It’s time to talk about the elephant in your marketing department and no, I’m not talking about that outdated marketing plan. I’m talking about your lackluster customer service social media strategy.
It’s time to stop putting social media on the back burner. Research from JD Power estimates that 67% of consumers head to social media for customer service. Further, Gartner found that brands that ignore inquiries via social channels can increase churn by 15%. But it’s not all doom and gloom! Customers who have a positive social media customer service interaction are three times as likely to recommend your brand to a friend.
Now that I’ve got your attention, here are the 5 keys to social media customer service success:
1. Stop being afraid of your customers. Your customers are your greatest asset and it’s time to start putting that mantra into practice by interacting with them on social media. Not all customer service interactions on social media are negative, and sometimes, you can glean powerful insights that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
2. Be where your customers are! Whether your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or even Q&A sites like Quora, you need to be there and ready to attend to their needs. Each channel has specific capabilities that lend themselves to customer interactions, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on overall industry trends so that you can use these platforms intelligently and effectively.
3. Respond quickly! When your customers reach out on social media, they are metaphorically banging on your door for an answer. Many times there is an urgent need that can be solved quickly simply by providing a direct support contact or even pointing them to existing collateral on your website. Whatever the case, you should strive to respond initially in 2 hours or less.
4. Communicate humanly & honestly. Don’t forget that customer service is about the customer. Even though this communication is happening via the web, we’re still talking about person-to-person interaction. It’s important to show your customers you care and that you are working to answer their request in a timely manner. Transparency is also key in this communication—be clear about the timeline of their request and the process for next steps after the initial touch point.
5. Get the right partner. Social media customer service can seem like a daunting task, but with the right agency partner and process, you can put your customer service nightmares to rest. What makes up the right social media partner? A team of collaborators. Customer service should not be siloed, so the right agency partner will work with you not only to build an overall strategy, but also to share customer feedback and inquiries in real time.
At SSPR, we are as passionate about customer service as we are about all aspects of social media management. Our specialized team of seasoned social media experts are strategic thinkers who meet challenges head-on with an agile and collaborative approach. We’re here to help elevate your brand’s social media presence through a robust management strategy customized to your needs. What social media challenges are you facing? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!