Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Customer Service
In today’s article, we’ll be looking at how businesses can use social media for customer service. Take on-board our tips and pay attention!
We used to rely on word-of-mouth to make purchasing decisions. But with the development of technology, consumers often turn to social media to find answers to their queries, discover more about a brand and aid with the purchasing decision.
We used to ask a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour before buying a new product. But today we tend to use social media to discover customer reviews from across the world. Through social media we can see how businesses handle customer complaints, how they respond to queries and how on-hand they are to help consumers.
It’s not just the local people we know who influence us, it’s stranger’s tweets, reviews and posts which influence the brands we use.
Before social media, customers would vent their frustrations about a business to their family, friends’ colleagues. However now, 45% of consumers share bad customer service experiences via social media.
Customers hold all the power – all it can take is a few critical words about your business on social media for the comments to go viral leaving you with a bad online reputation.
Why Use Social Media for Customer Service?
67% of consumers use a brand’s social media to handle their customer service needs.
Social media can often be a quick solution for people experiencing a problem or they have a question that they want answering. So, whether you like it or not, using your social media for customer service is crucial for your marketing strategy.
Top Tips for Using Social Media for Customer Service
Respond quickly to enquiries and complaints. Don’t leave consumers waiting for too long, a bad response time can have damaging consequences:
- – The consumer becomes frustrated
- – Unsatisfied customer
- – They go to a competitor
- – They don’t use your products / services again
- – They spread the word of their negative experience with you
- – Complain publicly for potential customers to see
- – Broadcast negative reviews
2. Public or Private
It’s expected to receive the occasional negative complaint since people can always find even the slightest thing to moan about. Whilst we can’t please everyone, some comments on social media will need to be resolved privately and some openly for others to see.
Some cases will be better handled in private. For example, cases involving confidential information like missing or delayed deliveries. But publicly inform the consumer that you have sent them a private message, so others know you’re handling it.
Respond publicly when your response will likely help other consumers, for example regarding store opening times or stock information.
Whilst customers do rightly expect a response, some consumers will troll your company and try to provoke a response.
Sometimes responding to a troll only adds fuel to the fire.
If the question, review or comment is genuine then a response is required, here’s what to do:
- – Keep positive -it’s ok to show your light-hearted side
- – Be honest – be transparent when solving their issue
- – If required, encourage consumers to send you a private message so you can discuss their query in more detail
The Bottom Line
Combat negativity on social media with positivity.
Always respond, remain positive and be honest.
If you fail to use social media for customer service, then your business runs the risk of losing customers and a positive online presence.
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About the author:
Marie Harwood is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Different Gravy Digital, Hale, Cheshire.
Different Gravy Digital are a full service Digital Marketing Agency operating in the Hospitality & Leisure, Financial Services, Legal & Property sectors. Products and services range from; 3D & 360° Tours, Website Design & Build, Social Media, Video Production, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content Creation, Email Marketing, Online Feedback / Review Systems and Paid Advertising (Google, Bing and Social Media).
0161 706 000
120a Ashley Road, Hale, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2UN