When people turn to social media to get customer service, businesses need to listen and make the most out of the situation.
But it’s not just that, as social media customer service goes way beyond a purchase. More often than not, people look to social media to make sure that they’re talking about a legitimate brand, with actual, real ratings and no bots replying to inquiries.
Therefore, social media has changed the whole way customer service really works: The whole prospect-lead-customer cycle is starting to look a little bit different, seeing as a prospect needs to be treated like an already existing customer nowadays.
Below, I have gathered some of the most important tips and tricks that will help any and all brands with their customer service strategy and endeavors, when it comes to providing excellent customer service through social media channels.
1. Choose your platform
There are more than enough social media platforms for your brand to have profiles in. But it’s only logical that you’ll need to focus your endeavors on your main one, be it Facebook or Twitter.
So, first in order of business will be to check your data for two key components: First of all, you’ll need to find where your platform is mentioned the most.
Secondly, you’ll need to take a look at your target audience, create buyer personas and see which platform is frequented by your ideal customer, the most.
You’ll also see a certain tip many times: Create a separate account for customer queries. In my opinion, this would be useful for a company like Nike. If you’re an SME, avoiding that would be better for you, really.
The reason is that you need to get your brand out there, therefore, you can’t confuse your prospects with a lot of different accounts. Not just yet, anyway.
2. Keep up with your queries
It may be difficult, but you’ll need to make sure to leave no question unanswered and no mention untapped.
You’ll need to do this, in order to, first of all, help your prospects make sure that your customer service team is a group of dedicated agents and not a group of robots.
That’s the whole point of live chat anyway and customers really appreciate it when they're talking to a real live person, as it makes them feel valued and like they’re part of a lively community.
What is more, prospects and customers need things to be resolved quickly, efficiently, but not in a faceless manner. So, the least a brand can do is acknowledge the prospect’s social media query within the day at latest, seeing as the average response time expected is 60 minutes, more or less.
If that 60-minute margin doesn’t seem to be enough, there is something you can do: use integrations and tools such as LiveAgent’s Facebook and Twitter channel integration that will help you keep up with everything you need to track.
3. Determine KPIs and guidelines for your team
Your KPIs are essentially what pinpoints the real meaning of success when it comes to your business and the kinds of goals you’d like your team to achieve.
You’ll need to determine your KPIs before setting up your guidelines, as they’ll be the ones to make or break any strategy you may have in mind.
So, just try and determine a couple of things.
- How much time would it take for you to respond?
- Are you a brand that’s fun and youthful or serious that means business?
- How are you planning to utilize the data that you can get from user feedback (comments, surveys, etc)?
The answers to those questions are going to be your team’s guidelines.
4. Make sure to know what and how to answer
What I mean by that is not, of course, ignoring your customers’ mentions and queries.
What you’ll need to do would be to determine whether or not you can take the time to acknowledge each and every one.
For SMEs, answering any and all mentions-positive or negative-can lead to increased engagement rates. So, if you are a part of the SME category, you should consider engaging in social listening.
Your agents should be mindful of the messages your social media pages receive, reply to mentions (positive or negative, to increase engagement), take great care of queries and so on and so forth.
But still, a good volume of your queries may go unnoticed. Therefore, an FAQ page linked in your homepage would definitely do the trick for you.
And make sure to take the conversation somewhere private or, better yet, offline when a customer needs to give you any personal details.
5. Use bots wisely
If you absolutely need to use bots, program them to be able to answer the simple questions. If they can’t answer, give them the option of informing your community that an agent will get back to them.
And since bots cannot do everything by themselves, make sure that your customer service or community management team always checks those queries. You wouldn’t want prospects to be checking daily, only for you to reply after a week.
A little empathy goes a long way after all, and prospects will feel valued if they see that you didn’t just use a bot to do your job for you.
6. Use your data wisely
All these interactions, as I said before, will help you gather data. You should be able and prepared to use that data wisely.
Train your teams according to that data and make sure that they’ve got everything down before they continue.
What do I mean by that?
First of all, train your teams according to your target group’s age.
Different age groups require different types of attention:
A member of the Baby-Boomer generation will need a whole different kind of assistance, compared to a Gen-Z or a Millennial user, who will need to figure out more complex things.
Your data will also show you how to improve your other platforms and your website.
It will also give you insight on how to improve your email marketing strategy, how to segment your lists, even what kind of email templates can work for each age, location or income group.
7. Always follow up
This will help your brand gain recognition and positive reviews, on top of everything else.
Whether the problem was resolved or not, you should always follow up with your prospects’ queries.
Some brands give up the quest if they address the problem and their prospect doesn’t get back to them, which is not the best way to go, especially when you want to build a strong social media community.
You should always make sure that the problem has been resolved and that your prospect or customer doesn’t need anything else. If your team is able to give them all the answers they were looking for, then they’re bound to become loyal customers.
Customer service through social media is becoming a staple and it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
And social media channels may be something different, something not yet explored by many users and brands, but the customer service skills any agent should have, remain the same:
Active listening, empathy, adaptability and a genuine interest to make sure that the customer will get what they need in the end.