Customer Service Meets Social Media

Social media has evolved greatly, especially as a platform for communication, and with it, the way in which companies hold dialog with customers has changed. Social media as a platform for customer service holds major opportunity to raise brand awareness and better develop customer relationships. It also has the opportunity to ruin your company’s reputation of customer service. While breaking into this platform can be intimidating, it is necessary in this day and age for your company to hold this presence. So, let’s go over how to do customer service over social media the right way.

First and foremost, build your social customer support strategy based on your company, product, and the size of your social customer support team. You could potentially have 20 customer service reps rotating around the clock and have the luxury of constantly having someone online and available to your customers. On the other hand, it’s more likely that you have a handful of employees that manage your social media. Either way, it’s essential to create guidelines for your social customer service reps—but don’t write them a full script to stick to—that takes away entirely from the human touch that you should be aiming for.

On that note of adding a human touch to your customer service, make sure that you are personable, even through the face of technology. First, make sure that your employees take the time to introduce themselves to the customers. This can done by simply signing a name at the end of messages or posts so that they know they are talking to an actual person rather than a robot; the conversation becomes naturally more friendly. Odds are that customers will be more patient and polite to someone who they view as a person rather than a company as a whole, which is good not only for the nature of the conversation, but also for the publicity regarding the issue, especially on social media.

Another way to add that human touch to your customer service is to stay genuine and casual in your conversation with the customer—it helps them to understand that they are truly talking with another human, which is refreshing to many customers. It also helps them to better understand the feedback/advice that you are giving to them by putting it into more common terms. Additionally, this helps to strengthen customer relationships and brand awareness by creating a personality and a face to the brand.

Customer service through social media also gives your company the opportunity to truly personalize your service. Be sure to address the customer by name, and personalize your responses to their particular problem, and use other information you are able to find out from their profile based on the platform you are using. Having this platform likely provides you with a lot more information about the customer to leverage in order to give them the best customer service experience possible.

It’s also important to be visible on social media, both with regular posts and customer service responses so that you can build a positive brand reputation. Reply to mentions that aren’t necessarily in need of help—keep an open dialog with your customers—it encourages them to continue to post about your brand when you acknowledge them. If someone tweets something positive about your product or company, appreciate that customer by spotlighting them or responding to them! Positive reviews on social media serve as a free marketing opportunity.

It can also be extremely helpful to utilize a social listening tool in order to see posts about your company that may not tag or may misspell your handle. This is an easy way to assure that customers know you are listening and open to their feedback, and not just responding when you are forced to. This will impress your customers and increase your visibility.

On the other hand, not every customer service experience needs to be seen by the public. Sometimes it’s important to utilize direct or private messaging. Information may be sensitive or private, and moving the conversation in this way is seamless because it redirects the customer without forcing them to change platforms for communication.

And lastly, make sure you follow up! It makes such a difference to go the extra mile and reach out to make sure that your customer’s issue gets resolved after you provide them with the right resources to solve their problem.

Improving your customer service via social media is an important aspect of your entire social media marketing and customer service strategy. Making it a priority for your company is essential for today’s social media-centered world.

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