Social Media – What once was a place for people to connect with family and friends, has expanded into a platform for businesses to build an online presence, market products & services, and connect with consumers. Now, more than ever, people are using social media rather than traditional customer service channels (phone, email, chat) to voice their complaints, questions, and opinions towards the products and services they use.
Because of this, it’s important to have a dedicated social customer care team that is well equipped to handle anything a customer throws their way and that can provide customers with the best social experience. To help, we’ve put together best practices (and the practices we use 24/7) to resolve, answer, and engage with customers on social media:
1. Avoid Canned Responses
Have you ever seen a company say the same exact thing to numerous people online? It makes a customer feel unappreciated, as if the employee is simply copying and pasting a canned response. Change up your replies (while using a consistent brand voice) to show your customers there’s a human behind the screen.
Fun Fact: 71% of customers with a positive social customer care experience are likely to recommend the brand to others.
2. Address Customers by Their Name
To show your customers you have their full attention, address them personally by name. Even if their profile only has their handle (ex. @EmmaAnn88), message them by their social handle.
3. Sign Off Messages with Your Name
Likewise, to point #2, make sure you sign off all interactions using your first name. This will humanize the interaction further and tells customers that an actual person heard them. PSA – People don’t relate to a logo or company name but instead, people relate to other people.
4. Respond ASAP
Questions, inquiries, and complaints should be addressed ASAP. The sooner you respond, the better because let’s not forget, most customer complaints and questions are posted publicly for everyone to see! Responding to comments promptly not only shows your business cares, but also can prevent a bigger PR disaster.
Fun Fact: 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes, and 11% of customers expect a response from a brand on social media to be immediate.
5. Take Responsibility
We’ve all heard before, “The customer is always right.” So, even if a customer is out of line, make sure to address you’re sorry and that you’ll look into their situation for them. This statement allows you to respond quickly while giving you time to research their situation so you can handle it accordingly.
Fun Fact: Answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%.
6. Emphasize with Your Customers
A short phrase such as, “I understand your concern” or “That doesn’t sound right” will go a long way with a customer. It displays that you are listening to them and that you can emphasize with how they feel. Sometimes, it can be the main reason a customer reaches out.
7. Turn Public Complaints into Direct Messages
For VERY angry customers, ask them to DM their contact information so you can put them in touch with a higher power (even if you’ll be the one handing the resolution as well). They’ll be more prone to discontinue the back-to-back public messages if the company has their attention and is willing to solve their problem.
Fun Fact: 30% of people will go to a competitor if a brand doesn’t respond.
8. Provide Direct Links
If your customers ask questions about a product or service you offer, don’t just answer them. Also, provide them with links to your website so they can read ALL the information you can offer while directing them to the point of purchase (We recommend using Bitly.com to shorten links).
Fun Fact: Good social customer care pushes customers to spend 20%-40% more money.
9. Integrate a Customer Service Platform
To keep things organized and to respond promptly, it would be in your best interest to integrate a customer service platform into your social care strategy. These platforms will allow you to link multiple social channels, allowing you to keep track of and respond to your customers in one centralized place.
10. Monitor Your Brand
This one’s important! Sometimes, customers might be discussing your brand but not directly @ mentioning you. Since you won’t get these updates on your social channels, you need to monitor them and be PROACTIVE. Our software does just that, so you don’t miss a beat.
Fun Fact: 65% of people have more brand loyalty if a brand reaches out to them on social media.
Thanks for reading! By doing so, you’ve taken steps to improve your customer service (and we’re all for that!). But if you need a team of social media care experts, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling us, emailing us, or filling out your information online:
We have more tips and tricks up our sleeve!