Written by Zoe Devitto
Did you know that 50% of your customers might head directly to your competition if they experience bad customer service? Make that more than one negative experience and the percentage shoots up to 80%!
Customer service is of vital importance for all companies and brands. It is the relationship between customers and a business and should never be neglected.
Even the most well-planned marketing strategies will fall flat without proper customer services.
Although social media platforms are a great way to self-promote and advertise, it is also fantastic for dealing with customers.
Why Social Media is Important for Customer Service
About 2.6 billion people use Facebook a month and 166 million Twitter users. Social media is the place to be for marketing and customer relationships! There are many reasons why social media plays an essential role in customer service. Some of them include:
When social media is used to communicate with customers and respond to their inquiries, it is done openly. When companies respond quickly and deal with the matter professionally, it happens where the whole world can see.
As a result, that company will get public-wide recognition for it. This increases potential customers’ view of the company.
Improves Brand Awareness
When clients (both satisfied and unhappy) post questions or feedback, they mention the brand on social media platforms.
The customer’s contacts and followers will see what they posted and how the brand or company responded.
More people will become aware of the company, which increases brand visibility and awareness.
When customers approach a brand on social media about difficulties or problems, quick solutions and recommendations can be made. Others with the same problem can follow the instructions as well, avoiding more inquiries.
The company can provide a list of products or services that customers can consider if their problems persist.
It is also easier to follow up with a customer and find out if they’re happy after being helped.
Remember, your competition is also active on social media, so you can check out what they’re doing as well. You might learn a few things about dealing with customers from how your competitors are doing it.
Strategies to Go Social with Customer Service
Integrating social media with customer service is a great way to make sure your company does all it can to keep them pleased during all sales funnel phases.
We’ll look at some of the best strategies that will help your business deliver excellent customer services using social media.
Build Strong Customer Relationships
Strong relationships with your customers go a long way to making them loyal and committed to supporting you.
Use the social media platforms that you are active on to engage with your customers. Respond to customers by commenting on their posts or tweet at them.
Many people expect a complaint on social media to get a response within the hour. Do your best always to respond promptly when you’re aware of a complaint or question.
Don’t just use your social accounts to respond to aggrieved customers. Share content that will interest them so they’ll want to engage with your brand.
You can also consider asking questions and feedback, making it clear that you want to keep your customers happy.
Social media platforms are great for marketing but refrain from sharing too many posts or tweets about your services or products. Keep your content related to your customers, give them something they can relate to.
That way, they’ll see it’s not all about sales to you, but building relationships.
Know What Your Customers Are Saying
If you want to avoid angry or disappointed customers, you should be aware of what they’re saying before reaching you.
Implement hashtags to keep track of what customers are saying is a relatively effective strategy. Using specific hashtags, such as branded hashtags, helps people search for whatever’s bothering them fast and easily.
You can use these hashtags to find customers who are having difficulties or need advice. With this approach, you can avoid getting angry messages on your social media accounts that can create a bad image of your brand.
As a company, you can also use these hashtags to create unique content addressing pain points and problems.
For example, you can create hashtags dedicated to feedback, problems, questions, and suggestions.
Social media tools such as Mention come in handy for this purpose. This kind of tool lets you monitor the web (including social media) to keep track of every time your brand is mentioned.
You can use the knowledge gained from these tools to adjust your marketing strategies and give your target market exactly what they want.
Create a Loyal Customer Advocate Base
Dissatisfied customers are an occupational hazard for all businesses. They are unavoidable but, you can be prepared to handle them smartly.
Build up such a loyal customer advocate base that they will always have your brand’s back when something happens.
When an unhappy customer makes it known how they feel, your loyal customers can advocate for your business and share advice.
This kind of customer loyalty is convenient if you can’t respond to the upset customer immediately. A loyal supporting group will also show potential customers that you are worth their time and money.
Should the worst possible scenario happen and a disgruntled customer starts an online rant, your advocate base can help with damage control. Because they’re not supporting you in return for payment or perks, their advocacy is seen as much more sincere as well.
