How to Improve Customer Service on Social Media [Examples and Best Practices]
Back in 1990, could you think of a better way to get assistance from companies than via a phone call? While calls are still the life and soul of customer service, it isn’t the only place where to contact businesses anymore – thanks to the boom of social media. But how can you keep up with new social media trends and still keep offering the best customer service possible?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best practices that can help you provide your customers with the best possible experience. So, if you want to level up your brand’s customer service game, dive in with us and explore!
Set Up Brand Monitoring
The first step to improving your social media customer service is knowing what your customers say about your brand. While most of the feedback directly mentions the brand’s name, many don’t. That makes otherwise great promotion opportunities go unnoticed.
According to Reputation Refinery, 96% of unhappy customers won’t complain to you. Instead, they will tell around 15 friends. You won’t only end up missing out on potential leads, but going further, it affects your customer retention rates.
For example, in the image below, Starbucks wasn’t tagged in the individual’s review, but they still discovered this nice the feedback through social listening and addressed it.
While you can do brand monitoring on social media manually, it is not convenient. The whole process would be quite time-consuming. That’s where social listening tools come into play. These tools work by collecting and analyzing data from several social media platforms and allow you to set up and customize the streams to look for specific mentions.
For you to never miss out on your brand mentions, you can use tools like Hootsuite. It will boost your customer engagement, uncover trends, and discover important brand conversations across all social channels. But if you are looking for some cost-effective options to start with, there are many Hootsuite alternatives you can go for that offer similar services at an affordable price point.
Build A System To Get Questions Answered Quickly
If I get a cut now, I need the band-aid now – not thirty minutes later. That’s the kind of service every customer expects from the brand. If they raise an issue they are facing right now, they expect a solution immediately. A late answer equals no answer.
However, such an excellent execution of customer service requires a top-notch system with a dedicated customer service team round the clock.
For example, Apple has built a system on Twitter by using a dedicated Twitter account (@AppleSupport) that is staffed with trained support representatives.
While customers can reach out to Apple Support 24×7 on Twitter by sending a tweet or a direct message to the @AppleSupport account, they can also avail help via Apple Support, live chat, knowledge base, and even phone calls.
By creating several customer communication channels, Apple is trying to reduce the revenue spent on customer service calls. Besides cost, a customer service agent takes around 50 calls every day. Think of the productivity your customer service team can bring to the table if only the number of calls reduces.
Let’s improve your customer service on social media just like Apple did:
- Focus on having a dedicated team round the clock.
- Create support channels across multiple social media platforms to assist as many customers as you can.
- Keep templates with the intro and outro parts ready and easily adjustable g to specific problems so you can respond quickly.
- Go ahead and scour through your customer queries to create FAQs.
- Leverage chatbots to convey a hint of personalization for those customers who rather chat than read FAQs or guides.
Respond To Negative Comments As Well
While responding to negative comments on social media can be a challenging task, it is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with your customers.
According to Convince & Convert, not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%.
Moreover, if you ignore negative comments on a public platform, your potential customers might consider it a major casualty on the brand’s side.
See the image below, where the McDonald’s customer seemed frustrated and disappointed with the service. While the team could have left the issue unaddressed, they didn’t – they discovered the tweet through social listening and escalated it further to resolve it privately.
Here are some tips for your brand on responding effectively to negative social media comments:
Acknowledge The Issue
Start by acknowledging the issue and letting the customer know that you understand their concerns. This shows that you are taking their feedback seriously.
Offer a sincere apology for any inconvenience caused. It defuses the situation and calms the customer since it shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your mistakes.
Offer A Solution
Offer a solution to the customer’s problem as soon as possible. Don’t forget to ask them what other related problems they are facing and how you can help them.
Be Polite And Professional
Maintain a polite and professional tone throughout your response. Avoid getting defensive or confrontational, even if the customer’s comment is rude or aggressive. Your brand’s image is at stake!
