Looking for ways to increase your client’s loyalty or try to engage the new audience and partners? Here we will give you a few tips on how to handle social media and customer service. It doesn't matter whether you have been dealing with clients’ support for some time or just starting your journey, tuning media could be complicated.
This article will highlight some of the fundamental ways of setting up your customer service through social media.
Social customer service is, quite simply, customer service conducted via social media channels. It is the most immediate and accessible tool for being in touch with your clients, offering quick solutions, dealing with complaints, and reviewing shortcomings. Easy access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram allows people to feel personal contact with the company and doesn't need much money to invest. Multiple channels can be used to engage different groups of customers and create the impression of a “face-to-face” dialogue. From the client's perspective, this communication form is much more convenient than trying to call the “hotline” for hours.
In brief, using social media for customer service has changed the entire business’s structure while showing new opportunities and marking challenges. The primary risk of peer-to-peer support in the context of social media and customer service is the loss of privacy. Also, one of the most significant issues is offering omnichannel support via social media for both small and large companies. On the one hand, small businesses may find it hard to keep with all the customer requests, and on the other hand, large corporations will struggle to connect with every contact.
In other words, customer service new rules for the social media world have changed, and you need to evolve to stay on the wave.
Channels involved to make it all work
The main challenge that every company faces, tuning customer service social media, in the beginning, is the variety of information and its origins. Therefore, it can be tough to concentrate and choose specific ones. Here we invite you to see the most common and affordable social media sources for e-commerce customer service support for buyers, according to zdnet.com.
As you can see, social media customer service tools like Facebook and Twitter are quite well-known and are the most effective in targeting. You might also have clients using Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
To look up where your consumers are, search social media customer service platforms for your brand’s likes, mentions, and tags. Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook’s search bar can be used for manual research.
The most successful way to understand what customers think of your company is to invest in social media monitoring tools. These unique platforms are designed to pursue your brand mentions and to be ahead in answering buyers’ requests.
You need to understand that it is the consumer who has power over the brand image, not the brand itself. Few or no responses to people’s demands can have a fatal impact on the company's reputation.
The importance of customer service on social media
So, literally, brands respond only to half of the massages online. Replacing can increase your customer advocacy by 20%, while not answering back can reduce it by 43%. Here are some stats proving the seriousness of offering social media customer service solutions:
Clients expect customer service function via social media
- About 150 million people use Instagram direct for businesses monthly.
- 64% prefer using messages to calls.
- Under 25 years, young people claim that customer service on social media is their preferred type of communication, and 32.3 % even mentioned it was their best choice.
- Two-thirds of buyers worldwide wrote about their customer experience in social media last festive season.
When you actively participate in a conversation, customers can see your integration and interest in feedback, which gives a signal not only to participants of the discussion but also to all the witnesses of public chat. Responding selectively means being indifferent towards consumer needs. The key to increasing sales and brand loyalty - being in touch with clients all the time.
According to the diagram, 50% of consumers are ready to even boycott brands due to customer service managers’ poor response and social media. You can also easily add that about 42% will definitely share their bad experiences with friends, and only 13% will forget about it. You can see that the way how you respond matters too.
Evidently, happy clients will bring you high ratings, and at the same time, poor feedback will damage your reputation. That’s why it’s necessary to use some social media customer service software like social media monitoring.
Social media monitoring
Social media monitoring is a process of searching through social media data that contains your brand name. It can help you follow the main social media customer service metrics, like audience engagement and brand awareness. For instance, if you would like to know more about your company’s mentions, your opponents’ mentions, or simply trace the industry’s innovations, monitoring will help you provide excellent customer service with social media.
Keep in mind that social media monitoring is just the first step in adopting customer service social media, while its more complicated form is social listening. What's the difference between social media monitoring and social listening? Social media monitoring is about searching for and analyzing constructive, practical information, which carries the brand's name remark. You understand and estimate your customer’s needs and create documentation and statistics based on what you have learned. Monitoring will help you to measure your attainments and keep your finger on the pulse.
Social listening is more about taking action, gathered on previous media monitoring. Using social listening, you will transform necessary data into a direct strategy for customer service and social media. Social listening inquiries look “at the picture” in general and predict what will happen in the market’s nearest future.
Now, understanding the whole situation, your next question is probably going to be: “What if I have to focus more on my company's daily routine and don’t really have time to deal with customer service social media outreach?”. A great solution for you is an outsourcing technical support company. More about it you can read in our article Advantages of outsourcing customer support. IT outsourcing support can be used equally for small companies lacking experience in this field and for industry giants (big companies like American Express and Microsoft are already in it).
How to implement a social customer service strategy?
So, here we are, and we are ready to finally introduce a customer service strategy and explore the role of social media in customer service.
1. Gather your team. The first step might be a loyal team, which understands your main goals and shares your beliefs. At least, you have to distinctly explain your customer service vision to negotiate the right conversation. Of course, if you are just a little company, probably, you would like to manage social customer service yourself, but it's going to be much easier to hire professionals. Companies with good customer service on social media typically have a specially designed social customer response team.
