The New Frontline: Social Media Customer Service

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Today, I’d like to have a little chat with you about an increasingly important topic in the world of business: outsourcing social media customer service. Yes, you read that right.

You might be wondering, “Outsource? Social media customer service?” Let’s delve a bit deeper into the why’s and how’s and what it can mean for your business.

Understanding Social Media Customer Service

In today’s digital age, customer service has extended beyond just the traditional phone calls and emails. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have taken center stage in the customer service arena. These platforms have provided businesses a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a more personal level, address their issues promptly, and showcase their brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

Yet, managing customer service on these platforms can be overwhelming. It’s not just about addressing complaints or questions; it’s about managing your brand’s image, creating engaging content, monitoring trends, and a whole lot more.

That’s where outsourced social media customer service steps in, making your life easier and your business more successful.

Social Media Marketing Isn’t Customer Service: Understanding the Difference

Before we move further, there’s a crucial distinction we need to understand. Social media customer service and social media marketing, while interconnected, are not the same. They each have unique goals, strategies, and benefits.

Let’s break down the differences.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is all about brand awareness, promotion, and attracting potential customers. It’s about creating and sharing engaging content that intrigues, entertains, and educates your audience, with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers.

When you launch a new product, start a promotional campaign, or post that perfectly curated photo on Instagram, that’s social media marketing. It involves a proactive approach to boosting your brand’s online presence and reputation through content. It’s about you attracting potential customers.

Social Media Customer Service

On the other hand, social media customer service isn’t about content. It involves responding to customer queries, addressing complaints, and providing assistance to those who reach out to your brand through social media.

It’s about answering that direct message asking about your product features, or addressing a comment from a disgruntled customer who had a less-than-perfect experience with your product. It’s about your customers reaching out to you and you offering timely, helpful responses.

The Interplay and Importance of Both

While they are distinct, social media marketing and customer service are closely intertwined. The content you post as part of your marketing strategy can prompt questions or comments that need customer service. Similarly, excellent customer service experiences can bolster your marketing efforts by creating happy customers who share their positive experiences, thus promoting your brand.

In a nutshell, social media marketing is the voice of your brand that talks, while social care is the ear of your brand that listens. Both are essential for a successful social media strategy.

Outsourcing: Why Your Business Needs to Consider This Now

The landscape of customer service has transformed dramatically. With more than half of the world’s population using social media, these platforms have become the new frontline for customer service.

Customers are no longer just calling or emailing; they’re tweeting, posting, and direct messaging their inquiries and complaints — and you must meet them on their channel of choice.

Social media is 24/7 and immediate, but the downside is it can also be demanding and relentless. This is where outsourcing comes in.

Yes, outsourcing customer service on social media channels is not only a feasible solution but also a strategic move to enhance your business’s overall customer experience.

At the very least, you can also consider a course on social media CX, like our ‘Mastering Social Media CX: The Step-by-Step Blueprint for Customer Experience Professionals’ online course.

Anything you can do to level-up your social media customer service game will help you thrive and maintain customer loyalty.

Why Outsource Your Social Media Customer Service?

Imagine this: A customer posts a complaint about your product on Twitter at 10 PM on a Saturday. You’re probably sleeping, and your in-house team only works Monday through Friday. The complaint sits unanswered for days, and by Monday morning, it has been shared and commented on by several others. Damage done!

But what if there was a team managing your social media every day of the week, promptly responding to customers, and professionally handling any issues that arise?

This is the beauty of outsourced social customer care. Your social media pages never sleep, so neither should your customer support.

Outsourcing has been around for ages, especially for functions like payroll and IT services. Now, it’s time to consider social media support in this light. But why?

