5 Ways to use Social Media for Better and More Effective Customer Service

Social mediaExceptional customer service is one of the key factors to business success. In fact, a study shows that providing a bad customer service experience causes US companies a loss of an estimated $41 billion per year.
Providing great customer service though is something that must extend to your social media channels. More than using social media for promotions, it can also be used to provide customer service, known more commonly as social customer care.
Social media has changed how people interact and develop relationships with brands. A Bain study even states that “customers who engage with companies over social media are more loyal and they spend up to 40 percent more with those companies than other customers”.
This just goes to show that companies need to work on their social media efforts in order to provide a better customer experience. Here are some tips on how you can do that.

Create an account specifically for customer service.

A lot of companies use social media to promote their products and services. If you use the same channels for customer service though, there is a chance that some of the issues raised will get lost in all the flurry of information.
Having dedicated channels for customer service, such as what U-Haul does with their two Twitter handles @uhaul and @uhaul_cares, will allow you to focus on communicating with customers who are experiencing issues. Doing so will increase the number of issues resolved in a day as well as improve the speed at which they are resolved, which will make more of your customers happy.

Create multiple points of access.

Customers are more demanding these days and they expect to be able to reach you fast and using the channels most accessible to them. These means that you must create multiple ways for them to reach you.
For instance, aside from having a Twitter account dedicated to customer service, explore using Facebook to handle customer concerns as well. A Social Bakers survey states that just 5% of global brands are socially devoted on Facebook but that these brands receive more than 50% of all social care demand. This just goes to show that there is still much room for growth in terms of improving social care on Facebook.

Respond fast.

Customers have very high expectations regarding how fast their issues are resolved. In fact, the 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Service report states that 41% of customers say that getting their issues resolved quickly is the most important aspect of a good customer experience. Further, a 2015 report released by The Northridge Group also states that more than 40 percent of customers expect resolution within one hour when using social media as a customer service channel.
The key to responding quickly to your customers is to organize and optimize your social workflow. Assign team members who will be responsible for responding to concerns and at the same time create a structure that will help prevent mistakes from occurring. Further, find a solution that will help you filter content to enable team members to see which issues have been assigned, answered or missed.

Personalize it.

Knowing who they are talking to makes customers feel more at ease and more responsive. Personalize your social media channels by putting a face to it. For instance, on your Twitter account, you can put the name and photo of the people in charge of responding to customer queries that day, which is what Comcast does.
Aside from this, take note that customers don’t want to receive canned or generic answers to their queries. Their issues are personal to them so show them how much you care about them by personalizing your answers as well.

Be transparent and professional.

The last thing you want to do is to get caught telling lies or being negative on social media. Customers don’t only expect you to resolve their issues but they also expect you to tell them the truth, even if that means publicly apologizing for any inconvenience your product or service may have caused them.
Rudeness is also not acceptable. One of the basic principles of handling customers is to be professional about it and this should extend to how you handle them on social media as well.
Customer service is all about managing customer expectations, which means that you have to understand what they are and how this translates to social media usage. Whether on social media or not, the key to making your customers happy is understanding them and being willing to go the extra mile for them.
Photo credit: Socialmediaexaminer.com

Adel Zsurzsan

Adel Zsurzsan started as a Service Desk Analyst at transcosmos Information System. Currently based in transcosmos Hungary office, she now serves as the company's Business Development Advisor, helping the company grow and explore partnerships and opportunities. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, German, French and Spanish.