Emmy Stewart

A tech freak and Android Lover

Best Practices for Great Social Media Customer Service

There are more than 1.6 billion active social network users globally right now!
With the gamut of brands, consumers and retailers hopping on the social media bandwagon, it was estimated that the number of social media users will increase to 3.1 billion by 2021.
The whopping statistics has led to companies invest more resources on their social media handles. Now it’s no surprise that with brands’ social media accounts comes consumer interactions and with that, comes the responsibility of providing a great customer service.
 Some organizations are savvy and leveraging the power of their social media customer service to increase customer retention, drive higher sales and better revenue. While others are testing out their strategies and coming up with better ideas everyday to improve their customer service game.
In a nutshell, a great customer service enables brands to engage with their customers in a personalized manner and build brand recognition in the most subtle yet impactful manner.
Here are some of the best practices for social media customer service that you should consider:

1.   Make Social Media Customer Service a Priority

According to a Gartner study, companies who ignore social media support requests experience a 15% higher churn rate as compared to those who don’t.
Contrarily, companies who engage and respond to customer service requests on their social media platforms, have customers who end up spending nearly 20% to 40% more with that company.
The benefits of building strong relationships with your customers are perpetual, regardless of your industry or location.
Providing valuable and positive experiences for customers can dramatically impact your business’s growth. Especially when it comes to social media platforms where people spend more time than a number of their common daily activities.
Social media customer service should be one of your top priorities to increase your brand’s credibility, customer retention rate, brand awareness and sales. 

2.   Select the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

When starting out with your social media customer service, don’t go by mere advice from someone. A platform that does wonders for one brand might not give the same results to your business!
The most critical part of choosing the right social media platform is identifying where your target audience lies.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer yet.
Conduct a simple survey on your website, or create a landing page and ask people to fill forms (use Google Forms or Typeform) in return for a free service or a discount code. Send emails asking them questions about their preferences, for example, which platform are they most likely to engage with when shopping travel products. 
By collecting and analyzing this data, you will be able to determine which social media platforms your customers are most likely to spend time on, their preferences, etc.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that YouTube or Twitter are the best platforms for your business without actually analyzing your target audience.

3.   Find and Monitor Social Media Mentions

While it might seem a bit intimidating at first to track all of your social media mentions, there is an easier way - social media tracking tools.
Instead of manually checking all your social media accounts to track or monitor any mentions, you can simply use tools like Social Mention and Groove. These tools are a great way to quickly and easily get notified whenever your brand gets mentioned.
They can help you stay on top of where and when your services/products gets mentioned so that your customer service team can instantly respond to your customers. Many jobs with "social media" in the title were indexed in November by theladders.

4.   Use the Right Tone of Voice

Social media is a convenient, casual and fast way to reach out to your customers. But with the diversity of social media users- Gen Z, millennials and Gen X - even brands have to diversify their communication methods.
Gen Z will account for 40% of all customers by 2020, according to a study. This means they form a massive part of the consumer base and might even be included in your target audience!
Marketing to Gen Z will require you to focus more on how you stylize your content, how you portray your brand’s message and what value you provide them. Being the youngest market, it will be the quirkiest and may even have different tastes that may not appeal to Generation X or Boomers.
While a Gen X consumer might prefer reading an email newsletter, a Gen Z consumer would get attracted by quirky ads that don’t sound “salesy”.
Every audience segment has to be treated differently based on their behavioral analysis. This includes their preferences, interests, needs, previous purchase actions, past interactions with your brand, and much more.

5.   Try Automating Things When Necessary

Providing personalized experience through customer service is a great idea! But it should be strategically done in such a manner that it doesn’t take a toll on other aspects like employee efficiency, retention and ROI.
There are ample of options that help in creating a smooth customer service experience, not just for customers but for your business as well.
For example, automated tools like chatbots are a great way to increase employee efficiency allowing them to focus on more complex and necessary tasks. Chatbots can be used to address common and simple customer service requests
Chatbots provide 24/7 support which ensures that no customer service request goes unattended. Nearly 40% of consumers do not care if a chatbot or a real human solves their query or helps them, as long as they are getting the required help!

6.   Track, Measure and Improve Your Customer Service

Creating a robust customer service plan is one thing, but implementing it in the right way ana analyzing its performance is a whole other thing.
Listen to your customer interactions and monitor them in an efficient manner. Try and quantify your social media customer service efforts to determine what’s working best and what more could be improved.
Ask questions such as: are these questions related to the company’s business goals? Is there anything valuable that can be derived from this conversation? Is there a common problem that most customers are facing?
You can use speech analysis that can help you select calls that are relevant for evaluation. Additionally, you can also use text analysis to identify chat interactions and emails that can be used for monitoring and tracking customer service.
Make sure that you capture all your customer feedback channels. Moreover, instead of relying only on internal metrics to analyze customer service, ask your customers-
  • “Was your query completely resolved?”
  • “What did you think of the agent who helped you and your experience with us?”
  • “Was your request addressed on time or did you experience any delay?”
  • “What can make your experience better the next time?”

Takeaway

By delivering great social media customer support you can build stronger relationships with your customers, and this can help you create more loyal customers. 
Research shows that loyal customers are the easiest way for increasing your brand awareness as they push word-of-mouth marketing for your brand. People tend to believe their friends and family members more than they trust marketers or click bait ads!
So if you haven’t been paying attention to your social media customer service, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your brand.

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