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How to Maximize your Social Media Customer Service in 3 Simple Steps

Natasha Palmer
By Natasha Palmer on Apr 29, 2016 4:14:00 AM

Maximize_Social.pngFact: social media is here to stay. If they haven’t already done so, companies need to rethink their business models — not just in terms of marketing and sales, but also service — in order to keep up with the ever-growing, ever-pervasive phenomenon that is social media.

We all know about (and constantly see) social media marketing at work — but did you know that 67% of businesses are now using social media for customer service purposes? This trend shows no signs of waning, and it’s in every company’s best interest to get on board the social service train. Ensuring that these real-time social service encounters are both pleasant and effective will allow your company to increase customer loyalty and the favorability of your brand. Furthermore, customers who do not receive valid support (or even worse — fail to receive a response at all) will have every justification to discontinue working with or supporting your company.

So now you know what (and what not) to do to amp your service credibility, but how exactly do you implement the new course of action? Read on to learn how to successfully navigate the new wave in social media customer service:

Be in touch with your users and their preferences

It goes without saying that market research is always useful in not only attracting but also retaining customers. It’s critical to know who your consumers are, what they like, and how they function. Don’t just gauge the typical social media channels that your company finds most popular for your industry, but also think from the perspective of your consumer base.

Are you in retail? Then Facebook is crucial for you.  Are you in the travel/hospitality industry? - Twitter is also important. But a #SocialFirst company needs to have a presence across all channels.

Each social media channel has a distinct draw that may prove to be particularly beneficial to your company. Stay abreast of where your users are, set up shop, and monitor your community’s activity within those niche mediums. Lastly, be sure to keep tabs on each of your company’s mentions across all channels, and respond punctually.

Use the right language at the right time

As the adage goes, it’s not what you say but how you say it. Today’s customers are less likely to favor a support encounter that is heavily scripted and lacks personal feeling. The savvy social customer instead prefers to take part in a more human interaction, feeling that the person on the other end of the line is yes, in fact, a person.

Approach each customer as an individual with unique needs and preferences. Adapt to his/her tone and fashion your own to complement it. For instance, feel free to use a grateful exclamation point or smiley face if you’re sent one first, or remain traditionally professional (with correct punctuation, a more pared down tone, etc.) if your customer appears formally oriented. Remember--humanity at scale has to do with having the right technology to reduce friction and increase efficiency, while providing the human touch when it is needed.

Time is of the essence. There’s not a single customer in the world who would prefer a service response later as opposed to sooner. A quick response time works wonders, and such timeliness will undoubtedly earn your company major kudos. A response days (or in some cases, even hours) later may become irrelevant and can reflect poorly on your company’s service department and overall image.

In Channel Resolution

Time is of the essence. There’s not a single customer in the world who would prefer a service response later as opposed to sooner. A quick response time works wonders, and such timeliness will undoubtedly earn your company major kudos. A response days (or in some cases, even hours) later may become irrelevant and can reflect poorly on your company’s service department and overall image.

Recently, Facebook Messenger installed a new feature which indicates the response time within each message. This means, if it takes you a few hours for you to respond to customer queries, your customer will be more aware of it than ever, In addition, they will also have undeniable proof of your slow service, which they can easily show to friends and family. You don’t want that reputation.

So make sure to respond within 20-40 minutes of each message. Showing genuine interest and concern in the customer’s issues will always result in a positive support experience, making for both a pleasant interaction as well as facilitating trust in your company and its range of capabilities.

In essence, a company’s customer service representatives should be in the know and personable. A bad service experience can ruin the work put into 100 good ones, so it’s essential to hit each mark correctly every time. As always, consistency is key for sustainable professional and social success.

Topics: Social Leaders, Customer Service

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