Community Management

Best Practices for Social Media Customer Service

Today, your clients want one thing above anything else: a great customer experience, powered by fantastic service and support.

Customers aren’t impressed by low prices and great marketing campaigns they way they used to be.

Today, your clients want one thing above anything else: a great customer experience, powered by fantastic service and support. 

One of the best tools you have for offering that support, is your social media strategy. 

Although the concept of responding to customer concerns on social media used to be a novel one, demand for social service has been increasing. Around 67% of today’s customers say they’ve contacted a company via social media for help before. 

On top of that, 69% of customers using Facebook say that messaging businesses and getting a response helps them to feel more confident about the brand. 

If you’re missing social media from your customer service strategy, then you’re missing out on huge opportunities for growth. However, you do need the right strategy before you get started.

Here are some best practices for social media customer service you should keep in mind. 

Pick the Right Platforms for Your Business

Forrester predicts that digital customer service interactions will increase by at least 40% by the end of this year. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to be active on every social platform to be effective. Trying to run your service on too many platforms could mean that you spread yourself too thin and struggle to offer the right quality of support. 

Your best option is to figure out where your customers are most likely to spend their time. The most common interactions on social media usually happen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you’re running a B2B business, then you can consider LinkedIn too. 

Once you’ve found the channels that work for your customers, create a dedicated social media handle for customer support. This will make it easier to separate customer service from your marketing and brand-building strategies. It also means that customers will have a better idea of where they need to go to get support. 

Monitor What People Say About You

Being proactive is an important part of running a social media service campaign. 

You can’t just wait around hoping that everyone will message you to ask their questions. Sometimes, people are going to be complaining about your brand, in public, without coming to your page. You need a strategy to respond to those @mentions and protect your reputation.

The best option is to use social media monitoring tools to keep track of anyone who mentions your business name or product. Monitoring conversations gives you a unique opportunity to get ahead of the PR backlash when people start complaining about your company.

If you swoop in and offer a solution as soon as someone mentions your name, you can easily turn the situation around. 

Set Guidelines

You probably have guidelines in place for how your marketing team use social media to spread the word about your company. You also need guidelines for how your service agents should act. Remember, around 1 billion messages go back and forth between businesses and people each month on Facebook Messenger, but it only takes one message to destroy your brand. 

Having a set of guidelines in place for how your agents should respond to certain messages is crucial. For instance, you might need to set a target response time for each question, and a protocol for how you’re going to escalate issues and take the matter to the next step if things get complicated. 

One of the most important things you can outline is your tone of voice. Think about the kind of personality you want to put out there when chatting to your clients. But be careful. While a fun and playful voice with plenty of emojis can be appealing to an audience in certain cases, it may come across as insincere when your client is already unhappy and frustrated. 

Have a System in Place

It’s worth setting expectations with your customers straight away when you’re offering support via social media. Having an automated message to respond to clients that reach out to you is a great way to avoid issues. You can use this message to let customers know how long it usually takes for you to respond to a question. You’ll also be able to offer your company’s phone number and opening times, in case your client gets sick of waiting. 

While having a system in place to set expectations is valuable, it’s also worth noting that most customers will expect you to respond to their needs pretty quickly. If you don’t, then you risk losing customers to the competition.

Fortunately, there are tools available on the web today that allow you to track all of your social media messages in one place. This could make it easier to respond to queries faster. 

Create a Knowledgebase

Finally, no matter how hard you try to stay on top of your customer service requests through social media, you’re always going to have some impatient customers. A good way to cut down on support tickets, and reduce client frustration, is to enable some self-service. 

Design a knowledgebase where clients can find answers to their own questions. According to Coleman Parkes, around 91% of clients say they would use a knowledgebase if it was available. 

Fill your knowledgebase with responses to common questions, videos, articles, guides, and anything else your customers might find useful. 

You can even create an automated chat bot that pulls information from that knowledgebase to answer questions on your behalf. This can ensure that your customers receive the responses that they need faster, without overwhelming your customer service team. Live chat bots are much easier to implement into your website and social media efforts today. Plus, they ensure your support team can spend their time focusing on the more complex queries. 

Master Social Media Customer Service

Customer service delivered through social media is quickly becoming a must-have for any business. Around 70% of people say they expect to message more businesses in the future for customer service purposes. If you don’t have a strategy already, then you could lose valuable clients. 

Follow the tips above, and remember to keep track of customer reviews, satisfaction scores, and employee productivity, to determine whether your service strategies are really working.

Previous

How to Spark a Grassroots Movement on Social Media

Back to Community Management