Social media is an ideal place for creating dialogue and having conversation. In this relation, businesses can use the conversations on social media as an opportunity to respond to prospects and customers here.
Recent research by Maritz Research and evolve 24 provides insights for businesses using social media to handle customer service inquiries, especially complaints. While customers use social media platforms to complain about service or product, only half of them expect a company response – a low bar for customer service performance.
This is good since only three out of ten companies respond to customer service complaints made via Twitter. Of those customers, three quarters were satisfied with the response they received. While this sounds positive, there’s a caveat. Of those who weren’t contacted, 86% would have appreciated a response but only regarding the problem, not about anything else!
Here are 5 steps to get your social media customer service on track.
- Listen to your customers. To begin with it always works to monitor the social media landscape for mentions of your company name, brands, products, key executives and competitors. Also, it is good to notice that your competitors’ problem can easily become your problem on social media platforms and make a note.
- Create special customer service listening posts on social media. Wherever possible, it is good to develop a designated social media customer service profile or page. On which platform you decide to build your customer service page depends on your type of business and where your consumers are. For example, Starwood Hotels has had a representative on Flyer Talk for years where he’s known as a straight shooter who the community respects. By contrast, JetBlue uses Twitter to keep passengers abreast of flight and gate changes. Consider what makes sense for your customers.
- Train and staff social media customer service to respond inquiries. Social media training is required so representatives have the appropriate skills to communicate on these channels and understand how to use them.
- Promote social media customer service to your organization and your customers. It is very important to market your customer service in-house. Let people know what you’re doing via your internal communications. It always works to create a set of FAQs with the related departments and share them with your social media team.
- Acknowledge and respond to inquiries as quickly as possible. Ignoring consumer requests on social media platforms doesn’t make them go away, rather it’s more likely to get customers upset on a platform where they can easily let their anger show!