featured image social customer care

Here’s why you should not underestimate customer service in social media

We live in an era where customers demand more options, better responses, and faster response times. Because the customer is always right, businesses must strive to meet these requirements. If they don’t, they must accept the possibility that they will lose customers to businesses that simply provide better service. It’s a cutthroat business.

If you want to provide the best service for your customers, make sure your business is accessible on multiple channels — social media included. Being present and available to assist your customers on social media is no longer a choice, it’s an absolute requirement.

What should you know about social media customer service solutions and why shouldn’t you ignore social media platforms for customer support? We’ve got all the answers.

What is social media customer service?

Customer support in the world of social media is all about answering questions, managing requests, and solving complaints through popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. While the first two are the most popular in terms of social media help, you should not underrate any social media network where your customers are present and active.

Why is customer support on social media so important?

Why does a single customer turn to social media? Simple because they know that their private message will be read and that they will be heard and listened to. They also know that if brands do not reply to their requests or complaints, they can take it a step further and start canceling your brand.

There are tons of examples when bad customer service went viral and customers started boycotting the brand, ultimately losing revenue. It’s happened to the likes of United Airlines, Starbucks, Too Faced– you name it. That’s why its important to make sure you treat your customers with respect and genuinely care for the resolution of their problem. Even on social media.

Both potential and existing clients use social media to contact businesses because they expect their questions to receive faster responses in comparison to traditional channels such as phone or email. These expectations may arise because consumers are aware of how much time they spend on social media, and therefore expect businesses to be active and available just as much.

Surprisingly enough, the customers aren’t wrong to have these kinds of expectations. The average response time on social media, in most industries, is less than five minutes. The companies that have achieved this have paved the road to success and the rest of the world must follow in order to live up to these expectations.

Just like with any other communication channel, when you’re interacting with your customers on social media, you’re building relationships with them. Any bad customer service on social media may result in churn or bad reputation so brands should make sure their social media support is always on point.

Tips for social media customer service

Here’s why you should not underestimate customer service in social media

Choose the best set of social media platforms for client support

Be present and active on social media so your customers can have the opportunity to contact you there.

Keep in mind that if your clients reach out to you on a particular platform, they expect an answer on the same platform. If you redirect your clients to other channels (phone, e-mails or even traditional letters), your clients may be annoyed. Social media makes it easier for both customer support teams and clients. Take things offline only when it is absolutely necessary to do so. Otherwise, respond to social media queries on social media.

Keep an eye on social media mentions

Brands that take social media monitoring seriously are more likely to win their customers’ hearts by answering their requests in real-time. As a brand, you can’t do this if you don’t monitor social media mentions.

You have the option to keep track of your brand mentions with external tools such as Google Alerts or you can keep monitoring social media networks manually.

If your company notices a need for separate social media accounts (one for customer service) feel free to make them. Many brands, like Spotify or Netflix, do it on Twitter. By doing this they’re keeping their customer service and user community separated.

Respond quickly, and to all

Make “Respond to All & Always” your support strategy. Your customer’s time is valuable, and therefore shouldn’t be wasted waiting for a response from you. As mentioned above, if your customers contact you about something on social media, they expect an answer within 5 minutes.

Being selective when it comes to social media customer service isn’t an option. Serving only those clients who praise your company is not the right way to go. Hiding complaints or ignoring valid customer requests and feedback can result in a social media crisis, and this can affect your brand severely.

Make the most of knowledge bases

A knowledge base is much more than just a FAQ section. While FAQs mainly focus on answering questions regarding customer service, a knowledge base walks users through your website, features, and solutions.

Building a knowledge base takes a lot of research, time and work – but it can pay off quicker than you might think. A knowledge base, prepared in the right way and with the highest level of complexity, can save a lot of time for customer service agents. If your clients or potential customers can find a solution to their problem in the knowledge base, they’re very likely not going to contact you. If they can find all of the necessary information needed to accomplish their goals, they will follow the provided guide instead of asking your agents for help. With the right information architecture on your website, you can save a lot of precious time for your company, and save money on additional support in terms of customer service.

Create procedures and guidelines

Preparing guidelines for social media customer service is crucial for most businesses to ensure everything flows smoothly. Think of the guide as a “knowledge base” for your agents. What should a guide contain?

  • Teams responsible for answering each social media platform
  • Roles in the teams – figuring out who approves posts, who is responsible for answering comments or direct messages, who creates reports, who is tracking social monitoring, etc.
  • Your brand’s tone of voice
  • Answer templates for as many possible scenarios as possible
  • Contingency plans (what to do if negative feedback escalates and turns into a crisis, who is responsible for creating an official statement or after-hours social media customer service?

Use chatbots for social media customer care

The numbers really speak for themselves regarding chatbots. Did you know that about 80% of customer chat sessions can be resolved by a chatbot? According to a Growcode e-commerce report, 45% of end-users consider chatbots their primary choice for customer service inquiries. Chatbots and live chat are no longer the future of customer service, they are the reality. While there are still many clients who like calling brands directly, companies that introduce live chat or chatbots on their websites and social media are more successful and effective. Many clients prefer turning to Facebook with their requests, and if the chatbot has been configured in the right way, they can answer customers correctly, and reduce agent’s ticket volumes.

There’s no excuse for not utilizing a chatbot nowadays – there are quite a few software options on the market that allow you to build your own simple chatbot in minutes. While they won’t fully replace your agents, they can support their efforts or minimize the time they need to spend on interactions with each client.

Social media customer care with LiveAgent

If you are looking for customer service and help desk software that can also support your efforts on social media, choose LiveAgent. With an intuitive social inbox, it is easier to keep track of messages across all of the social media profiles that your company manages. Since you can answer them from one user-friendly inbox, your customer service is more efficient and you can serve your customers quickly and accurately. Your agents can share and divide the workload, making sure that your clients’ complaints, messages, requests and words of appreciation are not only heard but responded to.

Here’s why you should not underestimate customer service in social media

To wrap-up

If your company is seriously thinking about providing flawless customer service experiences, then it cannot underestimate the need for customer support on social media networks. Adjusting to clients’ needs and living up to their expectations is crucial if you don’t want customers to churn. Creating a set of guidelines and choosing the right tools will help you improve your workflow and communication with customers on social media. Social media has become a really important channel for customer service it’s importance will only continue to grow. Why? The world of social media is dynamically growing, and attracting more users than ever before. It is high time that you – and your company – to stepped up your social media customer service game.

Here’s why you should not underestimate customer service in social media

Andrej Csizmadia

Growth Marketer

Andy is Growth Marketer at LiveAgent. Previously, he studied International Relations and Business Diplomacy and was active as a volunteer in the world's largest student run organization, AIESEC. Running, music and reading books are his favourite free-time activities.

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