Its 2016, the world is obsessed with social media, many people today would rather text or email someone than pick up the phone and call them. Most people also prefer getting their information online. That is true also for customer service esp over social media.
This started with people going online to vent frustrations about bad customer service and products that they didn’t like. But brands have realized that good can come from these online interactions with people who post complaints. Every comment or customer service issue posted online is an great chance to impress your target market, provide incredible customer service and win new customers.
Using social media as a customer service tool, and turning dissenters into advocates in a public way, can be fast, easy and accountable. As a consumer, you get heard by everyone and receive rapid service. As a brand, you can prove you care, go the extra mile and that you are listening. As we “speak”, Managing customer service over social media is a standard expectation.
Here are 5 tips for implementing social customer service protocol for your business:
1. When using Twitter, create a secondary account specifically for customer service. You can reply to a customer tweet from the main account, alerting him or her that you’re aware of the issue and that the @Username will be contacting them (i.e @SniffCare). Your customer service account should follow that user, engage with him or her and sort out the issue.
It’s often wise to direct message the user after you’ve made it clear in public that you’re there to help — both for the privacy of the customer and to avoid cluttering the timeline.
2. Reply quickly. It’s best to get back to a comment or complaint within five minutes, when possible. The faster, the better.
3. Let the customer know who they are engaging with. Humanize the experience by letting the customer know he or she is speaking with a real person. For example, “We are very sorry to hear about your experience. We will do whatever we can to help you. — John L.” Customers usually appreciate knowing they’re dealing with a person who has a name, rather than a mystery person who’s sending automated messages.
4. Reply in a friendly and helpful manner. Let the customer know you are concerned and will do everything you can to help them. This is an opportunity to not only help someone but to win additional customers.
And remember, never be aggressive, dismissive or mean. And don’t try to hide or manipulate the issue. Social media is a public forum so everything you post can be seen by anyone.
5. Create a system of checks and balances. Monitor all interactions resolved and unresolved, and review how they played out. Did your team do everything it could to help that customer and win them over as a fan?