Posted on Sep 17, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing, Social Media

Social media can be an incredible customer service tool but few companies are utilizing it effectively. Did you know that only one-third of social media users go to company page for marketing reasons? Everyone else goes there to voice their opinion which usually comes in the form of a complaint. Read on to get a leg-up on your competition by discovering the best practices for social media customer service.

Use the Right Channel

Always respond to a customer on the same channel he used to contact you. So if you receive an angry Facebook message from a dissatisfied customer, respond on Facebook and ask to resolve it offline or privately if possible. Since only 44% of customers get a response on the channel where they made their inquiries, you can be seen as the company that cares.

Respond Quickly

40% of customers are forced to wait longer than 24 hours for a response to a social media inquiry which is unacceptable. Companies that are really ‘on point’ have a dedicated social media customer service team that responds within 15 minutes! After all, you wouldn’t make them wait that long on the phone. Don’t allow a customer’s anger to boil over; respond quickly and decisively on social media.

Be Consistent

While you don’t want all responses to be scripted, it is wise to create a template for common questions and issues to ensure consistency from one customer to the next. Once you manage this, personalize the correspondence because customers HATE being treated as numbers instead of people.

Make a Connection

You would be forgiven for thinking social media is somewhat impersonal but it is possible for employees of your company to connect with customers via obvious empathy. This works wonders in situations that are potentially emotional. Customer service experts say you should respond with words like ‘found’, ‘feel’ and ‘felt’ as this is a great way to convey empathy with customers.

Timing Is Everything

It’s a good idea to post relevant information rather than promotional stuff to help customers at the right time. For example, Facebook posts are best left until the end of the work day as it’s mainly used by people after they have just finishing work. Twitter posts should be newsworthy and include company news or links to sites with industry information. These kinds of posts should be posted a few times a day during work hours when that information is more useful.

If you’re not already implementing the best practices for social media customer service mentioned above, you’re missing a trick. Showing people you truly care via great customer service is a fantastic way of enhancing your brand’s reputation.

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