How to provide first-class customer service on social media
By Reginald Chan
Why do customers complain about products or services on social media?
The answer is simple.
According to Convince and Convert, 42 per cent of customers expect a response time under 60 minutes when they complain to a business on social media.
These customers hope to get a faster response to their problem or talk directly to another person about their issue.
Businesses who take social media seriously and use it to provide better customer service can leap ahead of their competition.
In this post, I'll give you two strategies you can use to provide better social media customer service.
Listen and respond to your customers
I was having a conversation with another Twitter user, and I mentioned that Sprout Social is another useful social media automation tool for small and medium sized businesses
Sprout Social joined the conversation and a customer service representative even responded. They sent a personal mention thanking me.
Takeaway: Businesses who listen and respond to customers on social media will grow their audience and generate more leads. <-- Tweet this
Provide the human touch
There are lots of powerful social media automation tools that you can leverage for your marketing.
However, these tools are not a replacement for a human voice. If you use these tools to share same phrase repeatedly, your followers will recognise this.
Instead, encourage your customer service agents to participate in social media conversations and focus on adding value to the followers of your accounts.
Often, this means doing more than sharing promotional updates about your latest products or services.
Ask your customer service agents to respond to tweets and other social media queries during working hours in real-time, and then use automation tools to update your accounts during off-peak hours.
Takeaway: Social media automation is meant to be a part of your social media strategy; it shouldn't be the only strategy that you use.
Case study: Buffer
Buffer is a social media management tool that help business people manage multiple social media accounts.
The tool is easy to use, but what makes Buffer stand apart is their customer service.
I have worked in the customer service industry with international hotel chains for several years, and I have high expectations. Team Buffer blows my mind, every-single-time!
As a social media marketing consultant, we often recommend businesses take customer service to the next level.
This means responding to customers, informing them about downtimes, and even admitting when you make mistakes.
Here’s an example of how Buffer use social media to provide customer service:
So very sorry to report we're still seeing G+ failures. We're investigating currently and will keep touching base.— Buffer (@buffer) March 13, 2015
Because of this kind of engagement on social media Buffer's customers thank Buffer team for each update.
Takeaway: Use social media to your advantage. It's the easiest way is to exceed the expectations of your customers (paid or free).
Generating results for your business
If you don't have a lot of time for developing your presence on social media, the automation tools mentioned in this post will take care of the heavy lifting for you.
You can use these tools to schedule posts in advance, to listen to your customers and to see what people in your industry are saying.
You can also use a customer relationship management software to manage your relationships with customers and to develop a social CRM strategy.
Whatever your preference, remember:
Respond to relevant conversations, help customers with their problems, and provide the human touch.
Do this, and you will accelerate the growth of your business on socail media, generate leads and increase sales.
Reginald is the founder of Social Media Rush. He helps companies in social media marketing and on the side, he’s pretty geeky. He asked repeatedly to be called “The Geek” but no one listens to him. Poor man!