Long gone are the days when customers will use traditional methods to solve issues with sellers or service providers. Long queues, extended call-waiting times and unanswered mails were among the common characteristics of such avenues. A customer is likely to get frustrated with such channels.
It looks like today’s customer doesn’t want to wait long before receiving response to their complaints. This makes them take to social media platforms with their grievances. Surprisingly, they expect businesses to act quickly on any comment, complaint or question they post on such platforms.
Anyway, if as a business you are using social media to get the word out about your products, strengthen your brand, and build relationships with clients, why not answer or sort their issues using the platform?
Being keen about their concerns and responding promptly will encourage them to continue being loyal to you.
This in turn fuels growth for your business.
Steps you can take to improve customer service on social media
Use separate account for customer service
It is crucial to avoid mixing marketing with customer support enquiries. You want customer concerns addressed immediately.
The best way to achieve this is by having a representative watching those accounts and ready to respond to any questions channeled through social media platforms.
This way, you can have a professional customer service representative focus only on support related issues, as marketers concentrate on business campaigns.
With such an arrangement, it is easy to monitor key performance indicators. Any data collected in social media on different accounts gives meaningful analysis as well.
In the case of customer service, businesses should look at the response time and rate. These will show how effective their online customer support is.
An example of an online business using Social Media to offer customer support is the hosting provider EuroVPS. Keeping customers abreast of status updates in case of downtimes is critical to maintaining a high NPS (net promoter score), something that they do very well.
A separate staff to manage social media customer service profile
Always make sure you have a trained person managing these accounts. Such will give professional assistance to your clients. It is not right to have an account where no one monitors it. You will have customers posting comments and questions now and then. They will get frustrated if their concerns are not addressed in time.
Have in mind that unhappy customers are likely to seek solutions to their needs from your competitors. Besides, if your customers could be your brand ambassadors, they can also be the weapon that can easily destroy you. Be mindful of the message they are taking out about your products, company or employees.
This account is not for addressing issues only. It is a vital opportunity for your business to connect with different clients. Even as you address customer concerns, follow on different conversations and join in with your comments. This helps to keep the conversation going.
Same goes with other platforms such as blogs or online forums.
Tips to Build a Personal Connection on Social Media:
- Keep an eye of what readers are saying.
- Look for opportunities to engage your clients.
- Avoid the temptation to watch the conversation without saying anything.
- Show them you are available to help should they have questions, enquiries, complaints or so.
It is also important to take note of your serious clients in social media. Such will support your business, and faithfully follow your posts. Try to know them personally. You can read their profiles and reach out to connect with them personally. Create a list of active followers if possible. Customers feel appreciated when their service provider shows concern with them as a person not just client. Of importance is to keep this professional.
Track product mentions and proactively address issues
If you monitor keenly, you can always point out what clients are saying about your products or services. Social media has various resources you can use to learn when your clients mention your products. An example of such a tool is Trackur. This actually analyzes the information to point out positive and negative comments about the brand or products.
It is important to respond promptly on their conversations. It could be a comment, an appreciation or a concern. Always be available to address either. Sometimes, you do not to wait till customers go public with their concerns. “Listen” to their conversations and proactively address any possible issue beforehand. This shows them you care about their feelings or needs as your customers.
Be keen about clients commenting when they have issues only. Of course this is an uncomfortable situation for any business. However, your customer representatives can turn this situation into your favor. Begin by addressing their issues first.
Once customer grievances are sorted, come up with creative ideas to keep such clients on board. This way, they do not appear only when relaying dissatisfaction. Think of a creative idea like beginning an online campaign with lots of freebies.
Engage your clients, by asking questions that will help you identify their needs better. Their response could give an idea of what to improve in your customer service strategy. If you increase positive interaction between your brand and clients, you can easily make them your promoters.
Invest more on social media customer support
Many businesses ignore this part in their planning. They will use social media for their campaigns or so. However, it is easy for them to forget about the quality of customer service in their social media platforms – if they have one at all. Today, everything is changing. You may want to ask yourself why big brands are turning to social media not only in advertising, but also, customer service.
With the largest population in the world today glued into their phones and computers, you cannot afford to lack a social media account for your business. Better still; come up with one for customer service only. However, make sure to have professionals trained properly on how to handle such social media accounts. It is important for them to communicate properly; since they represent your business. What impression are they giving clients about your business?
Always look for avenues to improve your social media customer service. You can plan wisely if you track your success with social media care. Always have your representative record the different cases handled each day, their source, time taken to resolve or respond and so forth. Use this information to figure out possible steps you can take to improve customer experience with your business.