How can I maintain successful customer service on social media?

customer-service

Did you know that 67% of U.S. consumers have used a company’s social media site to ask questions, report satisfaction, or to complain? That means your customers will inevitably take to Facebook, Yelp, or Twitter to talk about your brand.

The question creating stress for many businesses is: Are you ready to field questions, comments, and criticisms from your customers on social media? Providing attentive customer service on social media sites doesn’t need to be stressful.

Whether it is the good, the bad or the ugly, your customer’s comments matter. Here are 7 ways to respond to a variety of comments from your customers on social networks:

The Good

Positive comments and questions are the low-hanging fruit of social media customer service. If you respond to them quickly, you can easily build trust and rapport with your community.

  • Always respond to positive comments. Many social media managers are so relieved to see positive and neutral comments that they feel no sense of urgency in replying to them. However, a response should be mandatory. It shows that your brand is ready to interact with the public on social media and that positive feedback is happily received and conversations are encouraged.
  • Mention the person’s name. This ensures that your response makes it to their notifications queue. A simple “thank you [person’s name]!” provides recognition of your customer in a way that they can appreciate and share with others.
  • Answer questions as quickly as possible. Answering questions promptly demonstrates excellent customer service, and shows that your brand is truly social. The consequence of not answering questions can be grave: Conversocial reports that 88% of consumers are less likely to purchase from a company that leaves questions on social media unanswered.

The Bad

People use social media to give voice to grievances that might otherwise go unheard. Remind yourself of this when you notice negative feedback about your brand on social media, and consider it as an opportunity to address their concerns and improve your services.

  • Don’t use a generic response. Oftentimes, when a person complains about a brand on social media, they’ve already tried and failed to reach a customer service department by phone or email. That means replying with a simple “contact our customer service department at ___” may only serve to enrage the customer. Remember that they’ve contacted your brand on Facebook or Twitter because they expect a response on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Reply to the comment with a request for a phone call. Give them your direct line so that they don’t have to explain their concerns to someone who has no context of the situation. This will make the customer feel that their needs are heard, and that they’re a valuable enough customer to warrant a personal response.

The Ugly

Trolling is every social media manager’s worst nightmare. Internet trolls are people who post offensive and insulting comments with little or no meaningful context. Comments left on your company page by trolls may make you feel hurt, angry, or even scared, but the worst thing you can do is ignore these types of comments.

  • Monitor comments on your company’s posts and intervene if necessary. The best way to minimize trolling is to call it out.If the conversation in a comment string turns to name calling, reply and ask your fans to refrain from personal attacks and insults. Ask them to share useful information that supports their opinions.
  • Create a code of conduct. If you encounter “repeat trolls” or community members that regularly post content that spark heated discussions, your brand should consider implementing a social media code of conduct. The code of conduct can require fans to refrain from obscenities, personal attacks, or other antisocial activities. You may also reserve the right to delete offensive comments in your social media code of conduct.

Are you a social media manager or brand page administrator? What are your tips for providing exceptional social media customer service?

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