Have you ever thought about how much time you spend browsing your preferred social media channels? According to Nielsen, consumers devote an average of 5 hours and 30 minutes per week using social media. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that in 2017 your customers’ first instinct may be to contact you on social instead of dealing with an automated phone tree and hitting “0” until they reach a live person. Companies need to be up to the challenge of effectively engaging with their growing customer bases via social media and having a strong customer service plan in place.
There are three valuable components to customer service success on social media: quick response time, creative and thoughtful customer engagement, and proactive resolution.
At the end of every day, I look forward to checking my mailbox but, I often wonder why I do. Instead of being met with a thoughtful card or package, I am greeted by piles of junk mail. One well-known financial company in particular sends me credit card offers every week, and every week I tear them up and throw them in the garbage, frustrated with the amount of paper they waste on me. Finally, I had enough and wanted to get in touch with them to take me off their direct mail list. Instinctively, I knew the quickest way to get their attention was to send out a tweet. In a few short minutes, I was providing my mailing information to a friendly community manager, JD, and he was getting me off that mailing list – problem solved.
With social media being such a quick and visible way to get the attention of a company, consumers are turning to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram in droves. Not only does this benefit the consumer by receiving a personalized and speedy resolution, it can benefit your company as well. In order to do so, every company needs an escalation plan in place. Without one, it could turn into a customer experience fail.
Engage thoughtfully (and don’t be afraid to have fun!)
Social media presents the perfect opportunity to provide an overall better customer experience. If a situation arises where your customer had a negative experience, social media grants you a second chance to make it right. It’s vital to treat every customer like they’re your number one priority; this demonstrates to current and future customers that you care and you’re trustworthy.
However, not every tweet, Facebook post, or comment you receive will be negative – cherish these moments and allow the voice of your brand to shine! If a customer is taking the time out of their day to write a glowing review of your company, product, or employee, not only should you be proud, but you should also recognize they must have been really impressed. Use this opportunity to have some fun with your audience and your customers will love you for it.
Take action, and keep your customer updated
Your top priority after engaging with your customer on social media is taking action to address their concern. This is an opportunity for you to take what you’ve learned directly from your customer and improve their experience. Maybe you’ve noticed a small spike in complaints about a particular product you sell and one customer’s experience was enough to launch a full internal investigation. Perhaps an employee went above and beyond to make a customer happy and you can recognize him or her for a job well done. Whatever the situation, after you’ve taken the steps to address the issue or feedback, update your customer. Through social media – you can follow through in a warm and friendly way to close the loop.
Navigating social media as a customer service channel can be complicated but also fun. By responding quickly and thoughtfully on social, you can intercept a potential PR crisis and start the resolution process before your customer can fire off a second tweet. Positive experiences are just as important to learn from as the not so great experiences – whether it’s customer praise for an employee or just some playful B2C banter on Twitter, be active and engaging and your customer will value the experience and more importantly, you will strengthen their brand loyalty. Do you have a customer service policy in place for your social channels?