Social media sites have become popular platforms for brands looking to communicate with their customers, and they provide an opportunity to deliver stellar customer service experiences. Social media is useful for improving people’s impressions of brands compared to traditional means of communication because when you solve problems for your customers online, thousands of others may also see your great response.
That being said, risk still exists for things to go wrong. Below are some best practices for providing customer service on social media that will make sure you kill it, and not your brand image.
Find Your Customers
Providing customer service takes time and resources, and you should allocate these wisely by determining which social media sites your customers use the most. For most companies, Facebook and Twitter are popular, but depending on your industry, your audience might be more engaged through Instagram (such as in the beauty or apparel industries) or LinkedIn (for B2B companies).
The social media sites where you are having the most success (most shares, likes, and other engagements) should be the platforms you invest in since they are where:
- Your target audience is most active.
- Your customers more likely to contact you if they have a concern.
Listen, Listen, Listen!
Social media has created two-way communications between brands and consumers. Rather than simply placing ads in front of people that communicate your brand message, customers and clients now have an outlet to directly respond to you and express their thoughts about your product or service. Therefore, you have to pay attention to what people are saying to you and about you, and respond accordingly.
Doing this involves more than just checking your direct messages on Facebook. Make sure you regularly check for negative (and positive) comments left on your posts and also check for posts that people make about you. By using tools like Hootsuite, you can be notified whenever someone mentions your brand, regardless of whether or not they mention you or contact you directly.
People don’t just message brands, they Tweet at them – which is out there for the world to see.
No one likes being ignored, and making sure you respond to people who communicate with your brand is crucial. Negative comments that go unanswered remain there for the world to see and make your brand look careless and cold.
Also, never delete negative comments. People who are willing to go to the effort of posting a negative comment are more than willing to point out when their comments have been deleted, and this can spell social suicide for you. Instead, own how you take their criticism (it will make you look good) and try to turn the negative situation into a positive one, turning the relationship around.
Responding to positive feedback is also a good idea as it builds profitable relationships with people and makes your brand appear positive and proactive to others – especially if these conversations happen in public places like comments.
Tim Horton’s constantly monitors comments on its Facebook posts, and responds promptly to frustrated customers.
Make things Efficient
Optimise your social media profiles so that communicating with your brand is as easy as possible for consumers. This is important if you receive or expect to receive a high volume of messages. Below are just some tips for accomplishing this goal:
- For Facebook pages, enable instant replies or initial messages to let customers know you’ll be responding and addressing their concern as soon as possible.
- Add a “message” button directly to your Facebook page as well as various contact buttons onto your Instagram page – increasing accessibility for those looking to contact you.
- It’s a good habit to have your social profiles downloaded and accessible on your phone so that you can respond at all times (rocking social media means living on it!).
- If quick response time isn’t possible, you can set your Facebook messenger status to ‘away’ so that people at least know when you’re not available.
- Keep in mind: Facebook calculates your average response time to messages and will display this to everyone who visits your page. Replying quickly is therefore crucial.
Facebook replies can be automated to let people know you will be with them shortly.
Monitoring social media to reply to customer service issues can be impossible if you don’t have the time. At Treefrog, our social media team specialises in reputation management and can keep up with what’s being said about your brand 24/7 – so that you maintain a positive brand image online.
Request a free quote or give us a call at 866.653.4211 today!