It’s no surprise that a generous portion of our daily lives occurs through a pixelated screen. Whether we’re looking at photos of the newest brunch joint or instant messaging a friend, the frequency of our social media use can’t be denied. We’re no strangers to using social media to interact with our favorite (or least favorite) brands, either. In fact, new statistics show that one in three social media users prefer to resolve issues through a company’s social media pages instead of by telephone or email. Additionally, 90 percent of businesses are predicted to use social media for customer service by 2020. If you aren’t currently utilizing social media in your customer service strategy, here are our best tips to get you started:
4 Practices That Your Social Media Customer Service Strategy Should Follow
No. 1: Be timely
Remember the phrase, “time is money”? Speed is the essence when it comes to customer service on social media. Social media has a fast-paced nature, and customers expect you to keep up. As a matter of fact, statistics show that 60 percent of customers who complain via social media expect a response within one hour.
Walmart is just one brand that takes timeliness seriously. In the above example, a customer service associate responded to a nostalgic customer in just 25 minutes. You can streamline your customer service strategy by expanding the bandwidth of your team. By distributing customer service tasks across multiple people, you will be able to respond to more customers, faster.
Some brands use an additional social media account to solely handle customer service matters, such as Nike’s customer support Twitter. Choose a strategy that’s most efficient for you.
No. 2: Take responsibility
Customers like to take their issues with businesses to social media because it’s highly transparent. From badmouthing a brand on Twitter to complaining through a comment on Facebook, a customer’s problems are typically visible to everyone on social media. Consequently, if you fail to respond, it will damage your company’s reputation.
In this instance, a Whole Foods customer was upset that an item’s availability was not made clear on Facebook. Whole Foods handled the situation by accepting and apologizing for their faults, then following up with a solution. By making sure the customer’s concern didn’t go ignored, Whole Foods showed that they are a company who cares.
No. 3: Be proactive
When we think of great customer service, we think of brands who go the extra mile. While good customer service involves responding and apologizing to angry customers, stellar customer service often starts without a customer complaint. Combined with the power of searching and tracking tools online, social media makes it easy to find out what consumers are saying about your business.
In the example below, TMobile jumped at the opportunity to respond to a positive customer sentiment. Remember, customer service isn’t all about issues; you can employ wit and humor, too.
You don’t have to sit in a chair for hours and monitor every single mention, but it’s important to run a few scans every day. Put out a fire before it grows bigger by taking a look at the less obvious customer complaints.
No. 4: Have empathy
Technology and artificial intelligence are on the rise, but the demand for authentic and humanly customer service has never declined. As a result, customers don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a robot when they voice their concerns on social media. Therefore, it’s important to employ an appropriate tone and ultimately, empathy.
Social media wasn’t made to be formal. If a consumer is expressing excitement and using emojis, don’t be afraid to reciprocate the good vibes. Take a look at how Starbucks handles two different customer sentiments below:
Be careful to not approach customer service on social media with a one-size-fits-all method.
Overall, by delivering outstanding customer service on your social pages, you can maintain a positive reputation, build customer loyalty, and drive sales. Want some more help with customer relations? Head to our Reviews & Reputation page to see how we can assist you!