Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

How to Provide Social Customer Service

Most of us follow or favorite brands on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. We like the idea that we can instantly see what’s happening with the brands we trust and love. We also like the fact that we can instantly contact them — instead of calling a Call Center or visiting in person — when we have a problem.

That’s where Social Customer Service comes in. Social Customer Service is the ability to provide customer service and support over a social media platform. Wouldn’t it be great if a company can resolve your issue over Facebook Messenger or a DM?

Maybe you’ve been considering setting up social media customer service for your business or suggesting it to your manager. Maybe you’ve been trusted with rolling out a Social Customer Service Team or training your current team on it. Here are some things to consider when providing Social Customer Service.

Get the right hands on it.

The success/failure of your Social Customer Service is dependent on the personnel managing it. You should look for customer service agents who:

  • Have some experience on social media.
  • Have a great command of the language communicated.
  • Have a solid understanding of the company, products and services.
  • Have the autonomy to resolve issues.
  • Have a calm demeanour and can look past things like sarcasm, condescending tones, etc.
  • Speed in execution. You can’t take days to reply on social media to a customer.

The right team can help you boost your reputation as an exceptional Customer Service provider.

Create a Social Media Code of Conduct.

Set some standards on how you will interact with customers. Have a written post on the main page of the social media profile on the do’s and don’ts of acceptable behaviour, what you as the company can and can’t do on the profile and the repercussions of not sticking to the guidelines. For large companies, check with your HR department for any existing Codes of Conduct that can be used, so that it is standard. For small companies, consider creating one to be used both internally and online.

Decide Your Customer Service Voice

How do you want to come across to your customers? Your voice should come across a bit different to talking to customers via email or phone.

Be professional, but as relatable and conversational as possible; it is social media after all.

You can use emojis but not to the extent that your customers don’t understand what you’re saying. Emojis can be a great way of emphasising a point. It get’s confusing when it replaces several words in a sentence.

I’d avoid slang, company jargon and company abbreviations. We still want our customers to have a great Customer Experience, not confuse them.

Use Software to make it frictionless.

There are many tools out there that allow you to consolidate your channels into one interface. Desk by Salesforce, Zendesk, and Live Agent Desk are some examples.

Despite many companies taking on social customer service, only 36% have the ability to seamlessly pick up an issue from social, to voice, to in person. It always sucks when you have an issue and need to explain it to someone new again.

Software makes it frictionless for those doing the work also. They wont’t have to navigate several windows of social media and keep track of each customer and that improves efficiency.

So make the interaction as easy and frictionless as possible.

Dealing with Trolls/Crazies

You will encounter customers who constantly complain about issues, troll your page, or blow a gasket if your product has an issue or your service is down. They may jump on other’s threads or incite an angry riot of their own. How do you deal with this?

  • Make sure you guide the conversation to private so you can deal directly with their issue.
  • Use empathy statements to diffuse their anger.
  • Avoid any snarky “clap-backs.” They may come off as great to some persons but not all persons and especially not to the upset customer. Remain professional but friendly and assertive.
  • Refer the customer to the code of conduct if it gets out of hand.
  • Take if offline. Reach out via phone if possible.

Measure Your Performance

You should establish a Service Level that will hold your team accountable. A Service Level is a stipulated amount of time you would be required to answer your customer’s query, a percentage of queries or both. For example, you could endeavor to answer 80% of queries within one hour.

Another measure that’s critically important is your customer’s satisfaction. You can measure this by sending surveys after the transaction to rate it (scale of 1–5 for example). You can also look at other measurements such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Effort Score (CES).

There are other tangible ways to measure the effectiveness of Social Customer Service. Has it reduced the amount of contacts to your business via phone? Has it brought about repeat customers? Try to look at what the Return on Investment (ROI) is for your business.

Conclusion

Social Customer Service is here to stay. It will increase in demand and even move to mobile apps like What’sApp. The ability to reach your customers and your customers to reach you at minimal cost is a dream for any business.

If you have a small business and are interested in getting a team to manage your Social Customer Service, visit me here.

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I help grow your traffic with blogs and SEO. Writing about Freelancing, Side Hustles, WFH, and Personal Development. Contact me at marvin@ascendcontent.com

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Marvin Marcano

Marvin Marcano

I help grow your traffic with blogs and SEO. Writing about Freelancing, Side Hustles, WFH, and Personal Development. Contact me at marvin@ascendcontent.com

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