2. Make a devoted social handle for customer support. The best social media customer service examples mainly use a separate social media handle. Your social marketing team will provide the major account, with all the necessary data, about your brand’s latest innovations. At the same time, your customer service team will filter out technical problems and support. This allows effectively dividing both accounts.
However, your customers may still write on a leading account. The customer service team will successfully redirect clients by responding, for instance, indirect messages. Also, don’t forget to put a link on your support account in case of having two accounts. In the bio of your main profile, MacDonald’s can be an excellent example.
The method described above will be relevant for more or less developed brands. If you are just starting your journey, the best option for you would be to create a community of like-minded people. As an example, LinkedIn and Facebook group.
3. Customer Service in Social Media Guidelines (instructions for your social media customer service coordinators). One of your primary purposes is to create a brand's style. It has to be juxtaposed with the general concept of your company.
For instance, it can include:
- Tone of conversation
- Your preferable answer time
- Dealing with customer issues and social media crises
- A response text, in advance
Here, as you can see, Urban Decay uses a lovely and delightful voice, which easily matches with the company's appearance.
4. Implementing a chatbot. To answer 24/7 and to make the life of your customer service team easier, from the beginning, install a chatbot for frequently asked questions. It's going to promptly approach the most popular requests and, thereby, give your team more time with other, less typical issues.
5. Answer no matter what and quickly. Not all the people writing to you are your clients, but all people, who got the answer, become your potential customers. Caring about your social media audience proves your credibility and makes a great impression on your brand.
It should be borne in mind that, sometimes, when mentioning a brand, customers tend to misspell. This is why it is essential to continually monitor social networks and look at all potentially relevant mentions. You can use some specific tools like Sprout Social, Falcon.io, and TweetReach.
According to Conversional’s report, 81% of social customer service users have higher digital care expectations today than a year ago. Social media customer service response time vs. expectation has never been so important as now.
81% of UK consumers claim that a positive opinion about the company is based on a quick and effective customer support team response. In this case, for example, Instagram can be highly-helpful.
Providing customer service through social media, Instagram Quick Replies allows you to choose from previously prepared answers, so there’s no need to write the same thing twice. All you have to do is set down a list of the most common questions and arrange some responses. On the underside of the screen, tap the Quick Replies icon. To generate a reply, tap New Quick Reply. Then, just add an already ready reply.
Companies that use social media to provide better customer service also utilize Facebook tools, as Away Massaging and Instant Replies.
6. Set up the right conversation. Sometimes conversation needs to be taken private. Direct Messages is a great solution when you demand a client’s data or need more information to solve an issue.
After sending a private message, don’t forget to answer back in public dialogue. Frase like “We’ve replied to you in DM, check it out, please” will sound excellent. This action will show to other users that you are not ignoring the question.
By the way, introducing yourself while providing private talk is also quite crucial. You don’t have to write your name at the beginning of every message, but finishing with it would be a perfect strategy.
7. Create useful content. Companies using social media effectively for customer service usually utilize their social media pages for sharing news. It could be launching a product or showing a working process inside-out. You can make a creative blog, revealing insights that will give clients valuable information and reduce questions. It’s all about exploring to your customers the best sides of your product.
For example, Elan’s Cafe shows a process of creating cakes in their Instagram account.
8. Exceed customer expectations. Why can people reinvent customer service with social media, and how social media deflects customer service issues? The answer is quite easy - be two steps ahead.
As a rule, customers expect a friendly, fast, and quality service. You can’t just deal with customer service complaints on social media since this is the past customer service. Now, social media and businesses to offer better customer service have to outdo expectations. For that, you should have a strict strategy and a marketing plan, which includes some additional actions.
For instance, you can glance at Fenty Beauty’s customer support.
Fenty Beauty deals with “selecting a shade problem” and creates an interesting test, which engages new consumers.
9. Match the specific social media activity to the most appropriate customer service. This step should be based on your previous market research. You ought to have a clear understanding of where to look for your customers, grounded on specific market segments. While receiving social media customer service reports, keep track of which form of social media activity your customers enjoy the most. If it’s more about bright pictures - Instagram might be the right solution, educational videos - you are welcome to Youtube. Also, worth considering that 80% of accounts on LinkedIn breed B2B businesses.
Knowing how customer service is used in social media, we can talk more about specific tools, which will be quite beneficial. Social customer service software streamlines and tracks all the data relevant to the brand, social media channels and provides bids for support managers. Social customer solutions often analyze customer’s information and inquiries and can be used together with other social media monitoring tools.
So, here they are:
- Zendesk Support Suite
- Salesforce Digital Engagement
- Sprout Social
The importance of social media marketing customer service is undeniable. Nowadays, you can’t just rely on ancient customer service techniques - you have to exceed clients’ expectations. Knowing how social media can improve customer service and save company money gives you a key to running a successful business.