Social media are now one of the most used tools for customer service, but how can you use them professionally and effectively for your brand?
At first, there was the phone. It was the only way people could contact customer care to report a problem or ask for a piece of information.
Then, the Internet came, and emails became the most famous tool. Years later, social media sprang, and customer service started to act on social platforms.
Do you already use them for your customer service?
If yes, we hope those tips and tricks will help you make it even better.
If not, keep reading to become the king of social media customer service!
What is social media customer service, and why you need one?
Social media customer service means “using social channels to provide efficient and effective customer service and support. Customers expect to be able to reach out to brands on social channels for help—and get a quick reply.”
It sounds simple – all you need is a computer, your customers’ comments, and someone that answers them.
Social media customer service keywords should be “efficient support” and “quick reply”. They also are the most important and challenging elements to reach.
Reality is a bit more complicated than that. You have the chance to build a stable relationship with customers and provide them with real value.
As you may be confused by the difference between persona and person, you may also ask: is there any difference between social customer service and customer care? The question is legit because often the two terms are confused.
They are pretty close, but they are more cousins than brothers. The main difference between them is proactivity.
Usually, customer service tends to be a passive strategy, while customer care – especially social media – is a proactive one.
Customer service enters the scene when people ask for it, usually after meeting the brand and purchasing their products.
The response is precise and quick, but customers have to ask it when they need it.
On the other hand, customer care is way more active on a daily basis to meet customers’ needs. For example, having self-service helps corners offer a personalized experience, and it even starts before the customer’s purchase.
Let’s discover the three main tips to have outstanding social media customer service.
Be where your customers are
First of all, today, people expect to have exceptional customer service, especially on social media.
If it doesn’t happen, they move away.
Where does the interaction have to happen? Everywhere! Multi-touch customer services are pretty usual now, including significant social networks.
There is no phone anymore to contact a company – customers can reach their favorite brands on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As Hootsuite points out, “64% of people would rather message than call a business” and “social media is the preferred customer support channel for those under 25, with 32.3% of them saying it’s their top choice”.
If you already haven’t, you better start looking for a social media manager or community manager!
Develop listening customer’s needs
When you decide to implement a social media customer service, the first question you need to ask is on which platforms you want to focus on. Even if you would like to be social on Earth to be sure, it would be impossible and useless.
It would be impossible because you wouldn’t probably have enough time and resources to do it.
It would be useless because your target is unlikely to be on every social media platform existent – you only have to pick the ones in which your audience is. Most of the time, you can find your target audience on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
If you have an online presence already – and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? -listen to what your audience says about you, managing their voice scattered along with the different places where they are
Once you have collected enough data, you can proceed with sentiment analysis.
Do they discuss your brand? Are the words flattering or not? Is there a flaw or a negative comment that appears more often than the others? Are there technical problems that your brand still hasn’t solved? How many feedbacks did you receive, and of which quality? Are there recurrent questions that you could solve with a FAQ section on your website?
You need to pull out all this data. If you are going to do it manually, you are going to have a hard life.
By using customer journey analytics systems like Ghostwriter AI you can do it in the space of minutes.
All of this will help you understand where you should focus your attention and time to make the user experience more exciting and appealing.
Create a bond
It is easy to understand: the more someone takes care of you, the more you tend to create a bond with them. With customers and customer service, it is the same.
Take the chance to create a bond and a relationship on social media with your customers based on muted trust.
If a customer has a problem with their favorite brand, a serious one, this already is quite tragic for the brand itself. The risk is to crack the faith the clients have in you.
Things get even worse when the brand is so self-centered that it merely disappears or sends pre-written emails without a spark of personalization or care.
And trust us – customers can feel it.
On the other hand, if the brand shows that the customer is essential, if it shows care and attention, if it asks the problem and tries to solve it in the best way possible, you can be sure that people will remember this. If we remember the adverse events, what can be better than solving a problem for our customers and having their loyalty renewed?
Best practices for a social media customer service strategy
Let’s see together five tips and tricks, or best practices, for you to make your social media customer service shine like a diamond!
Provide the right service on each channel
Not all social media platforms are the same, and this is true also when brands use them as part of their customer service strategy.
Even if customers use social media in a very sparse way, you need to know everyone’s rules before answering to comments and messages.
It does not mean just remembering that Twitter has a defined number of characters you can use. It has more to do on the kind of platform you are using and the different tones of voices you can choose between.
Naturally, the rule you need to remember is that no social network allows you to lose your professionalism. Always behave like the professional worker you are, without trying, i.e., to make people laugh.
That said, on Facebook, you can send a link in the comment and create contact with the clients’ needs.
You can use some specific keywords on Twitter to expand your audience and solve more than one person’s problems.
Create a set of guidelines
Even games have rules to follow, so it is natural that a brand that deals with customers has them, too.
They are essential for many reasons.
First, they give you a trace to follow in every circumstance: an angry customer, a troll, a specific request, a flame that ignited under a controversial post.
Moreover, it defines the brand and makes it recognizable in every aspect, platform, and moment.
For instance, one thing you may decide is the tone of voice. In which way am I going to answer the questions of my audience? A classic and professional one, an ironic one, a serious one?
Be proactive in providing a better service.
Do not only wait for customers to ask you something – be proactive and anticipate them!
Do they often ask you specific questions? Use it at your advantage!
You can create an FAQ. lists, educational pieces content, freebies to make people know your product better.
Use your customers’ doubts to create useful resources and better service!
Answer every single question – and as quickly as you can!
The first rule of customer service is to answer every single question fast and with high accuracy. Time-response rate counts!
Do not forget any questions, even if they are repetitive. They look insignificant because customers will remember it, and other people will see it, for instance, on your public Facebook page.
Always be friendly to the customers and, if you promised to send more information, don’t forget to do it.
Ah, and always remember, be quick – have we already said that?
Take care of your customers’ privacy: know when to answer in public and when not.
Not all the questions are the same.
There may be a frequent question made by an aggressive person, a very technical one, or something too personal – you’ll never know.
If the questions are generic, you can quickly answer them in public, adding links and whatever it takes to make the customer experience more comfortable.
However, if there are more delicate questions, complaints, or aggressive talking, the best thing you can do is answer in private. Not everything has to be public, and, sometimes, you can better handle a problem with a client when there are only the two of you involved.
Have you ever used these tricks? How did it go?
Social media platforms are one of the most known places where people can connect with brands.
Thanks to social media, you can analyze your customers, what they are discussing, and what they think about your brand.
In this way, you can provide better service by knowing what they need and desire.
Always remember to be polite and adapt the communication to the right channel!