time. If you are confused, you can survey your target group to know which platform would they prefer to connect to your business.
Monitor Conversations About Your Brand
On social media, people may post messages or opinions about your brand without tagging your handles. Hence you need to monitor the conversations happening about your business and respond to service issues proactively. You can use social media tools that alert you whenever there is a mention of your brand.
Also, you should not expect your customers to mention your brand name correctly in conversations. Sometimes they would mention the product name or even mention it with the wrong spelling.
Make A Guideline For Social Media Customer Service
Customer service using social media has its own challenges. Having a proper guideline helps to streamline the process of delivering social media customer service. It should align with the tone and voice of your brand.
The guideline should include the answers to frequently asked questions, the tone of the response, the response time for different channels, etc. Also, it can mention the protocol for escalations to make it easier for the social media customer service team.
Provide Speedy Response
When you provide customer service through emails, phone calls, or in-person, speed might not be the most important factor. When it comes to social media, speed of response is critical.
A survey by The Social Habit says that around 32% of people expect a response in 30 minutes of posting a customer request on social media. Almost half of the users do not want to wait for more than an hour for getting a response.
The point is simple – keep your response time minimal so that your customers won’t be disappointed. Also, you can keep the answers to frequently asked questions ready for providing instant replies.
Keep The Customer Expectations Appropriate
As we know, your customers expect a quick and friendly response on social media. But it is a challenge for businesses to provide 24/7 customer support on different social media platforms. What you can do is keep the customer expectations appropriately so that they don’t get disappointed.
For example, you can mention the hours of customer service available on the platform. It will help your customers understand that you will be offline. Also, you can mention the self-help solutions link while you are offline. Or you can mention the call center numbers that customers can reach when you are away.
Rethink The Definition of Customer Service
The approach to customer service through social media varies according to business. In social media, customer service can be anything that establishes a connection between the brand and the customer. It is up to you to decide what would qualify as a customer service issue. You can think broadly about customer service other than fixing issues or resolving complaints.
Mind The Tone And Voice of Conversations
Not to mention, tone and empathy are critical factors in delivering good customer service. When it comes to social media, adjusting your tone of support can be quite challenging. Here is the solution – change your tone depending on whom you are talking to.
Suppose you are talking to a frustrated customer. You can choose an apologetic and empathetic tone to make them feel comfortable. If you are talking to a customer who uses emoticons or exclamation marks, you can respond in a similar pattern.
The tone of the voice should depend on whom you are talking to and which platform you are using. On social media like Facebook or Instagram, people expect more or less a friendly approach.
Never Fail To Respond
Responding to queries related to your product or service on social media helps you attract potential customers as well. People who make an opinion or post a query about your brand may not be a customer yet.
Responding to such posts gives the message to the target group that you deliver responsible customer service. It shows that you care for your customer’s needs and help to establish brand authenticity. When you ignore or fail to respond to such queries, the customer may probably move to another brand.
Take It Offline When Required
Well, it is not possible to resolve all types of customer issues over social media. It is an extended space where customers can reach out for support. Some platforms do not allow you to write lengthy messages. Or it may not be appropriate to share confidential information on the platform.
Therefore, you should have a guideline in place to promptly transfer the customer support to call or email when required. Make sure you convey it in an empathetic and friendly tone without disappointing the customer.
Let Our Experts Help
By delivering good customer service on social media, you open another door to grow your business. If you are working on a solid social media strategy for customer acquisition and retention, we can assist you. At Fresh Content Society, we help small businesses unleash the power of social media to grow their business.
Talk to our team for a free consultation!