How To Improve Your Customer Support on Social Media
Over 42% of consumers use social media to express direct complaints and expect a resolution within 60 minutes maximum; 32% will not wait longer than 30 minutes for a response.
All sessions from #SMWONE, our four-week virtual conference program, are now available on-demand.
There have been days when we didn’t need to worry about using social media as a customer support channel.
But today, it’s not even a question.
With over 42% of consumers using social media to express direct complains and anxiously expecting a resolution within 60 minutes maximum; 32% will not wait longer than 30 minutes for a response. The water gets even hotter as 52% of consumers expect the same response time during the night, on the weekends or outside the normal business hours.
Another study by Bain & Company found that companies offering support via social media end up attracting customers, who spend 20% to 40% more with their company.
And bad things happen when you ignore your customers on social media or throw in an inappropriate reply.
The post was seen by over 76,000 users. After eight hours all the company could manage to reply was:
Obviously by that time the harm was already made.
So, how do you get things right with your customer support on social media and online reputation?
Keep Separate Profiles For Support
By separating your support accounts from main profiles you don’t let support inquiries and marketing efforts mingle together in a tight knot. Larger companies should have two different teams – trained social customer service reps and social marketers to handle respective situations and build the brand in other ways.
This type of segmentation will not only save you time and often save your face, but will also make your analytical data more meaningful:
- Social media marketing KPIs are typically based on how your audience responses to certain content.
- Social customer support KPIs are more about engagement statistics such as response rate and response time.
Identify The Best Platform To Offer Support
Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat (dubbed as the future of customer service) – which one is the best channel to connect with the majority of your customer fast?
Unless you are ready to invest into a multi-channel social customer support team, focus on determining where your customers are first. The best platform for one business (e.g. Twitter) can be completely useless for you.
This could be done by creating a quick customer survey with Typeform placed on your site or sent via email to existing clients.
For instance, KLM airlines know that their most valuable customers are on LinkedIn. So the company recently created a special 24/7 LinkedIn support group to address all the passenger queries:
Don’t assume that Twitter or Facebook is the best support channel for your audience just because you spend a lot of time there.
Clearly Outline Your Support Hours
There’s nothing more frustrating for customers than sending their request into the vacuum and wondering whether it was read or not.
The worst response to an upset customer is silence.
By adding a quick line stating your support business hours and approximate response time you save yourself from the embarrassment of a complaint going viral.
Monitor and Manage Your Social Media Mentions More Efficiently
There’s no need to stare at your social media feed all day long unless you are experiencing a crisis of course. Yet, you wouldn’t like to miss a single request or complain either.
Here’s how to solve the equation. Spice up your social customer support toolkit with the right apps:
Social Mention – free social search engine & analytics tool to monitor your brand name mentions across different networks. You can set alerts to receive email notifications when you get mentioned.
Mention – an advanced analytics & paid tool stashed with additional functionality to monitor yours and your competitors brand mentions across the web. Additionally you can use it to connect and interact with niche influencers.
RepRevive – manage your customers’ expectations and reviews before they go public. A handy website plugin to segment and manage all customer reviews on site. Encourage the good ones to get shared on social media and offer additional investigations for not-that-positive experiences.
Pro tip: Additionally, you may need to search for not so obvious brand mentions manually. In fact, just 3% of brand mentions come with a Twitter handle, when the vast majority of users opt to use the company or product name instead. Also, not all the customers may type of your brand name or Twitter handle right.
Adopt The Right Tone of Voice
The tone of voice you use is crucially important in your customer support. Here are a few cues to help you choose the right wording and tone:
- Did the customer use emoticons, slang and exclamation points? (This is a green light for you to reciprocate)
- Did the customer sound like they are not completely fluent in your language? (Don’t use slang and opt for simple, straight-to-the-point explanations)
- Did the customer sound really frustrated? (Use the apologetic, reassuring and empathetic tone to avoid further escalation).
Here are a few great examples of how the companies played it right:
By offering support via social media, you can build stronger relationships with them and in turn, create a more loyal following and even get some product evangelist on board.
Loyal customers are the easiest way to grow your business in the long-term and keep it flourish!
Sign up here for our weekly digest of top articles, industry news, and conference announcements
Learn more about the next edition of Social Media Week, and how you and your organization can join us for an incredible week!
Write for Us
Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.