5 ways to wow with customer service on social media

Socialized support

As a small business owner, you know how important it is to show your guests excellent customer service, but did you know that consumers’ high expectations also carry over to your social media presence? Droves of customers are turning to social media to effectively get their problems resolved. Time is a commodity.

In fact, 33% of consumers prefer to contact brands on social media rather than with a phone call.

Social media is quick, public and a heck of a lot less painful than waiting on hold.

 

This means that each and every mention, comment and post that comes in for your business on social media has the power to influence a customer’s opinion of your business and his or her likelihood to come by for a visit.

Skillfully handling customer questions and requests on your business’s social media pages can be the difference between impressing a customer or losing their business.

5 ways to wow with customer service on social media

Here’s how to up your customer service game on social media to keep your customers coming back again and again:

  1. Listen.
  2. Always respond.
  3. Respond in a timely manner.
  4. Ask questions.
  5. Be personable.

Related: Beginner’s guide to social media for small business

1. Listen

Customer Service Social Media Talking Into Tin Can

Just because your business has a social media presence doesn’t mean you’re truly listening and providing good customer service.

You might already be monitoring the conversations about your brand. But social listening requires more. You need to absorb the information and the conversations taking place while also being able to provide additional insight.

Every conversation in your social listening feed offers something of value. You just have to pay attention.

As an example, let’s turn the tables.

Consider the last time you needed to call customer service. Did the customer service representative take down your request and provide one of the top three solutions to any problem? Or did the rep actually answer your questions in a quick yet personal and satisfactory way? As a customer in that situation, you were seeking resolution of your issue, not just simply that someone was available to service your complaint.

The primary lesson: You cannot simply implement social monitoring. You must engage in social listening to truly provide a better customer experience.

Twitter is a great tool for social listening because you can see all tweets from any user with a public profile.

Twitter also offers a number of integrated, free listening tools. If you are managing accounts across multiple social media platforms, here’s a good rundown of other tools at your fingertips.

Also, is your social media management integrated with your customer service operation?

In larger organizations, the marketing and communications department may own social media channels while traditional customer service is handled through a separate process. In that case, you’ll want to make sure both functions are coordinated so you can manage the inquiries efficiently and effectively.

One final point on social media listening for better customer service is to realize that customer requests and expectations will continue to evolve over time.

A solid social listening strategy will require iterative assessments, audits and updates.

 

Your customers will move to new social networks and find new ways to communicate with you.

Related: Best practices for online customer service

2. Always respond

If a customer at your store or restaurant approached with a question, you’d help them find the answer. It’s the same on social media.

Engaging with your customers online helps them feel heard.

Customers are three times more likely to recommend your business after a positive social media customer service interaction.

Many of these reach-outs from your current and potential customers on social media will be requests for business information, questions about your products and services, real-time notifications of their visit to your business, or descriptions of previous experiences.

It’s important to respond to all of these communications in order to seem accessible, appreciative and responsive to your customers.

Related: The best tips for responding to online reviews

3. Respond in a timely manner

When customers reach out to you on social media with questions or comments, make sure that they get a response in a timely manner.

If it’s a complaint, you don’t want to let it fester unresolved.

And if it’s positive feedback, you don’t want to let those comments sit without saying, “thank you.”

A survey from Edison Research found that two out of every three people who engage with a company on social media expect a response the same day. Not only do customers want a fast response, but they want the response to be personalized to their specific problem.

Expectations run high. But the good news is that there’s a strong customer service payoff for brands who are on top of their social media game.

When they see management respond to reviews, 78% of consumers say they are more likely to believe that the business cares about them and their feedback.

You can do this by monitoring your Facebook and Twitter closely for any reviews, questions, mentions, complaints or concerns. Responding in a timely fashion, to both positive feedback and questions and concerns, is a great way to impress your customers and show them you’re listening.

Related: The small business owner’s guide to smart customer responses

4. Ask questions

When an issue is sensitive, don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can better get to the core of the issue.

A complaint or concern that comes in on your social media channels might not be something you were even aware of in-house. So, when responding to this kind of review, ask questions like, “What night did you come in for dinner?” or “Can you tell us what you ordered?”

You can also reach out to your staff to get a better understanding of what might have occurred to help inform your response to that customer.

If it really does seem to be an error your business made, apologize and ask for another chance to show the customer a better experience.

If it seems like the kind of issue that would be resolved more quickly offline, send your business’ email and phone number, so the customer can reach your business directly.

Related: 5 ways to manage your restaurants online reviews — good and bad

5. Be personable

Remember, your responses aren’t just for the person who reached out, but for anyone who might be checking out your business online.

Here’s how you can respond to both customer concerns and positive feedback:

  • Use the customer’s name.
  • Thank the customer for reaching out.
  • Pick out details the customer mentioned and address them directly.
  • Apologize if necessary and ask questions.
  • Be friendly, but keep it professional.

Above all, just remember to be you.

Your personable response will go a long way for your customers.

Taking the time to make your online customer service as exceptional on social media as it is in person will impress your customers and keep them coming back to your business!

Need some extra help with your social media customer service efforts? GoDaddy Social can help you extend your customer service online and elevate your social media marketing strategy to engage with your customers like never before.

This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Bryant Tutterow.