Social Media has changed the way business handle their customer service and marketing. It has become one of the most important marketing channels because of its reach.
Since, it’s a two-way channel, social media has also helped consumers to reach out the brand whenever the support is needed. Hence, it has also become a customer service channel.
Companies which are customer-centric have taken social customer service seriously and have made sure to respond quickly and efficiently to customers. This shows in their revenue, customers are tending to spend 20% to 40% more with the companies which can successfully engage and respond to them.
If you’re still wondering why to use social media for customer service then check the research below:
According to a research, around 67% of customers have already used the social page of a company of service whereas only 33% have used it for social marketing.
It simply states that customers are coming to your profiles to get the resolution of their queries. And you need to be ready to help them with answers.
To provide better social customer service, you need to follow tips mentioned below:
1. Being Proactive
Being proactive will solve most of the online complaints. There would be some customers who won’t come out and ask for your help but would express their frustration towards your company. If not handled properly, it may harm your brand image and you can lose certain other customers.
A study conducted by Accenture states that, 55% of customers who switched brands said that their switching decision could have been affected if the company “contacted me proactively to let me know about ways to enhance my experience with them.” So, you need to be proactive. You need to ask your customers if you can help them in a better way.
You can either get them in feedback forms or you can mention your details in social media bio’s. Make it easy for your customers to reach out. Check Amazon’s Twitter bio
2. Listening to Customers
When you’re dealing with customers, it is necessary to listen to them first. You can give the solution after listening to them, it makes our customer feel important. While on social media, if you don’t listen to your customer properly you can lose a lot of business.
Companies have begun to understand this, Zappos states that listening is the number one tool any company can us. They respond to every single customer query, whether it’s via phone, email, live chat, Twitter, Facebook, Zappos blog etc.
With more people joining with you on social media, there are chances that they will reach out to you via your profiles. You can use tools to listen what your customers are saying about your brand, some of them are mentioned below:
3. Being Positive
You need to be highly patient when you’re in customer service. You simply cannot revert in a rude tone even if someone is publicly shaming your company with false claims. It may be very difficult to retain your calm but always remember that your company’s reputation is at stake.
You need to revert in a positive manner asking for the details and express your regret. Try to make the response positive, this will take the online critic by surprise. Those who are going to read this will also see your firm in a positive manner.
It can help and make the critic into a brand advocate. Here’s how Virgin Trains solved an issue on Twitter:
4. No Excuses for Delays
Consumers today have high expectations from the customer care. And repercussions of failing to those expectations can be very high. According to a research conducted by Gartner, a company can face an increase of 15% in churn rate by failing to respond to customers on social media.
While you’re replying you must be helpful and solving the issues. You must be able to take responsibility of your actions like when you didn’t respond, you need to accept it.
If you were unable to respond to the customer or you may want some time to resolve the query, then you need to be transparent and say it. If you keep falling for excuses then a frustrated customer can take you on roll on social media. And it affects your brand very badly.
This is how Jimmy John’s saved the day and earned an advocate:
5. No One likes to Wait
No customer ever likes to wait for the support and when they’re on social media, customer expects the response much faster.
Responding faster to the customers is an important aspect of providing better customer experience. According to a study by Twitter, “71% of Twitter users expect a brand to respond to their query within an hour of Tweeting”.
If a customer has to wait for hours just to get a reply, they are tending to be switching. But if you respond faster, you not only get the business again but customer is willing to pay extra as well.
Another study by Twitter found out that when an airline responded to a customer’s Tweet in less than 6 minutes, the customer was willing to pay almost $20 more for that airline in the future.
Here’s how United Airlines have responded quickly to a customer to solve their query:
We are always here for you. ^MM
— United (@united) August 22, 2016
6. Every Channel has a Different Tone
When youre providing customer service on your social media, you need to keep in mind the restrictions of the medium. Every social media channel has it’s own limitations under which you need to perform hence the tone of messages should also be different.
On Twitter, you have to convey your message within 140 chars being positive to the customer at the same time. You can use abbreviations like DM or can be a little casual but on Facebook you can be descriptive and can include links.
In this example, note how Casper is talking to the customer on Twitter in a casual tone.
7. Address the Customer by Name
While on customer service channels other than social media, you may refer to your customer by Mr Mosby(Last Name) and ask him if he’s comfortable being called Ted(First Name).
It changes when you’re on social media, here you address the customer by name. It is friendly, warm and it does work. It makes your conversation more personal and proves that the person on your end isn’t a bot.
Big organizations have understood this and here’s an example where GE is addressing the customer by her first name in a Facebook conversation.
Even bots reply, what makes you human is your emotions. Customers like interacting with humans rather than bots. According to a research “Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement” by Accenture, 80% of people who switched the brand said that better live chat/in-person customer service would have impacted their decision.
Your customer are going to love if you can understand their pain and speak their language. You need to see from the customer’s point of view. Empathy can be shown in small statements like:
I can definitely understand
I can see your point
That sounds difficult
9. Give Solutions
You need to provide your customers solutions as soon as you can. IF you cannot solve a customer query then you’re bound to lose the business. According to a research by Forrester, 55 percent of people are very likely to abandon an online purchase if they do not find a quick answer to their question.
You need to monitor your social media and reply quickly focusing on resolving the customer issue. The companies which focus on resolving the issue gets the business more.
Look how Shopify is giving the customers real answers in Facebook Comments:
10. Encourage Feedback
Social Media can be an amazing tool for gathering feedback and improving your product. Customers would love to share their feedback with you. You can ask for opinion is by creating an “ideas forum” which allows customers to share their opinions on various aspects.
Social Media gives you the ability to collect the feedback quickly. Sometimes, customers may not tag you but will post on their status. By using a proper social listening tool, you can gather the feedback instantly. In the below example, CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, listened to what’s being said about LinkedIn and responded by tagging his product managers to act.
In today’s time customer has a lot of options and the competition for market share is increasing. To keep your customer, you need to make him feel important by delivering an excellent experience. By providing customer service on social media, you are taking a step towards better customer service.
If you know of any interesting examples which I missed, please do not hesitate to share them in comments.