The eternal chase between a sales rep and their ever-present sales quotas can feel like a never-ending marathon. From day one, you’re handed these...
The time when people relied on word-of-mouth recommendations is long gone. Previously, you would ask a coworker, acquaintance, or anyone else you know if they had any suggestions on where to buy a piece of electronic equipment.
However, social media has completely altered the playing field today. Social media customer service is another development that goes beyond testimonials or recommendations.
Perfect customer service is a requirement for any business that wishes to keep its good name. And once it’s out there in the public, it’s even more important to provide people precisely what they want.
Your customer service approaches are more widely exposed on social media. Your reputation is on the line when you answer a customer’s question. As a result, you must use extreme caution when performing this task in public.
However, you must use the appropriate tools and follow a number of important best practices if you want to provide outstanding customer service via social media channels.
Fortunately, we’ve put up a crucial guide to support your success on social media.
Why use social media for customer service?
Social media is becoming more and more popular as a platform for customer service interactions due to its growth as a digital engagement tool.
Customers can engage with brands, look for solutions to their problems, and discuss their worries or experiences on social media networks (such as Facebook, Instagram, and X).
For this reason, more than 80% of customers interact with brands on social media.
Businesses can gain from using social media for customer service in a number of ways, including:
1. A more personal connection is made between a brand and its customers when communicating with them on their favorite social media platforms. This results in deeper bonds and more enduring customer loyalty.
2. More brand advocacy: It has been demonstrated that responding to customer concerns on social media can boost brand advocacy by up to 25%.
3. Revenue growth: Responding to customer support inquiries on social media increases revenue per customer by 20% to 40%.
4. Cost savings: Using social media to communicate with customers can save the price per interaction by as much as 83%.
5. A better public image: Businesses can develop a positive brand image and reputation by openly assisting and interacting with clients on social media channels.
Getting started with social media customer servicing
It is obvious that social media may be a beneficial tool for assisting and interacting with clients. However, you need a solid plan if you want to be successful at providing customer support on social media. We’ll go through the essential best practices in more detail below to help you provide an outstanding user experience across all of your social media channels.
1. Create an in-depth strategy outlining platform presence and service windows
A well-crafted strategy begins by identifying the social media channels on which the business should have a presence for customer support, guided by factors like client demographics, service expectations, and already-established brand recognition. Important choices regarding service windows should be made in accordance with platform features.
For instance, will customer care teams use a 24/7, always-on scheduling system, a 12-hour service window, or simply function during regular business hours corresponding to major business markets? To inform users of the service limits, clear, understandable social media policies can be created and disseminated.
For example, a B2B software company offering IT solutions to businesses, the following social media platforms could be considered for customer service presence:
>LinkedIn: Given its professional nature, LinkedIn is a suitable platform to engage with business professionals, share industry insights, and provide customer support.
>X (Formerly Twitter): X’s real-time nature allows the business to address quick queries, provide updates on software releases, and respond promptly to customer inquiries.
>Facebook: While more B2C-focused, Facebook can still be used by the company to engage with business owners, share educational content, and offer customer support.
Step 2: Service Windows and Availability
Considering the B2B nature of the company, where businesses might require immediate assistance during their operational hours, the following service window approach could be adopted:
Weekdays, Business Hours: Customer service teams will operate during standard business hours (e.g., 9 AM to 6 PM) aligned with the primary business markets where the company operates. This approach caters to the needs of businesses using their software during their work hours.
2.Match platform attributes to response times, voice tone, and engagement levels
Response speed, resolution efficiency, and client involvement are the primary determinants of customer experience. In order to meet customer expectations, service-related posts should be acknowledged as soon as feasible. The ideal service hours on major platforms are 24/7, with a first response time of under 15 minutes.
The desired turnaround time for basic inquiries is less than that for requests and complaints, which, depending on their complexity, can take up to two days. While maintaining consistency with the tone of voice of the brand, the formality of responses should be adjusted for various platforms. In order to promote customer service handles and specialized social media servicing pages, client engagement activities are a crucial supporting component.
