Principles of a Great Social Customer Service
Social Customer Service is the process of extending the existing service platform offered by a business to include social media channels.
The use of social media channels for customer service has increasingly become a necessity for most of the customers today.
The most widely used social platforms are twitter and facebook which have also introduced functionality to support customer service.
The two platforms have for example made it possible for commercial users to download interaction data.
There are so many other resources from social media that businesses can utilize and reap benefits from.
There are a number of tools that allow companies to search for their brand mentions and using this information, they can determine where they need to establish their presence.
If you are able to properly utilize social platforms you can get very many benefits because between 70 to 90 percent of your customers use social media on a regular basis.
The Benefits of Social Customer Service
Some of the benefits you get from implementing social customer service include the following:
• Using social media can help to reduce the cost of interaction as one agent is able to handle multiple conversations at once and often uses already prepared responses copied on a list.
• The social media conversations are public and thus are available to any other customer who might have similar problems and is using the same social media channel.
• The responses given on social platforms act as an endorsement of your brand.
• The use of social service has greatly helped in the reduction of pressure on the traditional forms of contact centre operations.
This is because most people opt to use social platforms to send simple queries thus leaving the call-center agents free to deal with more involved issues.
Importance of Social Customer Services
The rise in social consumers has led to the creation of brand ambassadors and loyal fans which can consequently have a very positive effect on the image of your company.
This will happen especially if you post something clever, positive or beneficial relating to a brand which will help it pick up a viral momentum.
If you decide to ignore social media complains from your customers or customer service breaks down, your business may get very bad reviews publicly on these social platforms which may cause your business to really surfer.
You should not underestimate the power of social media be it positive or negative. Social platforms have the power to drive up your business and increase the number of customers and sales you make but it also has the power to drag your business through the mud.
How to Get Social Customer Service Right
Getting to understand how essential social customer service is to a business is only the first step. You need to consider how you are going to set your brand’s efforts in motion.
The most effective approaches to setting up structures for the social side of your customer service team hinge on a few core elements which include:
Time is a really important factor to consider when it comes to responding to a customer’s complaint and any other issues that may arise on your social media channels.
A study has reviled that majority of the customers who raise a complain on social media will expect a response within 30 minutes to an hour.
If you take longer the customer will probably start getting agitated and hence the bad reviews.
The more you let the problem/complaint remain unanswered the greater the chance that the situation will get out of hand and the bad reviews will go viral leading to a decline in your business.
To avoid all this, make sure that you scan your social media pages regularly so as to discover a complaint before it’s too late and also be very quick in responding to any signs of trouble.
The Element of Surprise
It is not automatic that every person who takes to social media to give you their complaints is expecting to get a reply from your company.
You can use this to your advantage by contacting the displeased customer in a polite and friendly manner and helping that particular customer to sort out the issue. This is a great way to turn those negative situations to get positive outcomes.
The Power of Empathy
When you respond to a customer’s complain in a kind and helpful manner you are displaying empathy. Call center agents are very good at it.
This is a great way to show your customers and all other prospects that your company cares about them and it also cares about their happiness.
Your business will get a substantial boost when your customers believe that you are listening to their problems and they feel you are actively invested in helping them work out their problems.
Taking Control of a Messy Situation
If you leave social media complaints unchecked, it can cause the situation to drastically get out of control and make it even harder to handle.
It is important that you act quickly on any complaints received and also try to convince the aggrieved party to communicate with you off the social media channel so that you can be able to work directly with them and hence resolve the issue in a less public setting.
This can also help to speed up the problem-solving process and hence be quite valuable to all parties involved.
Turning Critics into Champions
Once you have successfully diverted the conversation from social media and effectively solved the customer’s issue, it is important to ask the satisfied customer to share his/her positive experience and resolution with your company.
Some might be inclined to retract their earlier negative statements and replace them with positive posts on how they are satisfied with the customer service they received.
Limitations of Social Customer Service
Social media is a great marketing platform but it also has its downside. Many customers have decided to use social media as a platform to extend their complaints and queries.
This has prompted businesses to open separate social media accounts for their customer service and marketing which has led to valuable time being spent to direct customers to the correct account.
Social media has proven to be quite cost-effective in dealing with queries from customers but that does not mean that all the queries can be solved on the social platforms.
Some customers have to be directed to other conversational channels so as to get help for the queries they submitted.
This can cause a lot of agitation on the part of the customer who had already invested a lot of time in using the social media option after having to abandon a long call queue.
This can result in your company receiving negative feedback which will be posted very publicly on your social media channel.
Social service is relatively new in the market and thus prevents a number of issues around analysis, staffing and best practice.
Managers are also unable to put guidelines in place of how customer service agents should interact with customers in regards to social media.
Thank you for creating time to read this article. I hope you found the information provided to be helpful.