You can also use your loyal customers to promote you organically. Ask your satisfied customers to share their experiences with your brand and products or services.
Let them show the world what you’ve done right - it’s the best kind of advertising and you don’t even have to pay for it.
Gaining followers on social media can be challenging for brands, but excellent customer service will help a great deal.
Be Available and Responsive
Customer service is about being engaging and directly involved with customers. They expect you to pay attention when they approach you with complaints or questions.
When you react to a customer complaint or answer questions, pay close attention to the customer. They need to know that you’re listening and that their problems or questions matter to you.
When you deliver an inadequate response or don’t correctly react, it will reflect poorly on your company. Although you’re dealing with an individual, your whole target audience could be watching.
Have a dedicated team that focuses on customer service and is available at all times, especially if you’ve got a global customer base.
Make sure the team knows how to deal with upset customers and feedback. They should also know how to use digital tools and software to enhance the customer service experience and save customer data.
You may also want the team to gather information from customers to get insight into your brand’s sentiment.
Using the Likert Scale is one way to go, and it’s quite popular with marketers.
There must always be a response to customers, even if it’s just a short answer or a temporary solution.
Giving no response at all is as bad as a poor response. Your customers have a voice that demands to be heard and acknowledged, especially on social media.
When customers have received the help or advice they wanted, you can react with something nice like a smile emoji or thumbs-up. Keep being interactive even after a resolution has been found.
Automation tools such as ChatBot, the AI chatbot software, are excellent ways to make sure your customers always get an interactive response. This kind of software can help guide customers or provide them with advice before reaching your actual customer service team.
Automating customer service will help you cut costs and improve customer satisfaction - a win-win scenario.
Know Which Conversations to Take Private
Sometimes, you just can’t control what an angry customer does. They might decide to leave nasty comments on your Facebook or Instagram accounts. Or, they might send out angry tweets that tag your business.
These kinds of comments can be bad for your brand’s image, especially when other social media users decide to retweet or share the posts.
You should never ignore such messages, but getting into an argument where everyone can see it is a terrible idea.
Instead, try to identify which conversations can be had on social media and which ones would be better dealt with in private.
Send a friendly, professional, and caring initial response wherever the angry customer posted. Then, approach them in private and continue the conversation where you won’t have prying eyes.
Consider using video chats to give your customers a feeling of importance. When chatting to them via video, you’ll show that the customer and their problems matter to your company.
Remember, this does not allow you to mistreat the customer when you think no one is looking - they can easily take screenshots and show the world.
However, some conversations are just better in private, and resolutions can be found faster. Dealing with customers this way shows a high level of professionalism and care and builds better relationships.
You should also consider using software that allows you to call your customers back. This adds a special personal touch in a time when emails and texts are so commonly used.
Set up Dedicated Customer Service Handles
It is a good idea to have a separate social media account meant for customer service purposes only.
This will help streamline your ability to solve any problems and answer questions faster. Letting your customer service team deal with this account will be more effective than forcing them to sift through comments and messages.
To ensure that your customers know where they can go if they need help, include information about this dedicated account in your bio.
When responding to customers who still approach your main account, use the customer service one. This will show that the team running that account is aware of all concerns and wants to help.
Go the Extra Mile with Social Customer Service
If you want your customers to return and continuously support you, they need to know they matter.
Always try to go the extra mile when dealing with upset, frustrated, or unsure customers. Don’t tell them to send an email if they’ve already reached out on social media. Deal with them on the terms they have set.
When addressing their problems, try to put yourself in their shoes and act in a way you want to be treated.
Doing so is a sure-fire way to set an example for your brand through amazing customer service.
Zoe Devitto is a content marketing strategist for SaaS brands like FollowUpBoss, Mention.com and more. Bylines: Ecwid, ProProfs, Score, etc. On the personal front, Zoe is a pho enthusiast and loves traveling around the world as a digital nomad.