For example, imagine, a B2B which specializes in providing high-quality manufacturing components to other businesses. LinkedIn is a social media platform that aligns well with its business nature and the following could be adopted:
>Response Time: Respond within 1 hour during business hours (8 AM – 6 PM) to address manufacturing inquiries promptly while demonstrating the company’s commitment to professionalism.
>Tone of Voice: Maintain a knowledgeable and solution-focused tone, offering expertise in manufacturing processes and materials.
>Engagement: Share thought leadership articles discussing advancements in manufacturing technology, quality control, and supply chain optimization. This engages professionals seeking expertise in their industry.
3.Define processes and use assisting technologies
The best approach to start with social media custom servicing starts with 24/7 text mining of social media sites. This helps find and address customer questions in real-time. Intelligent technology, like intent engines, can automatically distinguish between simpler customer postings and more complex ones that need personal processing.
While more specialized workers handle delicate posts, highly empowered social media servicing teams handle simple inquiries and low-complexity requests. Teams are informed in real time by text analytics of client replies and follow-up requests. Social media platforms and customer relationship management systems should work closely together to ensure rapid quick reaction and resolution.
An integrated approach in designing these new workflows and technologies helps to create a consistent and efficient omnichannel customer support experience.
For example, a company executive posts on LinkedIn, inquiring about cloud migration services. The text mining tool detects the query and assigns it an intent of “Information Request – Cloud Migration.” The empowered social media servicing team responds within minutes, providing a concise overview of the services and a link to the company’s detailed cloud migration webpage.
Meanwhile, a more detailed query regarding data security during migration is flagged as complex and is redirected to a specialized IT consultant. This consultant responds comprehensively, assuring the executive of the robust security protocols in place. This integrated workflow and technology approach create a consistent and efficient omnichannel customer support experience
4.Merge teams for a seamless customer experience
Finally, it is crucial to establish the proper supporting organizational structure as organizations develop the proper servicing strategy and move toward implementation. Teams responsible for managing social media typically belong to either the marketing or customer care departments. However, the more effective cases show that a response-and-resolution team typically performs well for social media servicing.
Dual reporting lines can be challenging for integrated teams, but the advantages of centralized ownership and accountability for customer complaints, as well as a standardized message approach, typically lead to a better overall customer experience.
It is crucial to have empowered frontline staff that may utilize their discretion to make exceptions when necessary, regardless of the structure and reporting lines that are selected. To expedite and prioritize resolutions, teams should also have direct access to all pertinent business functions. To reduce the likelihood that a single customer complaint may harm the company’s reputation, specialized personnel can be trained to control sensitive posts and influencers.
For example, a key client of a major manufacturing company, posts on social media expressing frustration about a technical glitch in their software system. The integrated team sees the post, and the technical lead from the team quickly accesses the issue and provides a personalized response, promising immediate assistance. Simultaneously, the marketing representative engages with the client to ensure that the company’s commitment to resolving the issue is communicated effectively. The client appreciates the proactive and unified response, leading to a speedy resolution and positive sentiment.
By merging teams, the company ensures a seamless B2B customer experience, addressing concerns promptly, providing accurate information, and maintaining a positive brand image across social media channels.
The Bottom Line
Businesses that want to amaze clients and create enduring connections with their audience have found that social media customer service is an essential tool. Companies may not only quickly resolve consumer complaints by utilizing social media platforms and best practices, but also obtain insightful data to enhance their overall offers.
Social care offers organizations a lot of value-added advantages when used with the appropriate strategy, tools, and team. The key is to find the ideal partner.
Discover the full potential of social media customer service with DealsInsight services. Our specialized solutions can help you build lasting customer relationships, leverage valuable insights, and elevate your brand’s online presence.
Connect with us today to learn how social media can be a powerful tool for your business’s growth and success.