Customer service needs are evolving to match the rapid growth and development of today’s digital media. Customers today continue to face various challenges when trying to seek customer service help or a representative. That’s why many consumers are turning to social media to seek help, leave comments and look for advice.
I know the importance of being easily found on social media, but being easily found on social media also means opening yourself up to customer service issues. Instead of being scared off by this byproduct, we help our clients embrace the exposure. By realizing the importance of this customer service outlet and developing strategies to be responsive on social, our clients are prepared to deliver excellent customer service.
Without giving away all of the trade secrets, I wanted to provide you with some reasons that highlight the importance of social media customer service. Below, find our top five reasons why we consider social media customer service important.
Communication is nearly immediate – Nearly 40% of customers who comment or complain online expect a response within an hour. Being present and managing your page consistently will allow for your team to respond in a manner that will satisfy commenters. Many people online just want to be heard. Even if you can’t immediately solve their problem, knowing quickly that you are there to help will go a long way.
A personal experience – People calling out to your brand will respect the quick response and personal tone. There won’t be any automatically generated emails or tone-based phone menus. It’s just a question, followed by an answer. Social media also allows you to think carefully about your response and present it in a more casual, conversational tone, thus humanizing your brand.
Transparency – Transparency is all about vindication. As we stated earlier, when customers are upset, they want to be heard. Posting on social media is the perfect way to be heard. By allowing your customers to make their complaints or questions public in this way, you’re giving them an immediate outlet. For companies, transparency means that other potential customers get to see how well you handle the situation. If you can answer a customer’s concerns quickly, nicely, and effectively, you’ll instantly leave all of your followers with a good feeling and showcase that your customer service is top-notch.
Brand mentions – More interactions on social media means you have more opportunities to point back to your own brand. Your customers will mention your brand in their posts, making you visible to all their contacts. Even if they come to you with a concern or an issue, you’ll get brand visibility and an opportunity to show off your ability to quickly and effectively correct the problem. This activity will help your social proof.
Easy follow-up – Depending on how long it takes for the problem to be resolved, following up with your customer is fast and easy. If you manage to resolve the problem with a quick answer, you can immediately ask whether or not the interaction was helpful. If it wasn’t, you have an opportunity to take further action. If it was helpful, you have a publicly visible follow-up interaction that ends on a positive note. It’s important to remember that Facebook now visibly posts on your page your response time (see photo below). Customers will already have an expectation set for them about when they hear back from you. You can’t even earn Facebook’s customer service badge until you respond to 90% of your inquiries withing 15 minutes!
Companies can’t hide anymore. They must be on social and they must quickly and confidently respond to comments and complaints that appear on their social media channels. If they consider the reasons above, they should see that a brand can separate itself on social by the way it handles customer service issues online.
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Thig blog was originally published for Verge Pipe Media.