Customers today are more demanding of brands, products and services than ever before.
They are smarter, more aware of the power they hold and have higher expectations than ever before.
To remain profitable, businesses have no choice but to keep up. And this goes way beyond developing excellent products and services. Consumers now expect flawless customer service, as well.
In this digital era, this is no longer confined to in-store service, but online as well.
This article highlights four social media customer service best practices to help you wow your clients online.
1. Respond as Quickly as Possible
While people might not expect 24/7 service over email and phone, social media comes with an expectation of round the clock availability.
This means businesses have to respond to complaints, reviews and inquiries in record time.
Essentially, failing to respond in good time can cause customers to speak ill of your brand both online and offline. In turn, you could gain a bad reputation and lose business in the process.
For businesses without the resources to man their social pages 24 hours a day, programmable messenger bots are a fair compromise.
2. Complaint Management Strategy
You cannot please everyone all the time, which means you have to prepare for the odd negative comment or complaint every so often.
Because the intensity of these occurrences can blindside your team, it’s important to have a social media strategy outlining how social media complaints should be handled.
There are no absolutes when it comes to dealing with complaints publicly or privately. However, if you require a phone number, account details, an email and so on, the rule of thumb is to request the customer to respond on direct messenger for their privacy.
Either way, respond with a cordial acknowledgment of the complaint and then give concise directions for the next step.
Only give resolution timelines when you are absolutely sure you will deliver results. When in doubt, advise on the next steps you seek to take, request for contact information, and then keep the customer updated.
3. Include a Name and a Greeting
People love the sound of their names. If a customer’s name is apparent from their profile, use it in your response.
Begin with a greeting, address the individual by name or social profile initials, followed by your message. Then end with your name or initials.
The last bit is important on two fronts.
First, it allows a business to see who responded and where to begin following up internally if need be. Secondly, it humanizes your response to your customers.
Addressing someone by their name makes them feel heard, recognized and appreciated as compared to addressing them generically, or not addressing them at all.
4. Keep Your Emotions in Check
Customer service is not an easy job. It’s easy to get frustrated when you are doing the best you can but are getting negative comments thrown at your business.
To make matters worse, some of this might be completely unreasonable or even be a customer’s fault.
No matter the circumstances, resist the urge to defend yourself or to blame the customer. Instead, tackle negativity with positivity.
In-store, a customer complaint can be heard by a handful of people at most. Online, you have an audience in their thousands.
To protect your business, be objective, remain calm, and communicate the value you have for your customer as well as your willingness to resolve their issue.
Anything less than this and your business comes off as unprofessional and uncaring. These are two qualities of a business that consumers shun.
Take the Challenge
The ever-changing world of social media marketing can feel overwhelming at times.
However, do not let it wear you down. Think of it as yet another part of human interactions with both good and bad outcomes, and then challenge yourself to slowly but surely create more positive interactions. It certainly pays off.