When Social Media Meets Customer Service
Customer service by nature is a great field that almost every company, small or large, has invested in. We usually see this type of job as answering phone calls, emails, de-escalating matters, and more. However, this is not the only way customer service can be used to impact and grow small businesses.
We’ll be diving into how social media customer service has effectively impacted small businesses!
What is Customer Service?
Customer service by definition is the assistance and advice provided by a company to consumers. Most simply a customer service representative is the first line of defence for any business and they usually set the tone for how that customer would speak and deal with the rest of the company.
Nowadays, we see social media customer service reps for almost every company!
Social media customer service has effectively been impacting small businesses to offer that human touch to their platform. We all know the different popular social media platforms out there… But when it comes to customer service, we start to view these a little bit differently.
Every platform can have some form of customer service, and that is commonly seen with engaging in the comments/thread of somebody’s post. Here’s our breakdown of social media platforms in three categories when it comes to customer service:
Customer Service Platforms
Customer Service Platforms are your best friend. That is where people have the most human interaction, and it’s usually where people feel the most comfortable engaging with your business. This is where you also feel the most comfortable engaging back. These channels should be your main focus with customer service. With YouTube, you can post helpful tutorial videos or other customer-related content.
Content Platforms don’t usually strike up too much of a conversation, however, there is always an opportunity to engage amongst the comments/posts with your customers. Keep in mind, most of the time your customers won’t usually ask the hard-hitting questions here. However, it’s important to stay consistent and updated with these channels as customers will always be here.
Hybrid Platforms are exactly that, a little bit of both! Again, the most engagement you’ll see here will be in the comments or DMs, however, on these platforms they happen more frequently than Content Platforms. You’re going to want to dedicate some time to responding here if you want to pursue these channels (which you should).
Now that we have that settled, let’s get into 5 main ways social media customer service has effectively been impacting small businesses around the world!
Quickly tackle feedback and complaints
Tackling feedback and complaints quickly are just a couple of traits that great social media customer service reps have that are effectively impacting small businesses. Around 60% of customers think solving an issue fast is the most important part of good support. Among customers, an excellent customer service experience ranked as the first for the level of trust.
With that being said, it’s important to note that time is of the essence when handling feedback and complaints. By knowing when to respond on social media, you’ll show other customers how dedicated you are to keeping them satisfied.
What customers are still looking for is a business that values what they say, even if it’s a quick comment or DM.
Monitoring your social media is imperative for your customer to truly see you are serious about them. They want to see and hear they are the priority.
Now you don’t have to stare at your social media feed all day to know when your customers need help. There are plenty of tools and apps that provide ways to keep up to speed with every mention on your social media.
Without customers, none of us would have a business of any sort. Customer feedback is truly the only solid element that is effortlessly handed to us and can show exceptional growth in your business.
Be proactive, not reactive
When we think of this phrase, we often think of a science major who put too much sodium in their volcano and had it blown up in their face. Honestly, we can all fall victim to being more reactive than proactive as social media customer reps if we’re not looking for ways to make lemonade rather than just drinking from someone else’s glass.
What do I mean? Remember the last time someone went to Twitter to complain about your business? Remember how it made you feel, too? Well, this is the best opportunity you could ever receive from a customer.
It’s not for you to take it personal, rather see that your customers believe something is wrong or what can be fixed in your brand and it’s your duty now to look deeper into it! Let’s look at a couple of ways social media customer service reps can effectively be proactive:
Responding to users that haven’t directly tweeted at you or asked for help. Talking to customers that don’t require a response but might benefit from one, indicates you’re paying attention. This gives the perception that you’re a business that’s thorough as well and takes their mention or comments as seriously as they do.
Promote your customers by reposting a happily resolved support interaction! As far as we think our social media posts go, people watch you and you may never even see them watching you. This tool says more about your business than you ever need it to! It’s kind of like hugging your customers.
Using hashtags strategically is a whole game changer! What you’re looking to do with hashtags is create trendsetting moments and movements. Hashtags are great for promotions but also help keep everything organized and easy to navigate! Hashtags used right, give you the space to add more information and curate content to the hashtag as well.
This is perfect for Twitter, Instagram, and really any social media space. This is just another way social media customer service reps are effectively impacting on a whole!
Know exactly what to say, and when to take it to the DMs
Okay, so many times we may see this as a grey area, but it’s not. The moment more of us get this, we’ll be able to use this very useful tool to our advantage!
