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Crafting a Response Fit for the Public

Bitesize - The Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service: Part 3/10

Here's part three from the series of bitesize posts from our 'Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service', a practical handbook for executing a Social Customer Service program from the ground up. You can download the guide in full here.

Getting your response right on social media is key to delivering effective social customer service. Every social response must simultaneously live up to customer expectations, have an air of professionalism, and emulate the principles and characteristics of a brand. responses are just as important as marketing updates, and it’s essential that all forms of company message are consistently follow any official company guidelines. Customer service representatives must master what type of language and tone of voice is appropriate for their company in order to deliver a consistent voice to their customers. 

Must-Haves for a Social Customer Service response:

  1. Sociable Language – Social networks are less formal than other channels, such as email and phones.
  2. Personalized Response – Let customers know there’s a person behind a social media response. This can be done through a human tone, or even signing initials.
  3. Reactive Tone – Whether a customer contacts you for a complaint or a compliment, mirror their tone accordingly. If they’re happy, laugh along, if they are angry, respond more seriously.
  4. Calm and Measured Reactions – Always accept faults and apologize when appropriate, instead of denying or deleting justified complaints. Defensive behavior can lead issues to spiral out of control, and responding aggressively to an angry customer is never the right method. If you remain calm, cool and collected it can often pacify an irate customer.

Consistency is important not only for your brand image, but to ensure that customers can come to expect a predictable level of service. You only need basic guidelines for your team members to follow, to avoid any maverick responses. 

Royal Dutch Airlines – or KLM – do an excellent job of keeping consistency throughout their communictions. Each member of their customer service team follows official company policy to:

  • embrace both positive and negative feedback, 
  • respect customer privacy,
  • show empathy
  • and acknowledge customer emotion.

KLM’s social customer service team – who can speak Dutch, English, French and German – are available via Facebook and Twitter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most companies still aren’t in a position to offer service round the clock, setting KLM apart from the pack, and a leader in delivering exceptional social customer service.

Getting the tone of social messages right is something which takes time and practice, but it’s an important objective. Any communication sent over social media is public display of a company’s brand experience. So when the time comes to engage with customers, it is important to craft the perfect response.

Missed the last Bitesize post on Understanding Facebook For Customer Service? Check out Part 2/10. Or, move to Part 4/10 on Keeping Up With Social Customer Service.

Can you think of any companies that respond particularly well through social media? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments below.

Got any suggestions for what you’d like to hear from us? Send your thoughts to marie@conversocial.com, or @Conversocial. We’re always looking for new ideas.

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