The Importance Of Social Media Customer Service:
As more and more businesses join social media, it is inevitable that customers will continually turn to these channels to ask questions, give feedback and possibly make complaints. Ensuring your business responds to all of these with exceptional customer service skills is crucial in determining how your brand and online reputation will be perceived in the eyes of consumers.
In this article we’ll outline the benefits of exceptional customer service as well as some tips on how to respond to both negative and positive comments.
Benefits of social media customer service
The benefits of social media customer service may be greater than you initially think. Some may see responding to comments as a chore or even irrelevant, but if you’re not responding to all your customers’ comments, you’re missing out on an opportunity to build strong long-lasting relationships which will positively reinforce your brands reputation and encourage positive word of mouth. Responding to customers on a personal level will ensure they feel valued and appreciate that they’re not receiving a generic response or worse yet, nothing at all. Think about a time when you’ve received fantastic customer service in a shop, cafe or restaurant. Were you happy after the experience? Did you tell your friends about it? Would you recommend the business to others? The same applies to social media customer service! If people are happy with how you’re responding to their questions/comments, chances are they’ll recommend you to others and will purchase from you again because of the great experience.
Responding to positive comments
These are definitely the easiest comments to respond to as there’s no conflict to resolve. While simply thanking the person who has left a positive comment is a great way of recognizing them, we suggest putting a little more effort into your response by starting up a conversation. If a customer has commented on how much they love their new product from your store for example, ask them why they liked it so much. Having a friendly conversation with customers (as if you’re old friends) will build stronger relationships and you may even score additional feedback about your product/service. As a result, customers will feel valued and more likely to recommend you to others.
Responding to negative comments
How you respond to negative comments can be crucial for your brands image. You DO NOT want to ignore these comments and you’ll need to choose your words wisely so you’re not adding fuel to the fire. We suggest firstly acknowledging the fans frustration before offering any type of solution as this shows the customer that you see their point of view. After this, you can offer a resolution of some sort and even ask how else you can help the customer. Going above and beyond to ensure the dispute is resolved reflects well upon your brand and shows that you’re committed to making sure your customers are happy. If the negative comment is quite offensive or you find the conversation is becoming too much for everyone to see, you can always ask the customer to contact you via a direct message or inbox.
Time is of the essence
One final important point to remember is that when responding to your fans, time is of the essence. Social media never sleeps, which means you could be getting comments or complaints on your page at 2:00am. You need to stay on top of things and be sure to respond ASAP as people can, and usually will, become increasingly frustrated the longer they wait for replies. While the best strategy would be to check your social media pages every few minutes, we understand that in most cases this simply isn’t practical. We suggest checking your social media pages at least 3 times a day; first thing in the morning when you get to work, midday and finally just before you leave work. People will be grateful for your quick response!
How have you been responding to customers on your social media pages? Do you believe great customer service will build long-lasting relationships with customers?