Handling Customer Service on Social Media Accounts
Social media provides businesses with the most direct line to their customers imaginable. This is an incredible tool to launch new products, share company news, and test marketing strategies. Of course, that line works both ways, and customers now have unprecedented access to their favorite brands. This is usually a good thing, but social managers must always be vigilant about complaints, bad reviews, and dissatisfied customers. Here are a few tips and recommendations about best practices to deal with customers positively in the digital age.
Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open
It’s impossible to know what everyone is saying about your business on the vast internet, right? That’s essentially true, but reputation management software and social listening tools are crucial investments to stay ahead of negative chatter. When someone is talking badly about your company, these programs will alert social managers who can have customer service specialists investigate and try to resolve the matter.
Handle Public Complaints Respectively (and Take Them Private)
The biggest customer service nightmare that social media presents is the very public exposure to complaints of any kind. Customers who feel they have been wronged will quickly take the opportunity to tag or mention your accounts and lay them bare for all to see. While you would hope this would be done through proper channels (including direct or private messages on social), you must accept that public complaints are inevitable. The best thing you can do is apologize without being defensive or taking unnecessary blame. Then tell the customer publicly that you will reach out to them privately or ask them to send a direct message. Your other followers will see and respect this.
Respond to Questions in a Timely Manner
A less urgent but equally important customer service consideration is responding to questions in comments or when tagged. You want to do this as quickly as practical. If the question is simple, post the answer conversationally for all to see. If it’s not, either encourage the customer to connect privately, or send them a link to your FAQs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Promote the Quality of Your Customer Service
Finally, realize that it’s okay to show off on your social accounts! Share positive reviews. Post success stories. Don’t hesitate to solicit testimonials from major customers. This can be invaluable marketing capital that costs you next to nothing.
Social media has changed the way we interact with customers, but the fundamentals of communication and resolution are the same as they’ve always been. Keep these tips in mind when setting up your best practices for engaging with customers on social, and you should be able to keep your interactions mostly positive and productive!