Best Practices for Customer Service on Social Media

In case you haven’t heard, consumers spend a lot of time on social media. The average consumer will spend five years on social media over their lifetime. As a society we now go to social for almost everything, including customer service. In short, companies know they cannot afford to ignore social media, so most have accounts on the major platforms. But what comes next? How can your company most effectively use social to augment its customer service?

Quick Response Time

Speed is one of the biggest draws to social media for consumers. Almost 50% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes. So how is a company meant to stay on top of everything? Try setting up monitoring streams with a broad set of search terms that include your company’s name along with words associated with your industry. This will allow you to hear customers’ concerns and praise even if they aren’t in a comment or update.

Connect with Consumers

Keep in mind that this is social. Don’t be afraid to be casual with your consumers and humanize the conversation. One of the reasons consumers like social is because they know they will be talking to another human being. You may want to end messages with a customer service representative’s name so the consumer knows who they are speaking with. This builds trust and accountability.

Avoid Negativity

To be clear, this does not mean you should avoid negative customer comments. On the contrary, the ability to confront tough issues one-on-one is one of the great benefits of social. However, it can be easier than one thinks to fall into the trap of arguing with the infamous internet trolls. These types of run-ins can make your brand seem petty and unfocused. Don’t stoop to their level: focus on positivity and problem solving!

Know When to Switch Channels

Not all customer service problems can be solved through a tweet, and that’s OK! Be sure all team members are on the same page and understand which types of problems are better handled through a direct message or a phone call. Great examples are if a payment hasn’t been processed or private customer information is required—always protect your customers’ privacy and take it to a private or direct message.

Spending time on social media is vital for the modern business, but spending that time effectively is even more important. Make sure to work with your customer service team to practice and perfect their social media skills.