For most businesses, social customer care may not be the most popular channel to deal with customer issues, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. More and more customers turn to social media to get help; this is generally because social media platforms offer the best services when it comes to socializing, especially with people having the same interests as you; these people can help you with a thing or two when facing any problem regarding some product or service you’re purchasing from a brand.
That said, many companies are still refusing to use the power of social media to favor themselves by staying inactive and irresponsive of what their customers and target audiences have to say about the brands of their choice. Let’s now address why companies aren’t using social channels.
When a company decides that they don’t want to participate in social media customer care, they have explanations ranging from logical to highly illogical. Some might even say they’re just excuses. The explanations they share are
- When we steer them to the phone, we don’t need any other channels
- We don’t have the staff to handle all the different social channels.
- We don’t have the budget to expand our customer support department
- They say that they’re operating just fine without being engaging on their social channels.
Customer service research shows that of all the ways customers reach out to customer support, social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others used to be at the bottom of the list; however, the graphs are inclining rather quickly. That means they should not be ignored.
Importance Of Targeting Channels:
The phone has always been the most popular channel because it’s easier to target your audience, and the chances they’ll consume your message is higher than in any other medium. There are options such as e-mail, chat apps, and more you can utilize for this purpose.
Its utility can prove to be impactful and beneficial for the brands that are willing to indulge in it and put some effort into making themselves relevant on social media. It makes no sense not to use it, especially if our customers want us to.
The main reason behind customers turning to social media while more and more are using social media channels like Twitter and Facebook is that when trying to reach out to companies with bad customer service, they have no other choice.
It’s not always their first choice, unfortunately. It’s where customers go because the company didn’t make it easy to call them or didn’t respond to their emails or text messages. So, they go social and post on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. The rest of the world can see these posts. If you choose not to respond, your customers might notice.
If you haven’t already noticed, you’ll start to see more and more customers commenting, asking questions, and complaining on social channels, and you need to respond to them. Watch where your customers are and be there for them. One of the best social media channels for customer service is the ones your customers are using well.
Customer Support Service As a Marketing Strategy:
Social Customer Care cannot be ignored. If you’re wondering, what does social media marketing have to do with customer service? Well, plenty. Social Media is an official and viable way to deliver amazing customer service.
Now, regardless of the customer interacting with you in person, on your website, or through social media channels, the experience should be one that brings the customer back and, more importantly, gets the customer to talk about you to their friends and their colleagues.
Now, customer service done right is one of your best marketing strategies and social media customer service allows you to take the interactions with your customers to an even higher level.
Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more have gone from being an alternative channel for customer service to a primary channel, so if you aren’t already tied into social media customer service, then it’s time to do it now. Here are a few simple strategies that all companies can use to stay social with their customer service.
1. Start By Having An Engaging Account On Social Channels
Many companies choose not to participate in social media. This is no longer an option. Wherever your customers are, you should target them for the betterment of your company and your business altogether.
2. Monitor Those Channels To Catch Any Mentions Of Your Company
Now, this can be done with various software programs; some of them are even free. You want to know whenever anyone has anything to say about your company, and it should be in real time.
3. Respond To All Mentions, Not Just Complaints
One of the worst things that a company can do is to ignore comments, especially complaints. Social media is a public forum. If somebody leaves a comment, there will be others watching for a response. While this is especially important if a customer complains, all comments should be acknowledged and responded to; it’s also necessary to respond quickly.
4. Respond Quickly
If you’re going to respond to every post that is worth responding to, you should do it correctly, and that means you respond quickly. Don’t wait for hours or even days. Respond within an hour, ideally within a few minutes if possible.
5. Be Real When Responding To Comments And Complaints
Make it personal. In other words, don’t use copy-and-paste responses. People are watching, and you’ll get caught with canned and personal responses that make it look like you don’t truly care about your customers.
6. Be Engaging For Your Customers
And finally, number six, proactively engage with your community. This means you don’t wait for customers to post something about your company. Your brand needs to push out content to customers that is interesting and relevant. This is not a blatant promotion like a discount coupon. Just provide great information that adds value to your customers as they need or want your services or your products.
