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Setting Up a Successful Social Media Help Desk: Key Strategies for Businesses

Blog » Social Media Customer Service » Setting Up a Successful Social Media Help Desk: Key Strategies for Businesses

setting up a social media help desk BLOG

Gather ’round, my social media students. It’s social media help desk story time! (LOL, stay with me.)

Once upon a time (yesterday, probably), Emily excitedly received her long-awaited fashion order from her favorite brand. But, to her dismay, she discovered a flaw in the product.

Seeking a quick resolution, she bypassed traditional customer service channels and headed straight to the brand’s social media channels.

Yet, despite its popularity, the brand faced a challenge: its customer service team was struggling to keep up with the demands of its social media-savvy customers. The team failed to spot Emily’s support question.

Emily, disappointed and dismayed, decided to return the item and purchase from a competitor brand. [Cue the collective, “Awwww.”]

Sadly, this story is not unique.

In fact, it’s a story we hear from most clients when we start working with them. Many brands find themselves in a similar predicament, realizing (too late) the need for a robust social media help desk to elevate their customer experience.

If you’ve experienced this, or aren’t sure what a social media help desk is, you’ve come to the right place!

Emily’s Story, Take Two

Picture this: Emily, a young woman, excitedly receives her long-awaited fashion order from her favorite brand. But, to her dismay, she discovers a flaw in the product.

Seeking a quick resolution, she bypasses traditional customer service channels and heads straight to the brand’s social media. Within minutes, she’s engaged by a responsive social media help desk team, turning her frustration into satisfaction.

This encounter not only resolves her issue but also deepens her loyalty to the brand. And, hey! She got a coupon for her next purchase.

This version of Emily’s story underscores the emerging paradigm shift in customer service: the social media help desk.

The Rise of Social Media as a Customer Service Channel

By now, you should know that social media has transcended beyond being just a marketing platform.

A study by Sprout Social reveals that 63% of consumers say their loyalty to a brand is significantly influenced by the quality of customer service they provide on social media.

More crucially, a significant portion of interactions on social media involve seeking customer support.

Brands — especially brands with substantial social media followings — cannot afford to overlook the importance of social media customer care. It’s no longer just about posting engaging content; it’s about being responsive to customer needs on these platforms.

Brands agree that social care is important, and yet, only 20% of brands have well-defined and comprehensive social customer care strategies.

Screenshot 2024 02 26 at 1.19.08 PM

[Source: Sprout Social]

Brands must embrace the fact that social media customer care is not just a trend but a customer expectation; they must recognize that their followers view these platforms as a direct line to the brand.

The message is clear: brands must invest in a social media help desk.

The Risks of Ignoring Social Media Help Desks in Customer Service

The absence of an effective social media help desk can lead to a cascade of negative outcomes for brands.

Customers today expect not only quick but also empathetic responses on social media. A delayed or non-existent response can amplify customer frustrations, often leading them to share their negative experiences with a wider audience.

Or, as in Emily’s case in the first story, switch to a different brand.

1) 24/7 Customer Engagement

One of the biggest challenges for brands is the 24/7 nature of social media.

Customers expect quick responses at all hours, which can be daunting for brands without the proper infrastructure. The average response time expected by customers on social media is within 60 minutes, according to our State of Social Care 2023 Report.

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Social media’s real-time nature means that customer complaints and issues can quickly escalate and become viral.

Without a dedicated social media help desk, brands risk not only delayed response times but also inappropriate or inconsistent handling of customer issues, further exacerbating the situation.

What’s more, prompt responses are often needed outside of regular business hours. (And like, always on holidays.)

This is where companies like B Squared Media come into play, offering specialized services to manage and elevate the social media customer care experience for direct-to-consumer brands.

2) Ruined Brand Reputation

In the absence of effective social media customer care, brands may be perceived as out of touch or indifferent to their customers’ needs. I often use the example below in my speeches … because … YIKES.

 

kerastase bad social selling strategy

[Source: Kerastase USA, Twitter]

This perception can be particularly damaging for brands with large online communities, where expectations for immediate and personal interaction are high.

I don’t know about you, but my confidence is not high with Kerastase.

3) Lost Opportunities for Customer Engagement and Loyalty

By not having a social media help desk, brands miss out on valuable opportunities to engage with their customers and build loyalty.

Many brands only focus on taking care of the negative chatter as a part of their social media help desk strategy. However, positive social media interactions have been shown to strengthen customer relationships and enhance brand perception.

You need both to succeed!

The Solution: A Social Media Help Desk

Understanding the risks above underscores the importance of effective social media customer care.

Brands that invest in a robust social media help desk not only mitigate these risks but also stand to gain significantly in terms of customer loyalty and brand perception.

Now, enter the concept of the social media help desk.

This approach integrates customer service software with social media platforms, enabling brands to manage and respond to customer inquiries efficiently.

The key benefits include:

  • Centralized Communication: Bringing all customer interactions from various social media platforms into a single, manageable interface.
  • Efficient Response Management: Using automated tools and AI to quickly respond to common inquiries, while escalating complex issues to human agents.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Gathering customer feedback (voice of customer data) and interaction data to improve products, services, and overall customer experience.

How to Set Up a Successful Social Media Help Desk

To establish a successful social media help desk, brands need to integrate their customer service strategies with their social media operations.

This involves training social media teams on customer service protocols, utilizing advanced tools for tracking and responding to inquiries, and developing a consistent voice and approach that aligns with the brand’s identity.

The Role of AI and Automation in Social Media Help Desks

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are becoming increasingly important in managing the high volume of interactions on social media.

Chatbots, for instance, can provide immediate responses to common queries, freeing up human agents to handle more complex issues. However, it’s crucial to balance automation with a human touch to maintain a personalized customer experience.

Integrating Social Media Help Desks with Overall Customer Service Strategy

For optimal effectiveness, social media help desks should be seamlessly integrated with your brand’s overall customer service strategy.

This ensures a unified approach to customer care across all channels, providing customers with a consistent and satisfying experience.

B Squared Media: Your Partner in Social Media Customer Care

For brands seeking to enhance their social media customer service, partnering with the experts at B Squared Media can be invaluable.

Specializing in handling the 365 nature of social media customer care, we provide the expertise and tools necessary to transform your social media channels into efficient customer service platforms.

Want a peek into how your team is doing with social care or a score on how your social media help desk is doing? Check out our Mystery Shop!

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Conclusion: The Future of Support is Social

In conclusion, the future of customer service is undeniably social.

The integration of social media help desks into customer service strategies is no longer optional for brands. It’s a necessity for staying competitive and relevant as digital mediums continue to transform how we work, live, and shop.

By embracing this new paradigm of customer care, brands can transform their customer service from a cost center into a powerful tool for building loyalty and driving business success.

The story of Emily** is just one of many that highlight the transformative power of effective social media customer care – a critical component in the journey towards building lasting relationships with customers.

**No actual Emilys were harmed in these fictitious social media help desk stories.

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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.
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