Social customer service is no longer avoidable.
Customers are airing brands’ dirty laundry, complaining and giving kudos on social networks, expecting a timely and personal response in return.
Not only do brands need to have a social media customer service plan in place, the response needs to include a modern, personal touch, not your typical copy and paste “we apologize that your experience was not satisfactory, please [insert more formal language here].”
I bet you didn’t know that 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints posted at the newsfeed, according to Oracle.*
4 Actions for Stellar Social Customer Service
Monitoring social networks and mentions scratches the surface of listening. Don’t wait for customers to come to you. Instead of assuming, let the customers have the floor and ask them what they’d like to improve or have done differently and use that feedback to make improvements.
How would you want a brand to respond to you? That’s how you should respond as a brand. Address customers by name and specifically address their need or complaint.
We assume a brand is going to apologize before we even contact them, so take the next step, as a brand, and be human.
Respond Quickly and Be Transparent
Responding in a respectful, helpful and prompt manner, will likely prevent additional fires.
How many times have you seen a customer complaint on a Facebook page and other customers jump in to complain about their issues with the company, too? The sooner you get to the unhappy customer, the sooner you can resolve the issue and ensure hope in others’ eyes.
Customers have been ranting on Von Vonni’s Facebook page for months — no orders or refunds are in sight and the brand will not comment or provide explanation. How well do you think this is going to end?
If something’s going on behind the scenes, be honest about it, customers will appreciate that more than being ignored.
Be Authentic and Have a Personality
Not only does having a personality lighten the mood, throw in some humor.
Social media managers aren’t necessarily comedians, but humor and lightheartedness and putting personality to a brand, lets consumers know there really is a person behind the screen.
@omarabhari It’s OK, Omar. We’ll always take you back! ^AR
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) December 4, 2013
Humor can help diffuse negative situations and customers will remember the human side of the brand the next time they go to make a purchase.
“We’re sorry to hear about your experience,” isn’t going to cut it and will only fuel the fire.
Fully address the complaints and concerns and offer specific feedback, assistance and let the customer that you’re there to help — if you can’t find the answer, let them know you’re working to find the solution or point them in the direction of the appropriate person.
Listen, respond, be specific and have a personality — be human. Trial and error will occur when finding the best way to respond to and engage with your consumers, but that’s how you’re going to learn what your customers want.
What challenges does you brand face with social customer service? Have you nailed it?
Chelsea is the Digital Marketing Manager at Zuberance. Tweet her at @ChelseaRhane.