Utilizing Social Media for Customer Service
Having a successful Social Media presence for your brand is about more than just creating engaging and creative content to post to your Social Media platforms.
These days, companies need to utilize the power of Social Media as a customer service vessel for their brand. Customers love having the ability to interact with brands on sites like Facebook and twitter. On the flip side, companies that are using Social Media as a part of their customer service experience typically have a higher rating than a company that doesn't.
Now. How does your brand do this correctly?
THINK BEFORE YOU RESPOND
For the most part, customers contact a brand's customer support department do to either a complaint or something is not functioning properly on a product or service they purchased.
When a customer contacts your brand for customer support, make sure to fully read through their initial issue.
RESPECT THEIR EMOTIONS
It’s inevitable on social media, you will come across comments that are negative or disappointing. Maybe they are complaining about a product or an experience they had with your company, or perhaps they just don’t like the content you post.
One of the best ways to handle this is to ‘Respect Their Emotions’. The most emotionally competent people not only recognize their own emotions, but they also identify and honor others.
Even if you don’t understand where people are coming from with their comments, it’s important to respect how they feel. Their emotions are a product of their environment and personal experiences. When people are upset, they often just want to feel validated.
A trick that works well is repeating what they said to make sure you fully understand the situation. Try to sympathize and offer an honest apology, even if your company didn’t do anything wrong. Then offer a clear solution. Your delivery is of utmost importance.
Many customers now prefer to tweet or use Facebook instead of calling a company for correspondence. Depending on your brand’s capabilities and size, having a dedicated team to handle these comments, tweets or direct messages as quickly as possible would be ideal and can make a major impact on your customer’s sentiment.
When you respond to messages, navigate back through the conversation using your brand’s voice. Be sure to acknowledge and respect their emotions, listen to what they have to say, and answer in a personalized manner. The more you engage with your audience, the better the experience.
Of course, you cannot be on every social media platform some of your audience may be utilizing to reach out to express their opinions. However, most will do some sort of research on your website to see what social media platforms you are using and reach out to your brand on those accounts.
DON'T FORGET THE LITTLE THINGS
People appreciate hearing back from the companies they support with their business. As well they should, who doesn’t? When they ask questions, comment on posts, or offer their opinion, they like to know they’ve been heard, which is evident when the company’s responses are personalized.
Just typing a response to users may not be enough to make an impression, no matter how polite you are. Personalizing your answer and making it interactive could make all the difference in the world.
Instead of just replying back with a copy & paste answer, try repeating a portion of their message back and ALWAYS reply with their account’s name.
These little things truly go a long way in your audience’s eyes.
The importance of replying to social media comments has never been more important than it is now. A few takeaways you will want to remember to make sure your brand is responding with your audience’s best interest in mind are these:
COMMUNICATE honestly about products, services or messages
Don’t talk DOWN to customers
Act with INTEGRITY at all times