They are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, so keep it that way. Maintain their interest by putting out something new for them to be engaged by. Some call this marketing, and it is; customer service is marketing at the end of the day, or at least it has enough potential to be converted into a marketing strategy for effective results.
Respond Strategically To Customer Complaints:
It is still believed by many people at large that there is no such thing as bad publicity. When somebody gets a little bit of complaint on social media at one stage or another, every business will have to deal with that complaint message that pops up in their inbox.
The question is, do we take it personally or use it as a prime marketing opportunity to impress even the most negative customers? Ensure you hold on to your manners. Dealing with social media complaints must be strategic.
The way you deal with online criticism is important. Your response should reassure the customers that they are a real priority for the business and show that you are doing everything you can to help them with their complaints. Even if sometimes you just want to reply with an answer they won’t like, a rash decision could land you in a bit of trouble with your manager, or it could be the basis of a negative impact. Follow these tips to make it seem professional and to impress the opposite party.
1. Responding Quickly To Customer Complaints
Some advice from one social guide to another is to reply to any complaint within the first hour of receiving it. If they told you your services are not good at all, you could refer them on to make a complaint. That’s easy. But don’t panic if it’s a complaint demanding a little more than a link for an apology.
If you don’t have all the answers right away, then a simple acknowledgment of their issue will help reassure the complainer. Let them know you’re looking into it and get back to them as soon as you can after you’ve addressed the complaint.
Let the customer know when they can expect a response or a solution, but be sure to set a realistic time frame for the response and stick to it. You don’t want to encourage any more drama, as it could result in a bigger problem for your business.
The average consumer used to expect a response in less than a few hours, but shockingly, the average brand response used to be up to 10 hours. Don’t be that brand. This could be easily managed through things like Google Alerts.
These tools allow you to monitor how people are speaking about your brand and give you the opportunity to respond.
2. Create a Draft Message
Using a draft means you can be sure of speedy responses to any complaints that come your way. You’ve got to go fast. You can set up responses to recurring problems, and until you provide your customers with the most accurate solution, try making a draft to rely on. Use apps like Facebook Messenger, use tools to set up auto-responses to keywords in Twitter, and have shortcut responses in Instagram chat. So many possibilities.
That said, people can spot a copy-and-paste message as an apology with ease. Make your draft humanistic in a tone of voice and template it. Keep them simple and use their name. Make them feel like this was meant for them as an individual. Also, build a document with contact details for every different part of your business. This way, those monitoring and social channels can get the answers they need quickly, or rather, the most educated in this subject.
3. Make The Response Public And Personal
As it was explained above, people can spot robotic responses right away, so make sure you make the time to use software or an app for its automation capabilities. Set that automation tool to personalize the response to any complaints. If anything, the genuinely personalized response will always be better. But some brands are just way too big for that.
If they can see you sympathizing with them genuinely, they are more likely to respond better. Make sure you acknowledge any mistakes you’ve addressed and take ownership of the problem that you’re experiencing. You cannot just let people fall off your brand on the Internet. Make them feel valued, focus on the task at hand, and find a solution, preferably in less than 10 hours.
4. Be Transparent
Sometimes it seems easier and less stressful to take the messages out of the public eye. But it can appear like you’ve got something to hide. Be transparent and solve potential dramas for all to see. Show off how good of a brand you are, and it might even save you from replying to the same complaints from multiple people. If you’ve made a mistake, it’s best just to be honest and to do everything in your power to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Social media has a very deep role when it comes to customer care as it enables the average company to maintain positive relations with their customers and target audience meanwhile strategically analyzing the perfect response for the complaints received. Learning on the way is the key point to focus on here, and remaining professional yet having a high engagement is also very important.
Using Customer Care as a marketing strategy is also a key point to implement, and the ways you can do so are given above in complete detail. Social media has a crucial role to play, however, one must understand its importance to implement and grow from it.
How Can Social Media Be Used For Customer Support?
This can be done by responding to tweets, using Facebook Messenger to field comments, and addressing Instagram comments in the correct manner.
What Is Customer Service Through Social Media?
Social media customer service is an organized setup of providing support to one’s customers through social media platforms.
How Does Social Media Impact Customer Service?
Social media allows companies to use their name to reach out to potential customers in a quick and easy manner.