Let me share with you some reasons:

  1. Access to Expertise: Outsourcing providers specialize in social media customer service. They have trained customer care professionals who know how to handle social media conversations effectively, maintaining your brand’s voice and reputation. With their wealth of experience across various industries, they can bring fresh insights and best practices to your business.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Rather than hiring a full-time in-house team, outsourcing allows you to pay only for the services you need. This significantly reduces overhead costs, including recruitment, training, and benefits.
  3. 365 Coverage: The internet never sleeps, and neither do customer inquiries. An outsourced partner can ensure that your customers receive assistance every day of the week, even on holidays!
  4. Focus on Core Business Functions: By outsourcing non-core functions like social media customer service, your team can focus on what they do best, such as product development, sales, and other strategic areas.

Picking the Right Partner

Choosing the right outsourcing partner is a crucial decision. You’re not just hiring a service provider; you’re choosing a partner who will represent your brand to the public.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Track Record and Expertise: Look for a company with a strong track record in social care. They should be able to demonstrate expertise and share case studies of how they’ve helped other businesses.
  • Cultural Fit: The outsourcing company will be the voice of your brand on social media. It’s important that they understand and can reflect your brand’s tone, values, and personality.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Your social media customer service needs may change over time. Ensure your partner can scale up or down according to your business needs.
  • Data Security: As the outsourcing partner will handle customer interactions, it’s essential to ensure they have robust data security measures in place.

Transforming Customer Experience

At the end of the day, outsourcing social media customer service can be a strategic move to transform your customer experience. It offers you the opportunity to provide quicker, more efficient responses, showing your customers that you truly care.

And faster responses do matter. Just take a look at this study by hotjar

social media customer service frustrations hotjar

[Image Source]

And, see #4? Bots aren’t always the answer to being faster!

As a business, your customers are your most important asset, and their satisfaction can be the difference between success and failure. By leveraging the expertise of an outsourced social support team, you can focus on delivering exceptional products or services, knowing that your customers are being taken care of.

So, what do you think? Is outsourcing social media customer service something your business needs?

Remember, it’s not about giving away control; it’s about partnering with experts to deliver the best possible experience to your customers.

And that, reader, is a worthy investment.

Now, here comes the part with a little pitch. If you’re wondering where to find a reliable, experienced, and skilled social media customer service team, look no further. B Squared Media offers high-quality, 365-days-a-year social media customer service solutions that are tailored to your business needs. Don’t wait for a social media crisis to happen!

Get in touch with us today and let’s start taking your social care to the next level.

FAQs for Social Media Customer Service

  1. What is Social Media Customer Service? Social Media Customer Service refers to the practice of addressing customer queries, complaints, feedback, and interactions directly through social media platforms. Ultimately, it’s a way for brands to offer real-time support, ensuring customers feel heard and valued in the digital space.
  2. Why is Social Media Customer Service considered the “new frontline”? As more consumers use social media not only for socializing but also for shopping and brand interactions, it’s become the first point of contact for many customer inquiries. More importantly, brands that prioritize customer service on these platforms can quickly address issues, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and brand perception.
  3. How can brands ensure effective Social Media Customer Service? Brands can be proactive by monitoring mentions, using dedicated customer service handles, employing chatbots for instant replies, and ensuring timely human responses. Training customer service representatives specifically for social media interactions and having clear protocols in place are also crucial.
  4. Are there specific platforms that are more effective for Social Care? The effectiveness of a platform depends on where a brand’s target audience is most active. However, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are popular for customer service due to their real-time interaction capabilities. Instagram and LinkedIn are becoming increasingly relevant as well.
  5. What challenges might brands face with Social Care and how can they overcome them? Challenges include managing high volumes of inquiries, addressing negative feedback publicly, and maintaining consistent response times. Solutions involve using advanced social listening tools, having a dedicated team or shifts to ensure 365/day coverage, and developing a clear crisis communication strategy.
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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
Conversations That Connect
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Category: Customer Care, Customer Experience, Customer Service
Tags: B Squared Media, Brooke B. Sellas, Brooke Sellas, customer care, customer service, customer service on social media, outsourced social media customer service, , ,
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