I remember I was new to the social media industry and started as a social media customer service rep. I had this one client who continuously had an issue with a non-consumer.
They would comment on their page with nasty words and harmful phrases and remarks. When they brought me on, I was faced with it head-on and honestly wasn’t too sure what to do. I sat down and read each of their comments and decided to DM them.
I simply asked if they’ve ever bought from the company and if they did, was there anything wrong with their order? Was there anything we could reason with them on?
Turns out they had never bought from them but had a friend who had a bad experience and we were able to contact that customer and with plenty of listening and patience we were able to resolve the matter.
Moral of the story? Every customer can and will influence those around them about your business. It’s up to you how you’ll handle these matters.
I tend to think of it like baseball… 3 strikes and it’s time to handle it another way. It doesn’t help your brand going back and forth in the comments, especially when other customers and potential partners can see it. While ignoring these messages also is not your intention, you should not handle the entire encounter publicly.
Show other customers that you value their input by sending an initial response publicly, along with requesting to continue the conversation in more of a one on one in the DMs.
This also gives the perception that you’re human just like them. Too many times customers say nasty things on social media thinking a robot is behind the screen. This helps you develop a more personal customer service experience by speaking with customers as a person.
Even positive experiences could be taken privately! As many ways you can show them they are the priority and not just a means of public praise is where you can effectively change and transform your social media customer service representative!
Be human and personal
Alright, this one can be tricky. Some believe setting up an Ai for frequently asked questions is best… Others say a personal response is always key. Today we present to you both:
In order for a social media customer service rep to effectively impact their business and social presence, every chance they get to show themselves to their audience, being active and intentional is imperative.
Don’t be afraid to show your funny and more approachable side with your consumers online. Keep up with trending topics and make sure your communication is as humanized as possible.
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.
We have to get to a point where we go beyond just feedback and look to the subconscious. Evaluate your facial expressions, vocal tones, and words of choice that give a host of thoughts and feedback in a matter of seconds.
With a team or a group dedicated to handling your social media presence, they’re there to see what type of audience you have before you.
Do they speak with emojis often, do they use slang? What social media platform are they more on? Can they relate to your business through that team? These are all important questions and things to keep in mind when making sure your business is as humanized as can be.
In both manners, starting with a general greeting or even addressing the consumer by their name is a great way to drop the hard guard. If they always hear and see ‘ma’am, sir’ they will not stay and it’ll be difficult to keep many this way.
Think about every opportunity as the first and last that consumers have with you-they deserve the best.
Always offer a solution
This circles back to being more proactive than reactive. Every social media customer service rep that’s effectively impacting their business and social presence ensures to always provide a solution to their customers problems.
With the technology we have at our fingertips today, thinking outside the box on resolving issues is the most invaluable way small businesses are thriving.
Customer service at its foundation can include anything that makes your customers feel more connected to your brand. It should make them more comfortable buying, using, and recommending your products.
Going back to my experience dealing with that irate client. I distinctively remember having many conversations with them, calming them down when things weren’t working as they hoped.
The best tool I learned in those moments, was to provide an answer to questions they haven’t asked yet.
Am I saying to read their minds? Not unless you can! But what I am getting at is by reading the room (virtually too), every client you work with for long enough eventually has patterns about them that you cannot miss. Know their next move and make it easier for them.
What you’re wanting to NOT DO is the Streisand Effect. Let me catch you up if you don’t know what this is. It’s basically when you try to censor someone or something and it goes terribly wrong, drawing more attention to the unwanted content.
For example, a consumer calls out a company for impeding on racial or human rights. And instead of dealing with it, they delete their messages. Now, this can go from bad to worse very fast for several reasons. Which can create a lasting negative effect on the business rather than promoting it in a healthy matter.
Always, and we mean always address problems with respect and never leave a conversation unresolved.
Can we all learn from our mistakes? Of course, we can! Hence why we’ll never stop stating the most practical ways social media customer service reps can effectively impact their businesses by keeping up to date with our full guidelines on Feedback!
Now, with the knowledge we have behind customer service, it’s much more complex than answering a couple of calls or sending out a tweet. It is going above and beyond to ensure every customer has a lasting positive experience with your company. It is ensuring you’re coming across as human as can be, it’s being more proactive than reactive.
These things that may seem small to some are what allow the small businesses to launch farther than the others because they understand their audience.
At bookmark.com, we understand our consumers as well. That’s why all of our sites are auto-mobile optimized, having everything you need to get started with us!
Stop by next week for our next blog!