Make The Conversation Private When Required
If the issue requires more extensive communication, offer to resolve the situation between four eyes. Provide the customer with contact information or suggest talking via private messages.
Follow Up After The Service
Once the issue has been resolved, follow up with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with the solution, as it can help build trust and loyalty. If not, offer them compensation for the inconvenience. For example, a refund, a replacement product, or a discount on their next purchase.
I am not a robot – Talk like a human
There is a good reason why your customers are reaching out to you and not to a chatbot. They want to talk to a human! Attend to your clients naturally, as if you were talking to any other person . and make them feel understood.
Refer to them by their first name while replying or simply ask them how their day was – these may seem like small gestures, but they make a big difference.
For example, in the image below, the user could watch a tutorial. Instead, they came to the Twitter support page. Why? Because they wanted faster and more effective service from a human.
The Microsoft Office team not only provided them with a solution in a couple of minutes, they also nailed it by referring to them by first name.
Here’s how you can nail personalized communication, too:
Use A Conversational Tone
When responding to customer inquiries, use a conversational tone that makes them feel like they are talking to their friend, not a machine. Use language that is clear, friendly, and easy to understand.
Personalize Your Responses
Avoid using canned responses. Instead, take the time to read and understand the customer’s question or concern and respond with a personalized message that addresses their specific issue.
Show that you understand the customer’s frustration or concern and that you are committed to resolving the issue. Use phrases like “I’m sorry for the inconvenience” or “I understand how frustrating this must be for you.”
If the customer has a problem that requires follow-up action, provide them with clear instructions on what to do next. This shows that you are committed to helping them find a solution.
Use Humor (when appropriate)
Depending on the situation, a bit of humor can go a long way in diffusing tense situations and creating a more positive customer experience. However, be careful not to be insensitive or dismissive of the customer’s issue.
Sign Off With A Human Touch
End your message with a personal touch. Something that shows a real person behind the response. For example, a signature. Associating the support agent with a specific name boosts brand authenticity and instills trust.
Measure And Report On Your Efforts
Measuring and reporting on your social media customer service efforts can help you track the effectiveness of your strategies and identify areas for improvement.
Here are steps you can follow to measure your customer service efforts:
Determine Your Goals
Define what you want to achieve with your social media customer service. It could be improving response times, increasing customer satisfaction, reducing customer complaints, or all of the above.
Choose Metrics To Track
Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals. For example, you might track the average response time, customer satisfaction ratings, the number of complaints resolved, or the number of positive mentions.
Analyze Your Data
Analyze your data regularly to track progress toward your goals. Look for patterns and trends that can help you identify areas for improvement. However, analyzing details from all the social media channels is quite a headache, and thus we recommend going for some of the best social media analytics tools.
With the right tool, you can analyze customer service data in a jiff, get in-depth insights about clients’ sentiments, identify the latest industry social trends, and make data-driven decisions to ensure a better customer experience.
Report On Your Results
Share findings with your team and stakeholders. Use visual aids such as graphs, charts, and infographics to communicate your results clearly. Don’t forget to reflect on data to make informed decisions about your customer service strategies and adjust your approach accordingly.
Social media can be a great platform for customer service, but what worked for you yesterday might not work today – so, keep experimenting. By following some of the best practices mentioned above, you can take your first steps towards improving customer experience.
But don’t fret about taking up the issues on calls as and when required. It is still the most popular form of seeking assistance!
What’s the ideal tone to use while responding to customers on social media?
Always talk in a positive tone no matter what the query is and use expressions to empathize with the customer’s situation.
How to ensure maximum customer satisfaction?
To ensure maximum customer satisfaction from customers – get to know your customers’ needs better, prioritize customers’ problems, address them by their first name, and provide them solutions faster.
What are key skills of a customer service executive?
The key skills of a customer service executive are persuasive speaking skills, adaptability, empathy, and patience.