Social customer service is more popular than ever. Between brands turning to messaging apps for conversational commerce and customers using social apps on the go, these channels are critical to customer engagement. According to a recent study by Global Web Index, more than 2.3 billion people worldwide are active social media users. How does this affect customer service? J.D. Power & Associates found that 67% of customers have used a brand’s social media channels for customer service. With such high demand, brands need to optimize their service practices on these channels to keep up with their customers. Here are the six golden rules of social customer service your brand should follow.
Be quick to respond and engage.
Social media channels are known for quick exchanges. Your brand needs to be ready to respond to customers at all times, especially when customers ask questions or raise concerns. According to The Social Habit, 42% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within an hour. Delaying can mean customer churn, so be quick to respond. On the same note, engaging quickly with customers who leave positive comments (but don’t necessarily need service) can also show your brand’s attentiveness and proactive attitude toward customer satisfaction, leading to greater customer loyalty.
Speak the language of social media, but keep it professional.
Striking a balance between friendly conversation and a professional tone is challenging, but it’s a must. Customer service agents should be warm and approachable without being too casual. Slang and excessive use of emoticons can come across as unprofessional and even difficult to understand, so agents should be careful to keep the conversations concise but coherent. Before closing any conversation, always ask if the customer needs further assistance, and thank them for their time.
Don’t ignore or delete negative comments.
Your customers have the right to see what others are saying about your brand. Rather than ignoring or deleting negative comments, take these moments as opportunities to show transparency in your customer service practices and a willingness to set things right. Respond to such messages openly so others can see your concern for the customer, and then move the conversation to a private channel for more in-depth discussion. Gartner found that companies that ignore service requests on social media experience an average churn rate that is 15% higher than companies that are responsive. Take these comments seriously, and work toward finding a good resolution for your customer.
Show gratitude for positive comments.
Your happy customers just may have great things to say about you on social media. Don’t ignore these compliments: Show your gratitude with a thank you and a short conversation to better understand what they like best about your brand. Happy customers will be glad you noticed, as your brand will simply reinforce the good reputation you’ve shown them.
Be consistent across all social channels.
Consistency across all channels is key to great social customer service. Brands need to make sure that channels are staffed appropriately, recognizing which are in the highest demand and therefore need the most attention. In this age of conversational commerce, for example, your brand may need to pay more attention to messaging and even SMS as major communication channels. The point is to never miss a message or keep a customer waiting long: Give them consistent quality experiences.
Monitor your channels closely.
In addition to determining which channels your customers use the most, monitor what they are saying on these channels. Social listening tools allow brands to track informal feedback on social channels, providing key insights that can help improve products and services.
Exceptional social customer service is all about timeliness, consistency, and clear yet friendly communication. As the use of social platforms continues to rise, following a few golden rules is essential to keeping your brand focused and present wherever your customers are. To deliver the very best in social customer service, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions and premium conversational commerce platform for great customer experiences.
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