Social media is one of the most popular channels for customer service. It is also deemed to be the most difficult channel for customer service as well.
As social media brings a business in front of millions of customers and prospects, one wrong move from the company representative can cost the business a large number of customers and an even larger number of prospects. Surely we don’t want that, do we?
As social media enthusiasts from across the world are preparing to celebrate Social Media Day by the end of June, Fusion looks forward by sharing few useful few tips regarding social media customer service from its experiences as a customer service BPO.
Choose the right channels
Facebook and Twitter are not the only two social media platforms available. There’s also Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, Google+ and a host of other platforms. While Twitter, Facebook and Google+ give you the opportunity to express your thoughts via text, most other social media platforms do not have the facility.
For example, Instagram and Pinterest are image dominated while YouTube offers a platform to say it with videos. There are so many options. Therefore, take some time to decide your social media plan (text, video or image) and choose accordingly.
Also, do some research on where your customers are and opt for their preferred social media channel?
Define your company’s rules of engagement
A business should always have a social media strategy, doing things haphazardly will make it worse. A business has to set up an alert to know every time someone mentions their brand online. This will keep you in the know about what is being said about your brand on social media.
Also checking those replies once in a day is not enough. You need to keep an eye on social media as often as possible. It should be like real time monitoring activity as the world is watching your brand name and protecting your brand name is very important.
Customer service over social media should be no different than that over the phone. Quick and real time response. And, for this reason, a business should entrust the call center with social media customer service.
Listen to customers first
Millions of messages, images and videos are shared on the big social media platforms. So how will you know whether someone is talking about you? Setting an alert is a good option.
However, you may also opt for analytics, or make use of Facebook and Twitter’s search functionality complete with hashtags and @ mentions.
Responding within an hour of getting the message is acceptable, but if you reply after one whole day, you have made your customers very unhappy. And an unhappy customer may channel their righteous anger on different social media posts and cost you a few customers and prospects.
Even if a simple response like:– “sorry for the inconvenience caused, our experts are looking into the matter. You will hear from us soon.” Can calm an irate customer
Don’t forget chivalry
Instead of dreading customer complaints, companies can turn them into opportunities to show their customer service values. By acknowledging and apologizing for mistakes, thanking the customer for the opportunity, companies can turn uncomfortable, potentially negative situations into opportunities to show their followers that they truly care.
Automated and generic responses are easily spotted and can have a worse effect than not offering a response at all. On the other hand, personalized, unique interactions with customers on social media create stronger consumer/brand relationships.
A positive, friendly attitude with a little empathy, professionalism and courtesy on the part of the agent can do wonders.
Know your customers
When possible, companies can link their CRM systems to their social media engagement platforms and identify customers on social media. They can then gauge the customers’ level of involvement, social influence, revenue potential, and overall value as a customer.
Make the post mobile friendly
According to Pew Research, over 40% of all mobile users tend to access their social media accounts from their mobile, make sure to check whether the links that you have provided for their assistance are mobile friendly or not. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Post, don’t just reply
Just posting replies for your fans is not enough. A business needs to be present on social media channels. Therefore, you should not only answer your customers’ queries but also involuntarily offer useful tips, share customer’s story and other materials that might help the customer.
Make performance a priority
Do not make fake promises on social media. Always deliver what you have promised promptly. Making performance a priority will give your business a reputation and help you gain the trust of your customers.
Research their insight
When your customers are posting queries, complaints or even feedback on social media, they are offering you valuable insights. These insights can act as the perfect research tool for you. Make productive changes in your end product/service based on the insight.
Take the conversation offline
If all fails, try to take the conversation offline. Asking for customer’s contact details and then calling him up is always helpful. It will take the conversation away from the public eye and pave the way for a personalized solution.
Apart from that, it will also make sure that if things go ugly the general social media user will not have to deal with the angry rant.
If you take care of these things, you are sure to deliver high-quality social media customer service to your customers.