Social media customer service is repetitive — the same questions and requests pop up over and over again. Typing out the same response every time is tiring, time-consuming, and overwhelming routine work that can be avoided by using pre-defined replies. Below are some hands-on tips along with ready-made response templates that you can adapt, personalize, and use whenever your customers turn to social media for customer support.
Best practices for responding to social media mentions and comments
Don’t ignore customer complaints. Nearly 70% of complaints made by customers on social media are ignored. Take advantage of social media monitoring tools that make it easier to keep track of all brand mentions, comments, and messages as soon as they appear.
Respond immediately (speed matters in social support). Since social media is seen as an “always-on” platform, consumers naturally expect brands to respond as quickly as possible. According to a study by The Social Habit, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes, and 32% expect a response within 30 minutes.
Don’t delete (or hide) negative comments. Deleting a negative comment in order to preserve your virtual image will only further frustrate a complainer and damage the relationship you have with them. The only exception is when comments are clearly spam or in violation of posted community guidelines.
Sense the tone. Use the right tone of voice that is tailored to match each particular case. Does the customer use casual language and slang? It might be okay to reciprocate. Does the customer sound frustrated? It’s better to use a tone that’s empathetic and reassuring. JetBlue is an example of a brand that does it really well.
You don’t always need to respond to everyone. In case of mass issues or outages, there is no need to respond to every message as it would be extremely time-consuming and ineffective. When many customers are affected by a single issue, it makes sense to provide only public status updates that will reach everyone.
Know when to take it ‘offline’. Not every conversation on social media has to be public. Switching to private messaging works best when you need customer’s personal information (email, order number, etc.), a thorough explanation of the issue to assist them, or if the conversation is getting tense.
Social media customer service response template examples
Responding to information requests
Responding to service requests
Responding to positive comments
Responding to positive reviews
Responding to customer complaints
Responding to negative reviews
Ending a conversation and following up
Bonus: Why your business cannot ignore social media customer service
67% of consumers use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolution for issues, and nearly 70% reported they have used social media for customer service on at least one occasion. (Social Media Today)
63% of consumers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. (Smart Insights).
When consumers reach out to a brand on social media, 40% expect brands to respond within the first hour, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours. (Sprout Social)
71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family. (Ambassador)
One-third of all customer complaints are never answered, most of them on social media. Answering a complaint increases customer advocacy by 25%, while not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by 50%. (Convince & Convert)
77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to. Companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% lift in customer satisfaction. (Brandwatch)
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