When a customer encounters a problem in using a product or a service, they typically reach out to customer or technical support over the phone or via email. This, however, has changed.
According to a survey from Social Media Today, consumers are turning to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms for customer care. One finding found that approximately 67 percent of customers use social media websites to seek resolution for problems.
What’s more, one in three social media users prefers customer or technical support provided over social media to email or telephone.
As a business owner, you should use your social media platforms to effectively address questions, concerns and complaints posted by customers.
By doing so, you can humanize your brand, establish brand equity and better engage your followers.
Here are a few ways to deliver outstanding customer service on social media:
1. Improve Your Customer Responsiveness
If your company decides to adopt social media as one of your customer service channels, you’ll need to do away with the 9-to-5 customer care setup. You’ll have to keep in mind that your customers are omnipresent. They expect a quick response regardless of the time of day.
If your organization has the resources or budget, delegate the responsibilities of community management and social customer service to more than one employee.
Make sure these staff members fully understand your brand guidelines and social media strategy.
Also, consider encouraging employees to install relevant mobile apps in the event of serious and time-sensitive complaints. These apps will help expedite response times.
2. Use “Please” and “Thank You”
Regardless of how strong the comments are against your company, product or service, you need to stay professional at all times.
At the end of the day, the customer still deserves respect even if they’re saying mean things about you. Going off like a rocket and responding to comments negatively will only hurt the reputation of your business.
So, be polite as you can even when things get heated. You could start by appropriately using please and thank you in your responses. A few example statements are:
- “Thank you for your patience.”
- “Please rest assured that we’re staying on top of this matter.”
- “Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention.”
These respectful statements can go a long way in helping you deliver superior customer service.
3. Monitor Every Mention of Your Brand
From time to time, enter your business name (or any acronyms associated with your organization) into the search bar on each social networking website. You’ll obtain results that show messages where your brand was mentioned. Use this as an opportunity to engage and respond to customers.
This approach to reputation management displays your commitment to delivering customer satisfaction and establishes you as a customer-centric brand.
4. Accommodate Multiple Social Media Channels
Although Facebook is the largest social media website around, it’s not the only platform your business should use. You need to consider other social channels, as well.
Also, you need to manage these channels efficiently. Your aim should be to resolve a customer conversation quickly regardless of the social networking platform you use.
5. Communicate Proactively
Another way to provide stellar customer service on social media is to encourage dialogue and communication with social media followers outside times of crisis. Let your customers know that you want to hear from them by asking them to submit pictures of them using your company’s product or service.
Also, cultivate long-term relationships with your most active followers.
When consumers feel connected with a company, they’re more willing to cut some slack when things go wrong. Rather than seeing followers as mere numbers, treat them as friends to build better brand awareness and customer loyalty.
6. Take Responsibility
Own up to the mistakes of your business if something goes wrong with your product or service. When a customer rants on social media and it’s your fault, take responsibility for the mishap.
Apologize for the inconvenience, explain what happened and provide an estimated time of resolution.
By being upfront about a problem demonstrates that your company is forthright and honest. Issues can prop up in any organization, but the way your business takes care of these problems reflects your character, which affects the perception of your brand.
7. Collect Feedback from Social Media Followers
Asking for feedback may seem like a daunting task. After all, nobody looks forward to receiving criticism. Still, both positive and negative feedback can give your brand insights that you could use to improve your business.
If you’ve resolved their complaint using Facebook Messenger, for instance, get them to rate the support they receive by sending them a survey link. Keep your questions short, sweet and straight to the point.
These suggestions will help you deliver stellar customer service on social media. Incorporate these tips into your company’s daily routine to take your customer experience to the next level.