Social media is impacting many areas of business and none more so than customer service. Customers are taking to Twitter and Facebook in the hope that they will have their issues resolved faster than with other traditional customer service channels. What does this mean for your business and how do you meet the expectations of your customers online?
Here are three things to look out for when using social media for customer service:
Respond to people on the platform they contact you through
Many brands and businesses are foisting old models onto new technologies. You might be able to transfer calls to another department or suggest someone fill out a form instead of contacting you over the phone, but when someone tweets or posts about an issue; resolve it on the platform they have contacted you on.
I can hear some of you saying that just isn’t possible. But hear me out. If I tweet a brand because I have an issue with a product I have bought from them, I don’t want to be told “Please call tech support” or “Please email us your issue”. I am choosing that platform because I am comfortable there and that is where I want a response.
This isn’t always possible. If you need more than 140 characters of information to resolve their issue, offer to call. Take the initiative and the responsibility for resolving the issue – don’t make the customer work harder to get their resolution.
Be personal and human
Scripts don’t work in social media. Call the person by their name (if it is on their social media profile) and directly address their issue or concern. Using call center scripts or stock standard responses is not a way to engage with your customer and show them you care.
Ultimately, people will judge your level of service by how they feel at the end of the interaction. So, connect human to human – put the brand aside for a moment and have a conversation. The issue is likely to be resolved much quicker and the customer likely to be much happier.
Integrate customer service with marketing and sales
A separated approach means your business misses out on many of the opportunities that social media provides. When a person is delighted with your service, they have the opportunity to share that in a very public way. Great customer service on social media is the best form of marketing. If you take the opportunity to add value in each customer engagement and service, sales and public relations for your business will all benefit.
There are many great examples of customer service being done well on social media and many examples where businesses miss golden opportunities to surprise and delight their customers. It doesn’t take much, and the benefits are enormous.
Have you got a great social media customer service story to share?
Kate Vandervoort is a social media specialist and the founder and CEO of Social Mediology. She is passionate about using online technologies to connect businesses with the customers, communities, and causes they care about. Social Mediology specializes in ‘from the ground up’ social media strategy, implementation and training for small and medium-sized businesses and the not-for-profit sector.