Offering customer service over social media is often a great way to support your customers. However, you should make sure to take the time to do it right – otherwise it can do more damage than having no support at all.
Your customer service productivity will increase as you reach more customers at once on social media for common problems, so make sure to put more care into the customers you do respond to. Even if that means spending more time on them.
Here are three tips to think of when you are responding to your customers on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
1. Can the Canned Responses
If you are fortunate enough to have many passionate customers contacting you, answering every one of them may seem a little daunting. You should resist the urge to rely on sending out a large number of pre-scripted responses to everyone.
While this type of response may be more acceptable on channels like Twitter, it can still annoy your other users if you don’t do it right. Take the time to open a dialogue with the people replying to you. Don’t worry about how many responses you send them – often, the more responses the better.
You should also resist communicating with customers privately. Each genuine conversation you have in public will help build trust in everyone who sees it, expanding it’s impact.
If you find yourself making a lot of one-off replies on simple topics – in other words, contacts where a scripted response is appropriate – think about other content marketing strategies for educating and informing your customers so they don’t need to contact you in the first place.
2. Look for a Personal Connection
Part creating a genuine dialogue with a social media support interaction is examining their public profile to learn about their passions in life so you can reference them to build emotional bridges.
Whether it’s a favorite movie, sports team or literary genre, try to work in a reference. If you see a customer is Star Wars fan, leading a reply with “I shall use the power of the Force to address your concern” can immediately set a fun and friendly tone.
Ending a conversation with a baseball fan by tweeting “Thanks for getting in touch – Go A’s!” can make a small but lasting impression.
Of course, you need to be mindful of the circumstance. A customer who is cancelling service or very upset may not care about your references to Harry Potter. In fact, it may make them more upset. So use your best judgement when attempting to build a personal, emotional connection with a customer using social media customer service.
3. Make Your Social Media Customer Service Quick
In recent years, research has shown that customers expect almost immediate service when contacting social media customer service. Of course, in reality that is rarely possible – even for well-funded corporate customer service teams.
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, start looking for ways to concentrate your efforts by reaching more people with less effort.
- If you have a service interruption, set up an informational web page and ask customers to share it.
- Leverage the knowledge and ability of your loyalists to help answer easy customer service questions so you can focus on getting to the difficult ones quicker.
- Use a service like IFTTT to alert you whenever certain hashtags or problem descriptions arise. That way you can focus in and respond within minutes to the really important things.
Being able to reply to customers as quickly as they may expect can seem like an impossible task. Strategically targeting particular issues or customers can help you focus your resources where they’re needed most.