Social Media is the perfect platform for creating customer service excellence, but it can also be a disaster if it’s done improperly. This guide has been made to help your business know the what, when, how, where & why when it comes to Social Media Customer Service.
Create a plan
This should always be created before your brand even steps foot on Social Media. You have no idea how people are going to respond to your new presence, and as such you need to be prepared for the worst. Things to consider:
- What possible queries or concerns do customers have with your brand? You should have template statements ready to address these where possible.
- Who is going to engage with the customers on Social Media? Be clear and use specific names where possible. Internal communications should prohibit anyone else from interacting with customers on Social Media (from personal OR brand page accounts).
- Make it step by step and easy to follow, so if one person is away, responses can be designated to another team member without fear of affecting the brand values.
Pick the right Tone
Your tone should match your customers where possible. Serious complaints where health and safety of consumers was at risk should ALWAYS be dealt with in a serious manner. In other situations gauging tone can be tricky. Tesco Mobile do this excellently on Twitter (see below), but if you are not sure how to respond play it safe and take it seriously.
@nero *Swipes left*
— Tesco Mobile (@tescomobile) December 11, 2014
Don’t be sucked in by Trolling
There are some people who will go out of their way to try and damage your brand image, and you need to understand when it’s best to respond, and when it’s best to ignore a message. This flowchart is an excellent point of reference Here’s an example of the difference between a genuine customer complaint and a ‘Troll’:
Genuine Customer Complaint:
Hi Company, I bought your product and it was totally unsatisfactory, missing all of the parts. What’s going on?!
Your products are awful and anyone who buys them is awful.
You may wish to find out why the Troll feels the way they do about your products, but be careful with responses, and if the conversation cannot progress offer them your company email address, allowing possibility for conversation to progress away from the eyes of your other fans.
Respond Accurately, Respond Fast
When you are aware of a customer service issue (and it has been identified as genuine via the method above) you need to respond fast and accurately. Acknowledge the complaint and be quick to ascertain the facts surrounding the situation. NEVER LIE. Don’t be afraid to ask for more details surrounding the incident (from both your team and the customer), and if possible move the conversation to e-mail.
The customer may not be complaining to you
It’s important to remember that the complaint may not appear directly on your Social Media profile. It could appear in comments on a story posted on a news page or in a conversation that your brand is not tagged in. Go out and look for these comments, and encourage people to point them out. You can use Google Alerts to notify you when your business is mentioned online, but don’t rely on this alone. Your brand can win a lot of points by reaching out to respond. If there are a lot of people complaining it may be easier to issue a blanket statement, in which you should offer each person to contact you via e-mail with any concerns so they can be addressed quickly and efficiently.
This has always been one of the key pillars when delivering customer service excellence. Set a standard and stick to it. People are quick to point out shortcomings in the service you offer, so eliminate this by implementing your plan and sticking to it.