There are fewer sweet and sour combinations than Customer Service and Social Media. It’s not always easy, it’s not always handled as well as it could be, and it isn’t as tantalising as the chicken version.
No but for real, when we think of how many times we have tweeted, instagramed or facebooked a brand to ask a question compared to how many times we have rang their contact line- in our opinion, we’d say it’s a strong 80/20 ratio. And we’re not alone.
In the last two years, 1 in 3 social media users prefer social media customer care services to telephone or email. Therefore, the pressure for brands to have a high quality and responsive Social Media Customer Care strategy has never been higher; but a lot of brands struggle with it.
In addition, 90% of brands are expected to implement Customer Service channels on Social Media by 2020 so y’all need to know how to get it right.
So isn’t it perfect timing that we at J&R Agency have compiled our top 7 ways to manage your Customers on Social Media? We just want to make you the best in the business at handling your customers.
1.Create a separate Social Media Customer Support Handle
A great way to convey great customer service is by creating a separate account dedicated to Customer Service response. Brands like Etsy, Xbox and so many others have ‘Support’ pages that will answer or refer customer queries quickly and effectively. This can be especially useful as it reinforces the idea that you are committed to great Customer Service by having a whole entity on Social Media dedicated to helping them.
Example of Twitter Support profile @etsyhelp
2. Respond quickly to ALL comments.
This means setting target response times for your Customer Support team.72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour and 60% of those cited negative consequences to the brand if they didn’t receive timely Twitter responses. If those figures don’t scream to RESPOND ASAP then I don’t know what does.
Now listen, we get that there are times where responding to customer tweets or comments isn’t doable in an hour. If you think it will take a couple of days that’s OK, just make that clear to your customer. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Regularly schedule an informative post with an eye catching graphic stating where they can ask questions or get help and when they can get it. Once or twice a week is more than enough to post these.
- Put a line in your main Business Bio with a link to the Support page (should you have one). Include the hours this is available.
- If you are using your main account to assist customers, make a point to check it 3-4 times a day to make sure customers aren’t waiting too long for a reply.
Example of another Twitter Support handle by ASOS
3. Get Personal
Getting personal doesn’t mean act like their best friend or ask for their snapchat username but it’s important to remember that despite the interface of the internet, you are speaking to a person who needs help. When interacting with a customer, start your response with a ‘Hello’, use their first name (if they have one, if their username is orangedragon83 for example, then just use their handle), and sign it off with your initial.
Example of personalised Twitter Response from @Githubhelp
Doing this conveys that you care about their question and makes them know they’re being taken seriously by a real person. Secondly, it depicts accountability. By signing your initial, you are responsible for dealing with the customer and it helps the company deal with any serious disruption as they know who corresponded from the company.
4. Make use of Private Messenger
It’s important to spot when a customer may need more detailed assistance. Behold the “DM”. Direct your customers to this method if they need to disclose personal information such as their order number or address- info that shouldn’t be put on a public comment.
Good news if you use Twitter- the app has a special tool for Businesses where it adds an embedded link within your reply that once clicked, will bring the customer to a direct message with you.
Example of Direct Message tool on twitter- @delta airlines
Check out this How-To guide on Direct Messaging for your Business.
5. Make an FAQ Section
Sometimes seen as an afterthought, a Frequently Asked Question section (FAQ) can add value when managing customers online. How?
- They answer customer questions that can’t be easily addressed in a comment.
- FAQs can relieve a good chunk of the burden on your Social or Customer Support staff by publicly answering common questions.
In addition, an FAQ section can link to separate landing pages on your website which can help boost your SEO. As well as this, it may make customers purchase some of your goodies from browsing the pages they land on.
FAQs aren’t high maintenance, either. Start with a minimum amount of fundamental questions you know you’re customers may ask and add as you s come up. To ensure they’re up-to-date, check them once a week to check if the info needs added to or changed.
6. Get Customer Feedback
In a world where Social Media is omnipresent, studies have shown that Consumer opinions online’ (58%) is now the second most trusted format of Marketing; coming second after “Personal Opinions” i.e. word of mouth. This is indicative that customers no longer trust the traditional methods of promotion such as Advertisements, they rely on what other customers say about your brand. Therefore, Social Media can be a fantastic way to manage customers as it gives you the chance to see what others say and make improvements.
As well as helping measure Customer Satisfaction, asking for feedback via Social Media shows you value your client’s opinions, that you’re listening to what they like & dislike. It’s also fairly easy to do.
- You can send the customer a private message asking to rate their experience from 1-5, and ask for a comment, which is good for specific elements of customer service.
- Use Instagram, Twitter or Facebook polls with light-hearted lines like ‘How was our Timekeeping today?’ and you will get a percentage for ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’.
We ourselves are constantly reading reviews if we are unsure about a product or brand, so feedback is crucial to keeping your customers happy online or IRL.
7. Tone of Voice
When we speak to customers, or in this case type to them, they not only read what we say but how we say it. (There’s a whole section in a Neuroscience Journal about it if you wanna get scientific.) The best way to get the correct tone is to adjust your tone to match your customer i.e. you should be able to tell if they’re upset off or not.
A study by Software Advice surveyed over 2000+ customers, and found that over 65% customers prefer a casual tone to a formal one; BUT 78% say a casual tone is negative when the customer service rep is denying a request.
So, to put it in basic terms, if the customer uses emoticons, exclamation points and slang- it’s good to reciprocate it. Take this example from JetBlue:
A happy customer.
Equally, if your customer sounds frustrated, don’t throw in a gif of Jim Carrey, use a tone that’s understanding and apologetic. Here’s an example between a Virgin Mobile USA and their Customer:
We hope you enjoyed reading!