Back before the internet, customer service was primarily handled by telephone operators or direct mail. However, through improved social media platforms and messaging capabilities, customer services have evolved, often requiring a continuous commitment to consumer dialogue. Therefore, it is critical that business owners and managers understand how to deliver customer service with social media.
First off, without proper tools, it is challenging to manage your company’s image. Not every consumer is going to tag you in messages about your product. Therefore, you will need to use a process called social listening, which uses reputation monitoring tools to track when someone mentions your brand on any of several platforms. With this knowledge, you can follow and respond to criticism or praise, allowing customers to see that you play an active role within the brand community.
Response and Request
Customer service entails both criticism and praise as well as being able to handle both professionally and respectfully. For the times that your brand receives praise, be sure to thank them publicly, which does two things: (1) increase loyalty and (2) promotes the brand. However, even when receiving criticism, a brand can increase brand appreciation and encourage customers. Therefore, it is vital to respond to criticism, both respectfully and appropriately. When responding to criticism, your customer service team should be instructed to follow three basic steps.
- Listen or read
- Acknowledge the problem
- Express empathy while providing possible solutions
Beyond dealing with customer compliment and complaints, you can have representatives reach out to repeat customers to request a review of your service or product. By encouraging this behavior, you can increase the number of public discussions and possibly your overall ratings with search engines.
Direct Messaging and Limitations
There are times where a customer will privately direct message your business, and it is crucial to follow the same protocol you would when dealing with the matter publicly. However, if a customer comes to you with a technical problem, then it is wise to understand the limits of social platforms. While it is possible to handle small issues with quick resolutions, sometimes, messaging back and forth is not the most effective way to fix a consumer problem. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the limits of these platforms so that your customers receive the best service and care possible.
Customer service is no longer focused on telephones and snail mail. Now, consumers expect more from companies seeking their business. Therefore, improve your social listening capabilities, respond quickly to all customer statements and know the limitations of social media platforms for detailed resolutions.