Remember the conversation we talked about in our Social Media Growth Hacking 101 post on who isn’t on social media these days? With such an overwhelming positive response to this blog and an urge to help you awesome folks (our audience!), we dug deeper. To break it down, social media initially appealed to regular people, but later on even small and big companies started using it. On top of that, it’s not only about building a cool and cohesive presence online, but there are many different business benefits, too!
It should not come as a surprise because people nowadays turn to social media to gather information, communicate, and sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes!) even seek attention. Why not? In just a few swipe or click, data is presented in an instant. Easy as pie, huh? It basically opens the idea of using social media as a customer service tool.
Traditional Customer Service vs. Social Media
Social media taking over the whole world is not an exaggerated opinion. If you are familiar with FOMO aka fear-of-missing-out, then guess what? Brands experience this, too! They could be missing out on a lot of advantages social media can do for their business.
Traditionally, brands looked at customer service as another “cost factor” to keep customers coming back - something they would would have to hire and train staff to do. Did it ever occur to you why in the world do customer service staff need to be composed no matter what the situation is? Because as much as brands don’t want to upset their customers, they know it’s impossible to make EVERYONE HAPPY all of the time! This is where awesome customer service SHOULD come in. Remember the saying, “The customer is always right?”
In this digital age, customer service now becomes a “profit factor” in the eyes of many brands with the help of social media. Gone are the days when customer service was deemed important, especially during “critical times.” Today, savvy brands realized that patching up negative reactions or comments from customers on social media creates an opportunity to impress people and even win new customers. Brands prove that they listen, care, and would go the extra mile to give top-of-the-line customer service.
So, Here's Thocial Media Customer Service Etiquette 101
If you are a brand planning to use social media as a customer service tool, there’s some basic etiquette that you might want to know. Let’s get down to business!
1. Create a Separate Customer Service-Focused Social Media Account (especially on Twitter)
This can be especially helpful for big and busy brands to avoid confusion and a cluttered timeline. Let customers know that someone from the company will acknowledge all their concerns. Your brand’s customer service account should follow and engage with the customer until the issue is sorted out.
2. Response FAST
Social media monitoring should be done with keen eyes simply because a quick response is imperative. For positive comments, the response can be delayed in a bit, but it’s different when it comes to negative ones. It should be quickly addressed, ideally no longer than five minutes from the time it was posted.
3. Get Nice and Personal
Since social media customer service is performed digitally, you don’t want your customers to feel like they are engaging with a bot. Let them know that they are talking with a real person by telling them your name, and addressing their name back when sorting out their issues.
4. Be Accommodating
Traditionally or digitally, customer service needs to be done in a friendly and helpful way. You should not be aggressive nor contemptuous. Customers can feel it, especially on social media and any negative response has the potential to spread like wildfire. After all, don’t forget about the very real possibility of that dreaded screenshot! Keep in mind that you want them to know that your brand cares - so go that extra mile. It’ll pay off in the long run when they want to jump for joy and share how awesome you are.
At Work It Social, we regularly monitor our social media accounts because we also use these as our own customer service tool. We follow these basic etiquette aiming to take our customer services from “acceptable” to “outstanding!” Do you have a great tip that we forgot to mention? Don’t forget to leave your ideas in the comments below!