Five tips: How customer care can work on social media
People express their opinions on forums, post holiday snaps on Instagram or keep up with their friends on Facebook — social media has become a part of everyday life. And it’s growing. Every 15 seconds a new user joins one of today’s many platforms. We have five industry tips for successful customer support on social media.
According to recent estimates, customers spend, on average, roughly 30% of their day on social networks. Companies should therefore explore how they can integrate social media into their customer service strategy. These five industry tips can help with this1
1. Pursue a human approach
There is a great deal of traffic on social media. More than six million tweets are sent each second. Due to the increasing volume on online traffic, companies are worried that they will no longer be able to respond to customer inquiries. They are therefore trying to rely on automation. However, customers aren’t interested in automatically generated responses. Instead, they prefer meaningful and useful interactions with the people behind the brand.
Automation and other technical solutions should therefore be used primarily to take over standard tasks that the customer support staff would otherwise face. This frees them up to focus on interacting with customers.
Employing the right tone while interacting with customers, being able to provide customers with their name, and of course providing an answer to help resolve the customer’s issue all help customer service staff to build a positive relationship between the company and its customers. Does this go without saying? It should, but these are factors that many companies overlook.
2. Build a personal relationship
Customers like to feel valued, even once they’ve purchased a product or made use of a service. Admittedly, it can take a long time to build a relationship with customers via social media. But it’s worth it.
A good example of this was provided by a social-media customer support worker from an international grocery brand. He checked the stockrooms of every shop near a customer to find out if they had the particular kind of toothpaste she wanted. Because this was the only toothpaste that her young child would use without complaining.
This customer support worker not only prevented a potential temper tantrum, but also turned a customer into a fan who will likely continue to shop there and recommend the brand to others.
This brings us to our next point:
3. Create a social media community
Customers share their experiences of a brand on social media, rating both the company and its products. There will already be a great deal of chatter surrounding your company. If you do not engage with it, you’re passing up a valuable opportunity to establish a relationship with your customers.
Make sure that customers always get a response when they mention your product or company on social media, even if they’re not expecting one. You can also approach customers while they are discussing amongst themselves, ask people what they think of your products, or take part in events. This all helps to create a sense of community.
For example, in the run up to their anniversary as a company, one car manufacturer asked customers to share memories, photos and videos of their cars. This made them feel that they were part of a special event, rather than simply owners of a car taking them from point A to B.
4. Offer an effortless approach to customer service
As elsewhere, however, you can’t always please everybody on social media. You will have to deal with disgruntled customers on a regular basis on this platform, too. It’s important to handle this situation properly. A speedy response is the first step in winning back a customer’s trust. Customer support workers must demonstrate that they are really attending to the matter at hand. Just apologizing is not good enough. Every apology must be detailed, sincere, and show understanding of and sympathy with the customer’s situation. Furthermore, customer support staff should outline the next steps needed to resolve the customer’s problem — without requiring too much effort or expense on the part of the customer. Companies that don’t look after their customers risk losing them, often forever.
5. Be authentic
Brands and products are as individual as their customers and users, so there’s no universally applicable approach to customer care. Rather, it’s important that customer care reflects the core values of your brand on social media as well.
With a strategy based on authenticity, community and responsiveness, companies can successfully establish contact with their customers and make them feel that they are part of a group larger than themselves, and not just a number on a waiting list. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to fade out of your customers’ field of perception and drown in the sheer amount of content on social media.
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.
Image: © Production Perig – AdobeStock