No matter how many options customers or prospects can contact your company, you may still receive messages through social media. Your initial reaction may be to guide people to your website to contact your support team. However, that may not be the best option as it may frustrate a customer or prospect by adding additional steps to resolving their problem. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help achieve effective customer service on social media:
- Be timely. Today’s customers use social media to find easy access and receive fast support and Twitter for real-time updates on developing situations/potential issues.
- Research finds that 40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media and 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours.
- Communication is key. It is a good idea to respond to direct messages as they arise to address customers’ concerns and supply them with guidance. Being transparent in these moments will build trust and loyalty and could help dissuade others from posting about similar situations.
- Infuse your brand in your responses. If your brand tends to take a more informal tone on social media, consider including the customer’s first name, emojis, or exclamation points in your responses to humanize your brand.
- Understand when to take the conversation off the social platform. If someone reaches out with a personal issue or a message containing sensitive information, lead them to your internal support team since that’s a safer avenue.
- If a competitor tries to leverage your issue to promote their product or service, resist the urge to engage. The competitor’s actions will likely be perceived as unprofessional by people on social media. Therefore, engaging with them may open your company up to unwanted conversations that are counterproductive in the long run.
Here are examples of language to achieve successful customer service via social media:
If the issue has not yet been resolved: Hi (customer’s name), our system is currently down, but we can assure you all systems and data are secure. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working diligently to resolve this issue. We expect a resolution at (timeframe). Thank you for being so patient!
Once the problem is resolved: Hi (customer’s name), we can confirm this issue has been resolved. We are sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for being our customer. If you have any additional issues, we’d be happy to help you at (preferred way of contacting customer support).