As a small business owner, you know how important it is to show your guests excellent customer service. But, did you know that consumers expect top-notch social media customer service as well? More customers are turning to social media every day to get their problems solved and their issues resolved.
This means that your interaction with every mention, comment, review and post on social media has the power to influence your customers and their likelihood to come by for a visit. If you handle their requests, questions and comments with care, it can be the difference between winning their brand loyalty or losing their business.
4 ways to wow with social media customer service
Here’s how to up your customer service game on social media to keep your customers engaged with your brand and coming back for more:
- Practice social listening.
- Respond to everything.
- Respond as quickly as possible.
- Be pleasant, polite and professional.
1. Practice social listening
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 online about your brand before being able to provide assistance to your customers.
Make social listening a part of your social media management strategy to provide the best customer service possible. Monitor platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter taking note of your mentions and customer interactions.
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’re managing accounts across multiple social media platforms, here’s a good rundown of other tools at your fingertips.
Also, be sure to organize and analyze the feedback you’re getting on sites like Google and Yelp. Customer reviews will help you get a grip on things you’re doing really well and areas that need improvement.
In some larger organizations, the marketing department owns the social media channels while another team handles customer service interactions. Make sure all teams are working together to monitor and manage all of your inquiries in an efficient, effective and on-brand way.
Customer requests and expectations will continue to evolve over time, and your customers will continually move to new social networks and find new ways to communicate with you. So, make sure your social listening strategy is evolving — a solid strategy will require lots of updates and audits.
2. Respond to everything
Customers are three times more likely to recommend your business after a satisfying 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 or descriptions of previous experiences. Sometimes customers want to tag you or comment to let you know they like what you’re doing. Even if it’s just an emoji, a response can go a long way. Give your customers the response they’re looking for.
And, be especially responsive when it comes to reviews and recommendations. Five-star reviews can make you feel proud. One-star reviews can be frustrating. Three-star reviews can be ambiguous. But, the important thing to recognize is that all of your reviews and recommendations are opportunities to win over a customer who didn’t have a great experience, or simply thank a reviewer for visiting your business.
And, business owners know that handling customer feedback is not always a happy process. When an issue is sensitive, don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can better get to the core of the issue. Reach out to your staff to get a better understanding of what might have occurred to help inform your response to that customer. Apologize if necessary. If it seems like the kind of issue that could be resolved offline, provide your business email and phone number so the customer can reach out directly.
With this kind of social media customer service, you have the ability to make your customers feel heard and appreciated with every interaction.
3. Respond as quickly as possible
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 praise, you don’t want to go too long without thanking your happy customers.
You can practice excellent social media customer service by monitoring your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter closely for any reviews, questions, mentions, complaints and concerns. Responding as quickly as possible, to both positive and negative feedback, is a great way to impress your customers and show them you’re listening.
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. Be responsive and they’ll stay loyal to your brand.
4. Be pleasant, polite and professional
Remember, your responses aren’t just for the person who reached out, but for anyone who might be checking out your social media and review site pages. Integrate the three Ps into your social media customer service response strategy. Be pleasant, polite and professional, even when the feedback is tough.
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.
- Keep it short and sweet.
Above all, just remember to be you.
Your personable response will go a long way for your customers.
Taking the time to make your social media customer service exceptional 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.
Image by: Blake Wisz