Good customer service is one of the most important things to consider. The reason people contact you via social media is because they want an immediate or at least fast response. By ignoring it you are essentially leaving a customer or potential customer, on hold.
By ignoring customers on this channel you could allow negative feedback to escalate (both online and offline) and damage your reputation to existing or potential clients.
Here are five ways to improve our customer service:
1. Be human
Everyone knows that being robotic in marketing is a huge turn-off, that is no more essential than on social media. This is the only marketing platform where you can instantly interact with your customers, so overly salsey language stands out for the wrong reasons.
With that in mind, do not reply to customers with a templated answer – it looks lazy. If a customer has taken the time to approach you via social media to ask a product question or update on their order don’t send a template response saying Hi [First Name], please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to resolve this for you, or worse still; completely ignore them.
If you are telling them to email you due to sensitive information, it is better to suggest them sending you a private message on the channel you are on instead of suggesting they leave the platform altogether and go via email – they would have done this in the first place if that was their desired method of communication.
2. Reply to everyone
You should try to respond to everything – even if it means telling the person that you are investigating and will get back to them as soon as possible. If your social media team are inundated with customer service questions, it suggests your customers have an appetite for an instantaneous method of communication. You could introduce live chat functionality on your website, or you link up your customer service team with your social media channels in order to service the demand.
3. Make someone accountable
In order to be effective and consistent, you need to make someone accountable for ensuring everything is responded to and done so in the right manner. If you have a big company and are deciding to link your channels or management platform with your customer service team, your Social Media Manager may need to give them some regular training and feedback.
4. Identify and resolve
I have created a document which outlines how to respond to clients or potential clients in every eventuality. Whether it’s a review, question, enquiry or most importantly a complaint. This document has been circulated to anyone who might need to respond to clients on social media in my absence or be involved in the process from an offline perspective – such as their sales representative, the head of that department and the complaints team.
Although this document was created to aid other people to fulfil their roles, I actually use it all the time to ensure I am being consistent and keep the steps updated so they are actually the ones that need to be followed. I have found it invaluable when something happens on a busy day or when I haven’t dealt with something of that nature for a while, I can quickly refer to it and see what the process is. The document features templated responses which are just examples; I would never use a template response as it goes back to my first point about being ‘human’. But it gives me a starting point and a reminder of the information I need based on specific queries.
Something else I have found really useful is a note to whether this platform requires an immediate response or not. Facebook messages for example always do, but Trip Advisor or Trust Pilot can be left a few days while we investigate/resolve this end before posting publicly.
5. Utilise and encourage positive feedback
Customer service on social media doesn’t have to be all about the negatives or answering questions, you’ll find that most of the engagement you get from customers is positive. Harnessing or encouraging this positive content on social media can work wonders for your brand and also specific client relationships.
On my social media response document I mentioned, I also have a section specifically for responding to clients who leave positive reviews and comments. Of course, we don’t reply to everyone, but we do reply to people who have taken the time to write something thoughtful and post some photos. We also ‘like’ and share posts that use our brand hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, and sometimes send surprises in the form of gifts to users who regularly share positive messaging about our brand on social media.
Comment below your customer service pet peeves and tips for improving it below.