Customer service used to simply mean handling calls over the phone or through email. In recent years chat became popular as a way to get live interaction.
Today, modern consumers enjoy the benefits of communicating through social media customer service when they have a question or problem. This is important regardless of what’s sold or the service performed by the company.
Discover six ways to really engage with customers and make your company stand out with these six tips on interacting within social media.
1. Focus on Interacting With All Customers
Having meaningful interactions with all your customers is key to helping them feel like their voice gets heard. When utilizing platforms like Twitter and Facebook, interact with folks in a way that feels natural.
Having an informal presence makes it easier for people to connect and see the brand as human, rather than too uptight or corporate. If folks are joking around and mentioning your company, joke back with them (in a professional manner, of course).
This makes it simple to connect and people appreciate a company that listens to them, no matter what’s going on.
2. Create Your Own Hashtag
Hashtags offers a simple way for people and companies to connect when talking about a brand, product or service. Consider what you offer to customers and what hashtag provides a fun and catchy way of associating with your brand.
Create a hashtag that allows you to easily connect and meet with your customers across all forms of social media. It could be anything from a catchphrase to your company name.
Use the hashtag in your posts and encourage customers to do the same, so you can easily track them.
3. Make Replies a Priority for Social Media Customer Service
When it comes to providing social media customer service, folks want quick interactions. Not only does this show you’re listening, it’s a viable form of providing customers service unlike waiting on the phone or an email that gets returned a day later.
Depending on the size of your company, having shifts for this position can help ensure customers get timely replies. Know how to prioritize replies when interacting with people.
Focus on emergencies and direct interactions first, since those need the most attention. But make a point to speak with everyone who contacts you, and you’ll feel confident about the service you deliver.
4. Listen Even When Not Getting a Direct Mention
If your social media support person pays attention to customers talking about the company, even when it’s not tagged, this is a bonus when interacting. It shows your company cares about folks, their opinion of the business, and wants to help solve problems.
Searching for the company name and peeking at what people say is helpful and shows initiative on the company’s behalf. If you find customers talking to each other about the company and sharing their experience or asking a question, you can step in and offer helpful advice.
This helps them solve their problem before they even contact someone in customer service. It goes a long way in making them feel valued and ready to come back to the company again in the future.
Even if it’s simply friendly chit-chat, it shows your business is listening and wants to be there to help.
5. Public vs. Private: How to Respond
When assisting a customer with service via social media, not all replies or interactions have a friendly overtone. There’s times when customers feel genuinely frustrated or want assistance with a problem and can’t get help through the regular channels.
First, evaluate the problem, and find out what’s going on. If it’s a simple question or comment, responding in public helps other customers who have the same question and want an answer.
If it’s a bad experience or something highly personal, it’s helpful to respond via a private message (PM) or direct message (DM). Then, reach out to the customer in public and let them know you’ve contacted them.
Offering a phone number and inviting them to reach out shows other customers you care about their experience and want to help them. Even when you feel like the situation is difficult and you don’t know how to make this particular customer happy, reaching out in public makes a world of difference and prevents problems from escalating.
6. No Matter What, Positivity Rules
Even on your most trying days, understand that staying positive is important, no matter what kind of business you’re in. From interacting with folks on the phone or even support through your company’s app, realize that customer service is a form of self-promotion.
You’ll need to provide quality help to ensure people come back and use your company in the future. This seems daunting, especially when interacting with social media, where other customers can see what’s going on.
Focus on providing direct solutions to problems, and inviting customers to contact you for further help. This defuses the situation and solves their issue, without making it a public spectacle.
Even if the customer isn’t always happy with the outcome, folks who see what they’ve posted on social media see that your company is making an effort. This speaks volumes for your business and acts as a testament to how much you care about the experience of those who purchase from you.
Social media customer service has grown in popularity over the years. Knowing how to leverage this form of customer service and promotion is important to grow.
If you’re looking for help with specific social media platforms, we’ve got you covered. Check out our blog on how to get started with Instagram marketing, and see how you can reach out to customers on this fun and visual tool.