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Carrying Out Customer Service On Social Media

carrying-out-customer-service-on-social-media

Social media is rapidly becoming the place to generate reviews and respond to customer questions. Therefore, carrying out customer service on social media should be one of your business goals for social media.

Both businesses and consumers have gathered collectively on social media over the past year. As the Pandemic, lockdowns, and continued health concerns rage on, social media is quite simply one of the easiest places to connect with your community.

However, brands are still missing the mark. Caring for your community through social also means there needs to be an emphasis on customer service.

Here’s how you can carry out customer service on social media, and set your brand apart from competitors.

Consumers, The All-Powerful

First, the data.

The Harris Poll, on behalf of Sprout Social, surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers and 250 business executives to better understand how they use social media, the importance of social media marketing, social’s impact on organizations and how its influence will change in the coming years.

  • 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social
  • 68% of consumers agree that social media enables them to interact with brands and companies
  • 43% of consumers increased their social media use to discover new products in the last year
  • 78% of consumers are willing to buy from a company after having a positive experience with them on social

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[Image Source]

And, just look at the chart above. 67% of consumers say that ‘responsive customer service‘ is the top way to create a positive brand experience on social media.

If you’re familiar with B Squared Media, you know that we refer to responsive customer service as Customer Care. Furthermore, a positive customer experience (CX) encourages would-be customers to make a purchase from your brand.

And even more importantly, positive encounters with consumers mean they are more likely to choose your brand over competitors, recommend your brand to their peers, and preserve brand loyalty.

Your Social Media Customer Service Strategy

Whether you call it ‘Customer Care’ or customer service on social media, your strategy should start with social listening. Listening can help you hone in on what your community is already saying about your brand, your industry, and your competitors.

There’s also ‘sentiment’, which can help you gauge if what’s being said is

  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Negative

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[Source: Sprout Social Listening Tool]

By putting social listening first, you’ll be able to see how needed customer service on social media may be for your brand.

Next, you’ll want to outline which platforms — and which messages on those platforms — your customer care or customer service strategy will address.

Things to consider …

  • Pick points of contact by service, product, or issue type
  • Establish the processes and workflows around triage
  • Decide who your social team will go to when they can’t resolve an issue on their own

When it comes to processes and workflows, or ‘triage’ as we’ll call it, here are a few critical questions to ask.

  1. Will you respond to ALL messages; what will or won’t you respond to?
  2. What are the rules of engagement for trolls, spam, or users creating discomfort in your community?
  3. How will you encourage positive brand conversation?
  4. When does messaging require a full response versus a simple like or emoji reaction?
  5. Which scenarios will warrant moving conversations to direct messaging?

Obviously, your style guide and tone of voice should be well known for the community managers engaging in your customer service on social media. Nailing your customer service voice is super important!

Lastly, get clear on which platforms you’ll be most active on (social listening will help you decide this!), what additional contact methods you may use, and your customer service hours.

A Tactical Approach To Customer Care

Now that you’ve built a strategy, you can get started with your customer service on social media! Here are a few more tips for this critical period …

1) Document Everything! Develop a process to collect data on things like …

  • Frequently asked questions
  • “Themes” or customer support topics
  • Content themes across your most engaging social media posts

2) Create a workflow for your inbox. By organizing your inbox, you can implement filters or tags to help you understand customer support topics that pop up the most. Sprout Social, for instance, allows us to either manually tag inbound messages or add auto-tags that get automatically applied based on Inbox and keyword rules. Then, you can evaluate this data to identify opportunities for customer care content that anticipates needs and questions before they reach out. Being proactive is key!

3) Be ready to deploy your crisis plan. What will executing communication around a crisis look like?

4) Regularly update customer’s frequently asked questions as they evolve. This will help guide community managers on how to answer new needs or questions that arise.

5) Speed is everything with your responses. Full stop.

6) Share relevant insights beyond the social team. The social intelligence you’re gathering around your audience/community and their needs are invaluable. Your whole organization should benefit.

Social media platforms offer an opportunity to attract, engage, and support both your would-be and current customers. As you build your brand’s customer service on social media strategy, focus on the items listed in this blog post for success.

How Does Your Organization Value Customer Service On Social Media?

You may argue that your company doesn’t have the bandwidth for dedicated social media monitoring and response for customer service. Unfortunately, your customers don’t care.

Today’s consumers expect every brand to meet the bar set by larger brands for instant or almost-instant responding to questions or complaints. More than half of consumers on social say they interacted with a brand on social media for a question or concern. Trust us, they’re not just there for cute images and videos.

If you’re looking to up your customer service on social media game, check out some of our additional resources:

And remember, THINK CONVERSATION NOT CAMPAIGN!

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Customer Care, Customer Experience, Customer Service
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