Every movement begins with a moment.
Social media has changed the way we do business. Originally created to connect people with one another, social now connects brands with their consumers too. Today, when a customer has an issue or a complaint — however simple (“I need a different size”) or complex (“The box arrived empty except for what appears to be a small packet of sand)” — he or she can get assistance by tweeting or simply posting on a business’s Facebook page. Whatever your product or industry, customer service is an essential extension of your social media efforts. Here are four tips to help you better serve your customers on social.
1. Know (and go) where your customers are
Do your research and find out where your consumers are active — and then be active there too. Being on the right channel means (1) you can tailor the consumer experience to the platform and (2) you’ll be there when your customers need you.
2. Monitor brand mentions and conversation
As part of your social listening, be sure to closely monitor brand-related hashtags, brand mentions (outside of @mentions) and conversations about your industry or product. And don’t assume that your customers will always spell your brand name correctly or even know your Twitter handle, for that matter. Searching for various misspellings of your brand and/or product name will help you find people who are trying to contact you.
3. Take advantage of customer service platform features
Stay current with platform updates, as some features might be released that can help you better serve your customers. For example, Twitter recently introduced some features for brands that regularly use the platform for customer service. Businesses now have the option to turn on an indicator that shows users whether or not they offer support on the platform. When users search, direct message or mention an account, they’ll be able to see “provides support.” Brands can also display the hours when support is available.
4. Know when to take the conversation offline
Responding publicly to customer complaints not only helps others who are having similar issues, it also shows that your brand is actively listening and resolving issues. While it is important to be transparent, brands should also know when it’s time to take a conversation offline. For example, character limits can constrain communications, especially when trying to resolve more complex issues. And in some instances, you may need to know sensitive information to access the customer’s order or account. In these cases, it’s best to private message or even go old school and give him or her a phone number to call.
Always remember that the voice of your customers is powerful. By providing great service — out in the world and on social media — you ensure that, even when your brand falls short, it can still stand strong in your customers’ eyes.
What brands do you think go above and beyond on social to resolve customer service issues and why?
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