If your company has social media profiles, you have probably received many questions, comments, and messages from clients and know that comment moderation and customer service through social media requires a lot of effort.
It’s a challenging task, but you should invest some time and resources into it because it’s really convenient for the client to be able to complain, ask questions, or report bugs via social media (instead of having to do it through email or a contact form).
However, to make this communication channel usable, you need to know how to react to customer problems submitted through social media messages. And to do so in an efficient manner, it’s best to have customizable reply templates saved as canned responses.
Until very recently, customer service was offered over the phone, by email, or through contact forms. However, the rise and development of social media platforms have turned these channels into an ideal method for offering personalized customer service.
In this sense, social media used as a channel for customer service is just as important as the other traditional methods (if not even more so). Social media accounts can also be used for attracting potential customers, building customer loyalty, serving as a bridge between the brand and customers, improving reputation and brand image, and even increasing sales. It’s a really convenient channel for direct communication and, what’s more, businesses can use it for free.
That’s why a staggering 80% of companies use social media to provide customer service, while 60% of users contact brands through social media to address service issues (source).
But how can you answer customers’ messages via social media effectively?
If you create a solid social media customer service strategy, you can be sure that it will be a worthy investment. In time, more and more customers will choose this communication channel.
Communication via social media occurs in real-time. This not only means that your representatives should react quickly, but also that users are more likely to answer messages as soon as they receive them. It really facilitates quick communication, as your customer service reps get all of the necessary information faster and are able to immediately proceed with handling a user’s inquiry.
Although initially, social media requires an investment (training your customer service reps to assist customers via social media), once you set up the whole infrastructure it can reduce the overall cost of customer service.
Firstly, the same representative can handle several queries simultaneously, increasing the efficiency of their work and making it possible to optimize human resources.
Secondly, many of the questions and requests for assistance can be redirected to a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that a rep can link to each client in a personalized way. Obviously, your rep should stay in touch with the customer to ensure that the FAQ page they shared was sufficient to solve the customer’s problem.
It would be logical to continue communication on the same platform where it began. However, you can always ask a user which channel they prefer, and use the one suggested by them. Remember that customer convenience should be your primary goal.
It’s always a good idea to organize communication with users, be it an official or unofficial exchange of messages. Even if your business only receives three messages from unhappy customers per day, it won’t take long for your customer service representatives to get lost in the social media messages they receive – especially if users report issues through a number of different channels.
The best option for you would be to use a dedicated piece of social media support software that gathers all social media interactions into a shared dashboard and logically organizes tickets.
Depending on your customer service social media strategy (we hope that you have one!), you can either answer customer comments or ask customers to send you a private message, or send them a direct message yourself (if that particular social media platform allows it). All of these solutions are fine, but when a customer is really unsatisfied it may be better to communicate with them via private messages. Furthermore, if you need any specific information or contact data from your customers, it’s better to ask them to send a direct message.
You should also keep in mind that other social media users can participate in the exchange of comments, which may make it harder for your reps to logically organize interactions with the customer.
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