Winning customer service doesn’t start when someone walks through your door or end with just a friendly phone call to follow up with a client. It doesn’t revolve around the occasional helpful email when someone has a question. Why?
Because social media users expect good customer service, too.
Spencer Lanoue on groovehq.com shares these stats: “67% of consumers have used a company’s social media channels for customer support….80% of companies believe they deliver ‘superior’ customer service, but only 8% of customers think these same companies actually do!
If only 8% of companies deliver excellent customer service, here’s your chance to outshine the competition. What are the practical steps you can take to offer your customers better service on social media?
Know when to speak up and when to say silent. Sometimes when people complain, they’re just letting off steam to their friends. If the conversation isn’t directed at you, stay out of it. So before you butt in, make sure you understand the person and their comment. Decide if you can contribute anything valuable.
Hang out where your audience is. If most people are tweeting at you, focus your energy on Twitter, not Facebook or LinkedIn. If people are sending you slews of messages on LinkedIn, strengthen your service there instead of on Twitter. Don’t know where your customers congregate? Ask them.
Prioritize responses. It’s all or nothing—reply to everyone or no one. But for those times you’re swamped . . . people who complain, have a question, or need something should be taken care of first. Then you can thank commenters who said something positive and take care of non-urgent issues.
Reply fast. Sure, 33% of social media users are willing to wait a couple of days for your answer. But 42% expect an answer within the hour, and 9% expect a response in five minutes (according to Spencer Lanoue). Maybe you don’t have the solution to their problem, and it will take a day or two to figure out. Let the person know that right away—tell them you’re working on it and will get back to them.
Personalize the exchange. Use the person’s name when you respond to them. And sign off with your name, so people know you’re not some faceless company robot. Let people know you care. Recognize that they’re real people with problems that may seem trivial to you but are important to them. They took two minutes out of their busy day to complain about your company—respect that, and them. If you don’t, it may grow into more than a minor complaint.
Watch your tone. Restate the person’s problem to make sure you understand it. Don’t be light and flippant if the person is mega upset. If they go all out with emojis, you can, too. If your language isn’t their native language, skip the slang – it will only confuse them.
Monitor what’s going on. Watch what people are saying, and you can fix small issues before they become big problems. You can see what people like about your company or what they think you lack, and then adjust your marketing strategy or add more information to your website.
Of course, it helps if you hire candidates who are strong on customer service – candidates who love their work and your company. Consider hiring a Director of Social Media or Brand Manager. Here at Springborn Staffing, we work hard to connect Bangor and Portland, Maine companies with the right candidates. It’s our specialty. That’s why we’re the leading Maine staffing firm. Contact us today.