Customer Service with Social Media: The Tool You Can’t Afford to Sleep On

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Three Simple Ways to Shine at Customer Service with Social Media, Without Spending a Fortune

Social media had already become an essential marketing tool for any business, long before a worldwide pandemic. But in an age where more people than ever are working and shopping from home, it’s become obvious that, more than ever before, your company’s social media presence is the most important tool you have.

Your social media presence comes with so many benefits that it’s unimaginable how a company might exist without it. 

You’re using it to develop your brand voice. 

You’re using content strategically to stay current and relevant.

You’re sparking user-generated content that drives up your views and engagements.

And according to a 2016 study published at Springer Link, brands who interacted with their customers on social media were more profitable. But building that profitable social media presence can’t be just about self-promotion — your excellent content is just the beginning. The companies that do social media marketing correctly are the ones who seamlessly integrate their marketing with their customer service. The customers you attract through that viral post or successful ad campaign are the ones that will keep coming back for more — if your social media customer service game is good.

Your customers need to feel seen and heard, and social media is a convenient way to give them just that and at a fraction of the price of a customer service call center.

Here are three simple ways to shine at customer service with social media. Hone these skills and you’ll be building the kind of customer confidence and brand loyalty you’ve dreamed of.

Respond to customers quickly, and every time. 

The consumer strategy consultants at Convince & Convert have shown that more than 40% of customers expect a response in under an hour, while over 30% expect that response in under half an hour. In one single month, 150 million people send direct messages to businesses through Instagram, and three-quarters of those did so for customer service or support. It’s clear that people are more likely to trust, and therefore do repeat business, with a company they can message and expect a prompt response from. 

Setting up a dedicated customer service handle is a good idea, as this will filter most of the customer service messages to the correct place, enabling you to respond promptly. Make sure any messages that go to your main account are forwarded to the correct department.

Have an agent who’s trained in your business and skilled in customer service available to answer questions. If you can’t provide 24/7 customer support, your followers will understand, but manage their expectations by posting your hours and/or setting up an autoresponder to let them know when they can expect a response.

If you get many of the same type of customer service request, consider setting up a chatbot to respond to ease some of the pressure, or be proactive about making that information widely available on your page.

Build a customer advocacy base.

What is a customer advocacy base, and why do you need it? According to social media management platform Hootsuite, it’s a modern-day type of word-of-mouth marketing in which customers and employees who love your business — your biggest fans — actively sing your praises online. 

It takes time to build a customer advocacy base. One good way to do this is by being community-focused. Use Facebook groups to foster a sense of community and stay engaged with your customers, while creating an environment where they’re encouraged to get involved with each other. 

Many businesses like to reward their customer advocates with shout-outs and retweets, or by sending them merchandise, coupons, or even handwritten notes. 

A loyal customer advocacy base will go to bat for you in the event of negative comments or reviews, whether by responding to it directly or by simply being visible as trusted voices who negate the impact of one user’s less-than-ideal perception of your brand.

Search for your brand on social media — or just set up keyword monitoring.

Be proactive about monitoring your reputation. Sometimes customers will use social media to share an experience with your brand, without messaging you or directly tagging you in it. By having keyword monitoring to notify you if your brand gets mentioned, you get the opportunity to respond to their experience. 

If their experience, was less-than-stellar, this will give you a chance to show them you want to ensure you’re making it right. If their experience was great, you might decide to respond or even amplify that by sharing or retweeting it.

When your customers are happy with your products, you’ll have repeat customers. But when they also feel connected with your brand through your excellent customer service, you’ll have the type of loyalty that’s worth its weight in gold.

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