Social media can be a game-changer for your business, especially when it comes to customer service.
However, it's essential to tread carefully, as a single mistake can be disastrous.
On the other hand, if done right, social media can help you build an intimate and sincere connection with your customers, leading to greater loyalty and sales.
In this article, I'll share ten best practices that can help improve your company's customer service skills using social media:
- Have dedicated customer service channels
- Keep your blog updated
- Keep your eyes open and be proactive
- Learn from previous mistakes
- Monitor your competitors
- Assign conversations to the right team
- Improve response times
- Ask for and encourage feedback
- Avoid TMPI
- Adjust the tone of communication
1. Have dedicated customer service channels
Using your business profile for customer service inquiries is perfectly fine. In fact, it's a great opportunity to build trust by responding to comments and solving problems in a timely manner.
However, it's always a good idea to outline other options such as a Facebook Group, chat, or interactive helpdesk for users who may need additional assistance.
This approach allows for transparency in customer relations without unnecessarily advertising issues to other followers who may not be aware of them. Remember, there's no need to hide customer issues, but there's also no need to advertise them.
2. Keep your blog updated
Make sure to keep your blog updated with relevant and interesting content for your followers. When you successfully resolve a customer issue, especially if it's not a common one, consider writing a blog post about it. You can use a customer service tag to create a library of issues and resolutions, similar to an FAQ but with more storytelling and personality.
This way, you can share customer service stories with your followers without involving them in the complaint and resolution process, which can sometimes be unpleasant. Plus, by addressing their issues before they even contact you, you may prevent future complaints from arising.
3. Keep your eyes open and be proactive
It's always a good idea to stay proactive and not just wait for complaints to come to you. By using social media monitoring software, you can catch potential issues before they become bigger problems.
Don't forget to add keywords like "problem" and "issues" to your software to stay on top of things and reach out to customers before they even voice their concerns. Your customers will appreciate that you care enough to listen before they've even spoken to you.
4. Learn from previous mistakes
It's also a good idea to keep track of any recurring issues that arise and look for patterns.
This can help you update your website's FAQ and provide additional keywords to monitor social media and reach out to customers. If a problem occurs more than once or twice, it's essential to address it within the company to improve your product or service.
Remember, it's not about placing blame but rather finding solutions to make things better for your customers.
5. Monitor your competitors
It's always beneficial to keep an eye on your competitors and learn from their successes and mistakes.
By monitoring their customer service approach, you can gather new ideas to help your own customers and avoid any pitfalls they may have encountered.
Additionally, you may come across new issues that you haven't faced yet, giving you a chance to address them before they become bigger problems. This proactive approach can save you time and effort in the long run.
6. Assign conversations to the right team
One of the key aspects of effective social media customer service is responding quickly to incoming messages and comments. This not only shows that you value your customers and their concerns, but also increases engagement and helps build a positive reputation for your brand.
To ensure that all messages are addressed in a timely manner, it's important to delegate specific types of messages to the appropriate team members. Sales opportunities, for example, should be directed to your sales team, while support issues should be handled by your customer service team.
This helps ensure that each message is responded to by someone with the appropriate expertise, leading to more efficient and effective customer service.
7. Improve response times
It's important to respond to customers on social media promptly. Waiting for a week to check for issues and complaints and responding days later is no longer acceptable.
You should aim to reply within 24 hours, and ideally within a few hours. You can even use the lessons you learn from quick social media responses to improve your real-world customer service at physical locations.
8. Ask for and encourage feedback
If you don't ask for feedback, people will think you don't care. Any and every sale should offer the customer a survey or other form of feedback opportunity to voice their satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Even without a sale, regularly posting comments asking for feedback is a great idea. The customer may not always be right, but enough of them with the same advice or complaint usually are. And, additionally, social media trend reports suggest that two-way communication is greatly appreciated by the new generation of users.
The more feedback you get, the better your product or service can improve.
9. Avoid TMPI
TMPI is my own acronym for 'too much Public information'.
Dealing with negative comments on social media can be challenging, as some people may not always be polite. It's important to address complaints promptly, but it's best to take the conversation offline to email or private messaging.
This should be included in your social media compliance policy.
If you come across negative comments, don't delete them right away unless they are completely unacceptable. Instead, focus on resolving the issue and ask the customer if they would mind removing the comment once it's resolved. If they don't, respond to the comment with a message expressing your gratitude for their patience and explaining how you were able to address their concern.
10. Adjust the tone of communication
Remember to maintain a social and engaging tone on your customer service channels, just like you would on your marketing channels.
The key is to keep the conversation going and avoid turning it into a one-way broadcast.
Social media is all about building relationships with your customers, and you don't want to lose them by neglecting their needs. So, make sure to stay social and responsive to their inquiries and feedback.
If you're unsure whether your tone of communication matches your brand or your client's brand, don't worry! We've got you covered. Download our social media audit templates or community management checklist from the resource center to ensure that your communication is on point and in line with your brand's personality.