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How To Provide a Strong Customer Experience with Social Media Customer Service

February 20, 2023

If you’ve ever posted your frustrations about a brand online, raise your hand.

Trust us – you’re not alone. According to CFI group, more than a third of surveyed consumers report posting about their customer service experience on Facebook, followed closely by Instagram.

Though the creators of these social media platforms likely didn’t imagine that customers would use them to communicate with brands one day, it’s now clearly becoming more of a trend amongst consumers – especially those who had a poor experience and want to warn others online.

Whether brands are ready or not, the new wave of social media customer service is here. Taking it in stride and making room for it in the customer service department is now just as important as responding to customer inquiries through any other traditional support channel.

Exploring The Benefits Of Social Media Customer Service

Social media customer service is the support you offer customers on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

These platforms are fast-moving, so many customers choose to turn to social media to ask questions or raise concerns about a product or service because they feel that brands will respond quickly.

And, honestly, this is a totally valid assumption for your customers to make. Having their needs immediately met not only creates a better customer experience but also allows your brand to respond to inquiries instantly and increase the likelihood of making a sale within minutes.

Let’s explore a few key benefits that prove just how vital social media customer service is for your E-Commerce business in 2023.

1. Social Media Humanizes Your Brand

Social media provides a unique opportunity to make your brand feel more relatable and likable to customers.

Yes, you’re the expert – but your customers also want a peek behind the curtain to confirm who they’re buying from isn’t just a robot in a factory.

Use social media to show your personality, share BTS (behind the scene) content, and build a loyal customer following.

2. Manage Your Reputation With Social

Social media allows your brand to efficiently manage its reputation online by responding quickly to customers who voice praise or complaints. Today more than ever, customers are more likely to share feedback over Facebook and Twitter, and it doesn’t look good when a brand doesn’t reply – especially if the feedback is inherently negative.

By establishing social media as a support channel, your brand can leverage those negative experiences with a fast, helpful response that will address the issue and impress your current or potential customers.

3. Social Creates a Truly Omnichannel Customer Service Experience

Omnichannel customer service is the absolute pinnacle of a high-quality customer experience.

It not only increases customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving response and resolution times, but it also increases your CLTV and provides your brand with more data to improve future strategies and processes.

Social media allows you to meet your customers wherever they’re most comfortable while providing the same caliber of customer service they’d receive over live chat or phone support.

Our Best Practices For Providing Excellent Social Media Customer Service

Before diving headfirst into social media customer service, let’s review our list of best practices that our very own TalentPop agents use to support our clients.

1. Respond To Your Customers Quickly

Replying to customers as quickly as possible may sound like a given on any support channel, right?

However, fast response times are more of a high-stakes game for social media customer service because:

  • Customers want an immediate response when they reach out to a brand via social media, with 42% expecting one within 60 minutes.
  • Public feedback should have a reply from your brand to show other customers you care about their feedback.

Without a fast response (or any response at all – we don’t recommend this approach), you can risk alienating your customers, driving them toward your competitors, and incentivizing them to share their poor experience with other current and potential customers.

If you’re concerned about your team spending too much time mulling over a lengthy response, however, remind them that less is always more. Replies on social media should always be succinct (Twitter has a 280-character limit for a reason, folks!).

Here are a few pro tips to remember when replying to social media inquiries or reviews:

  • Greet the customer using their name. It makes them feel seen and heard by your brand, and people positively react to hearing their own name. It’s precisely why over 70% of customers expect a personalized experience when interacting with a brand.
  • Always acknowledge the customer’s feedback and thank them for sharing their experience with you, whether negative or positive.
  • Address the customer’s issue clearly and give them an actionable next step or conclusion, whether that’s to contact your customer service reps or let them know that a refund is on its way.

Here’s what a solid response to a customer complaint on social media might look like:

“Thanks for letting us know about the issues with your product, Steve. We’re sad to hear it’s not working for you as it should, and we totally get your frustration. Give us a call today at XXX-XXX, and we’ll help you sort out the problem ASAP.”

2. Reply To Each Customer’s Feedback On Social Media

We’ve spoken quite a bit about responding to negative feedback or product issues via social media customer service, but responding to positive feedback from customers creates a well-rounded view of your brand on your most-used platforms.

When happy customer Amber shares positive feedback about the new salted caramel iced coffee she tried this morning, she wants to be heard just as much as Suzie, who tagged the same coffee shop in a Twitter post about her dry muffin last week.

A reply to Amber’s praise might look something like this:

“OMG, Amber – you just made our day! We also love the new salted caramel iced coffee (pro tip: ask for it with our vanilla bean whipped cream next time. YUM as heck.). Thanks for sharing with us!”

Like your other channels, you can create a series of canned responses similar to the examples we shared that your agents can personalize and tweak as needed during interactions with customers online.

3. Know When To Handle A Social Post In Public Or Private

One of the keys to nailing your social media customer service is ensuring your team knows when to resolve an issue in public or private.

To help them make these determinations when they’re getting ready to address a post, comment, or question from a customer, outline an SOP they can follow.

For example, if a customer leaves feedback that doesn’t require action, your team can simply reply with, “Thanks for letting us know, {Customer Name}! We’ll be here if you need any assistance.”

Check out a similar Twitter exchange between Starbucks and a customer:

Starbuck's Reply to a Twitter Comment

However, for inquiries that require action, such as directing the customer to call or provide private details, your team should address the customer’s social media post or comment publicly and let them know how you plan to resolve it.

Check out this example with a JetBlue customer:

A Tweet From A JetBlue Customer

4. Use A Helpdesk To Monitor Customer Service Through Social Media

You didn’t think you had to manage social media customer service all alone, right?! Check out a few incredible helpdesks below that your brand can use to monitor your social media accounts and streamline customer service processes:

  • Gorgias
  • Re:amaze
  • Zendesk
  • Gladly
  • Richpanel

We love the features of these software options that allow you to create an omnichannel customer service experience, pull data to immediately address social media inquiries, and review analytics and reporting.

Become Truly Customer-Centric By Focusing On Social Media Customer Service In 2023

As a business that values its customers, you’re always seeking new ways to improve your customer experience and create a loyal customer base.

However, using social media as a customer service channel may feel daunting for many brands. After all, there are often more eyes on the interaction (if it occurs in a public Facebook post or tweet) than in a conversation via phone call or live chat.

But, as we move further into the digital age, becoming genuinely customer-centric means meeting your customers where they’re at and being willing to provide a great experience, no matter which channel of support they choose to contact your brand. Schedule a call with our team today if you’re ready to learn more about social media customer service and invest in your brand’s customer experience.

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