Social media as a customer service tool is fast and effective. With social media, you can connect with your customers in real-time and get instant feedback. Besides, handling your customer needs via social media is cheap. According to BrandWatch, using social media channels for handling your customers’ requests and complaints is 12 times cheaper than handling the same requests via phone.
For most customers, social media is more than a platform for interacting with their favorite brands, they also use social apps for their support needs. As per a report by Microsoft, 54% of social media users worldwide hold a better opinion of brands that address customer complaints and queries on social media. It, therefore, goes without saying that combining a great social media strategy with excellent social media customer support gives your followers an excellent user experience. In this article, we take a look at social media in customer service and also give you five social media customer service best practices.
What Is Social Media Customer Service?
Social media customer service is the real-time ongoing support that you offer to your customers across different social media channels. It also involves the social media support you give your customers before, during, and after purchase. Social media customer support helps answer questions, address complaints, give guidance, respond to feedback, and issue refunds. Customers who frequent social networks may request assistance by contacting you via DM, on their social posts, on your posts, or review sites.
The time it takes for you to respond appropriately to your customers’ social requests is what makes a superior customer service experience. Today customers expect prompt responses to their queries. Other good social media customer service examples include:
- Be human – Treat your customers as persons by adding a human touch to your response. For instance, include greetings and address your customers by name.
- Make customer support easy – Don’t make your customer service complicated. For instance, if you can’t solve a customer’s complaint on social media, don’t ask them to dial a call center. Instead, pass them to another chat or customer support solution
- Offer support beyond business hours – Use tools such as customer service chatbots to provide support to customers who may seek support at night, during public holidays, or over the weekend.
How to Use Social Media for Customer Service?
Excellent social media customer service doesn’t happen randomly. You must come up with a plan or a strategy on how it’s going to take effect. If you’re stuck on how best to use social media for customer service, here are five effective ways to get you started.
Look for Comments About Your Company on Various Channels
You should constantly monitor your social media profiles for tags, mentions, and comments to provide speedy customer service. When customers tag your social media profile in their posts, you can easily get a notification about it. But what if they don’t tag you, how do you know they are talking about you?
Well, you can set up an active brand monitoring system to keep track of comments about your brand on different channels. Social media listening tools such as Mention, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Keyhole, and AgoraPulse can also help you track mentions, keywords, hashtags, and URLs that are relevant to your brand.
Respond on Time
Your customers expect you to answer their questions or respond to their complaints in real-time. According to studies, 32% of customers who contact a brand for customer support expect a response within 30 minutes.
Timely responses to your customer queries build your credibility as a brand. It makes you trustworthy, which makes more customers feel comfortable doing business with you. Besides, prompt responses to your customers’ questions can also change the perception of your brand from negative to positive.
Consider Creating a Dedicated Support Channel
Have a dedicated social channel where customers can have their questions answered and their complaints attended to. Such a platform can also act as a reference point where customers can look at how similar issues were handled in the past. A dedicated customer support channel further helps filter out customer questions from other business issues.
Moreover, a dedicated customer service support channel can help your marketing team respond to client questions promptly. Ensure you let your customers know about your social support channel. You can include the handle on your primary channels or your social profiles.
Build a System to Quickly Answer the Questions
Just responding to your customers isn’t enough. Your customers expect a fast and friendly response after contacting you. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially if you’re active on multiple channels. Besides, your customer service team may not be available 24/7. So, what do you do to provide quick responses to your customers’ needs?
First, you have to come up with a customer service system that works for you. For instance, you can fill up social media customer service jobs in your business with a dedicated social media customer support team. You also need to equip your team with multi-channel customer support tools so they can deliver exceptional customer service. Developing a FAQ section can also help your team not to get overwhelmed during busier than normal periods.
Additionally, make it clear to your customers when your customer service team is available. Use tools such as chatbots to answer simple questions or give important information on issues that require immediate response. Features such as Away Messaging or Instant Replies on Facebook, Quick Replies on Twitter, and Saved Replies on Instagram are also effective for providing canned responses when you’re away.
Use the Correct Tone of Voice
In addition to solving your customer issues, customer service is also about building your brand’s image. This is why you need to ensure that beyond solving their problems, your customer support team also delights your customers. Your team should be professional, approachable, and friendly. Personify your customer service and give it a human voice, as this helps improve customer trust and loyalty to your brand. For instance, respond to customers by their name and allow customers to address you by name.
And who said customer service has to be boring? Add humor, gifs, and emojis to your responses where appropriate. In instances where emotions fly high, ensure you maintain your cool. If you’re dealing with trolls or a customer who is testing your patience, you can always seek support and guidance from other members of your team.
Save time building an effective social media customer support system by using these five tips. Track comments about your brand made on various channels, respond to customer questions promptly, create a dedicated customer support channel, have a working system that can answer questions, and use the correct tone of voice when responding to your customers.
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