More and more people are turning to social media to address customer service needs, but not everyone knows how to be a good customer on social.
As someone with experience in social media customer service, I’ve serviced a variety of different concerns and people. While some are grateful for quick responses, the truth is the blanket of anonymity that social lends to users can lead customers to go no holds barred when interacting with customer service representatives online.
While they can cause big headaches, customers who use social media as an outlet to lash out on a brand don’t always get what they want.
Here’s why learning how to be a good customer on social can lead to a positive customer service experience.
Provide As Much Information As Possible
When you first reach out to a brand via social, do your best to provide as much information as possible.
What problem are you experiencing? Do you have an order number? Have you already been in contact with customer service? These are all things that will help ensure that whoever ends up dealing with your case can find details quickly and efficiently.
If you’re reaching out via Twitter or Instagram, or your Facebook account is under an alias, make sure to provide your full name.
Don’t forget to send this information via private message, you certainly don’t want all of a brand’s followers to have access to your personal information.
Don’t Expect Immediate Results
While it’s right to expect a prompt reply from a brand on social, don’t count on immediate results.
The person you’re corresponding with most likely does not have the ability to issue a refund or schedule a service visit. They will be your advocate and go-between with the parties who do have that power and will make sure the message is delivered quickly. But from there, they have to depend on others to follow through for you.
While that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect timely results, it’s important to keep in mind that the social media customer service agent can only do so much.
Which leads me to my next point…
The Person Behind The Screen Is Not The Source Of Your Problem
My job would be much easier if more people understood the person answering on behalf of a brand is not the same person who messed up their order, was rude to them in-store, or created the return policy. In fact, it’s quite likely the person does not officially work for the brand.
All that is to say, be kind. Our job is to help you and that’s what we truly want to do. Your expletive-laced rant, threats to blow up the brand on social and account harassment is not going to get you what you want any faster, or possibly at all.
In short, make it easy for us and we’ll make it easy for you.
Don’t Be A Troll
This should go without saying, but you don’t want to be a troll.
Upset with a customer service experience you had? Write a negative review, send a private DM, or leave a comment on a related post. But don’t cross into harassment territory.
Commenting on all of a brand’s most recent posts for quantities sake doesn’t make them look bad, it makes you look unreasonable. And in the end, it’s a waste of your time. Most of our clients will leave the original comment up but will hide or delete any duplicates.
The brand’s CEO will never know that you left 42 comments about how their return policy is trash. But the representative managing the social channels will know you are complicating the process and will pass that along to those responsible for addressing your issue.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
If you have a positive customer experience with a brand on social, let people know about it! Update a negative review or shout out customer service in a tweet.
In the future, if another issue arises, the social customer service team will have your past interactions with the brand recorded. If you were appreciative towards their efforts the first time around, the second interaction should be smooth sailing too.
Now that you know how to be a good customer on social, you’ll be prepared for the next time you have to reach out to a brand’s customer service team. Remember, the person behind the screen is always on your side, so treat them that way!
Have you had an awesome-sauce experience with customer service on social? Share it in the comments below!
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Leah K. Williams
Leah is a Junior Account Manager for B Squared Media, a role that involves content creation and curation, customer service, reputation management and more. Leah is a writer at her core and holds a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Endicott College. When she's not writing you can find her adventuring in Maine with her husband and two rescue pups, Han Solo and Maya.