Have you ever tried to reach some business’ customer service, and you didn’t receive any answer on your email or calls? The next thing we’ll try nowadays is to contact them through social media. Or even the first thing. And we’ll probably get an answer faster than any other way. This shows the importance of social media customer service.
If you are present on social media (and you really should be) you probably have the strategy which includes answering questions, comments, and messages. I’ll assume you don’t just ignore those (and you really shouldn’t). In this post, we want to help you take it to the next level. Hopefully, you will learn how to lean on this kind of communication, how to deal with negative feedback, and how to use tools to assist you.
The whole social media idea is about communication. Two-way communication, I would dare to say. In the last couple of years, brands used this to create and boost their awareness, promote their products/services, and to learn more about their customers by listening to what they have to say. Even customer services weren’t the idea at the beginning, it developed to become a significant part of it. And those users who were reaching to get answers through social media demanded being present more than ever. There was even a Facebook Messenger feature which informed you how fast a business will answer to your message.
So, not being “there” is not an option anymore. Customer service should be a part of your social media marketing strategy. And you should learn the right way to do it. That means:
Reply as fast as you can
Customer services such as email or phone support are mostly limited to a certain time of the day. On the other hand, social media is expected to be always available. Because of that, almost half of the users are expecting to get an answer within one hour. A poor response can lead to bad reviews, non-recommendations, buying from another business, or even complaints.
If you are a one-person business it is hard to be available 24/7. Although most of us sleep with our phones besides the bed, we have to sleep sometimes, right? And if your business is worldwide, that can be a problem because of different time zones. Luckily, there are bots or automated messages, a feature as Facebook has. You can customize a message which will be sent to users while you are “off”.
Resolve issues privately
Sometimes you will get a negative comment or a complaint. This is part of your job, also. So you will have to decide which you will resolve publicly, and which not. You have to be aware that these comments can be visible on page posts, reviews, or tweets. Also, I don’t think deleting them is a good idea (except if there are insults included), because it can complicate things much further.
If you determine that a comment should be resolved privately, answer to it, and leave a contact (phone, email, or DM e.g.) where you will move your conversation. For DMs that request research, you should also reply that you will look into it and let them know.
Sometimes, you will get a message that is not a question. It can be a review or a confirmation that the product/service was delivered. You should reply to these. Not just because of your response rate, but also it will add to a relationship with your customers. Try to always be the last one to send a message (especially on Facebook Messenger), write something like “glad we could help”, because an algorithm remembers who sent the last message.
Respond to everything
There are not enough times I can repeat this. This is one of the most important things in social media customer service. Every user of any network who reaches out to you gives you a clue that he wants to be heard.
Responding to comments will help your engagement rate. Your comments should be longer than 4 words (because of algorithms) and try to keep a neutral tone, but be nice. Never forget that not replying equals ignoring on social media. Would you ignore the customer if they came to your store?
Always greet users who are contacting you. If their name is visible from their profile, use something simple as “hello (name)” or “hi (name)”. It will give a personal touch to your greeting.
I already mentioned that you should be the last one to send the message. It will usually be a thank you note or a goodbye. But it is highly recommended that you put your name at the end of your message, even if is your business account. This will let people know that there is a real person behind the business, which adds up to gaining confidence. And this can be especially handy if you have more team members, so a user will know who to reach out to next time.
Resolve negative comments
The most important thing is to not take negative comments and bad reviews personally. It will affect the way you write your answers, and that can make your customer service look bad. Even sometimes we know it is not true – got to stick to the proverb that a customer is always right.
No matter how hard it may be, always answer with positivity. On social media, everybody can see your comments, and that happens quickly. Your answers are the mirror of your business. If you are afraid that you will lose it, try to imagine possible problems that may come and prepare positive answers just in case. Design an answer for every situation you can think of. It is very important to show that you care, that means to apologize to your customer. And also that you will try to resolve the issue.
The most convenient way of monitoring your social media activity is to use a tool. This type of service offers you the possibility to watch multiple platforms at the same time. You will also customize your absence or greeting messages easily, which is a great help.
New generations prefer to seek solutions online. The most important thing for your business is to be present, fast, and smart. Hopefully, you will use some of these tips to establish or improve your social media customer service.