Now more than ever, great customer service is a must with any business. With the emergence of social media in the last two decades, the internet has made a new way for businesses to communicate with their customers. When companies combine social media with their customer service, they can reach consumers in a new and effective way.
In this blog, we will review 5 ways you can use social media customer service to benefit you and your small business. Most of the tools that we use and recommend at Elemental Plans are because of their wonderful customer service. We believe that customer service should be a top priority for any client we work with and pride ourselves in providing that as well. So read on to find out how you can improve your customer service through social media.
1. Focus Efforts
The first deciding factor in providing excellent customer service should be where to focus your efforts on. You don’t want to be available and active on platforms that aren’t being used by your customers. That’s wasted resources and time on your end to provide support where it’s not needed.
Most popular platforms to focus on for companies include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Honing in on which platforms your customers use most is very beneficial. Which platforms do you spend the most time on? How much does your audience engage with the content on each platform? Choose the ones with the most engagement and work from there to provide assistance. However, don't ignore the other platforms you have. If a customer reaches out and never hears from you, you may have lost them.
2. Comments/Direct Messages
The most popular social media giant of this generation is of course Facebook. If your business doesn’t have its own Facebook Business page, you’re missing out on an endless amount of opportunities for your business to grow. Not only are you able to grow your customer base, but by utilizing tools like commenting and direct messaging, you are able to foster a relationship with your consumers by providing great customer support.
Many customers take to social media to voice their concerns and issues rather than calling a hotline number because it can be easier for them. To foster great customer service, responding in a timely manner is a must. The best practice in instances of complaints or issues in comments is to issue a simple reply stating an apology and that you are sending them a private message. That way, other consumers can see that you have reached out and are handling it. This gives a more personal feel to interactions and can create a great relationship with consumers and your business. Making your business more human to them and others.
Timing is probably the second most important factor in great customer service on social media. Customers are looking for a prompt response, and even though they may not realize that you have a million other things to do, their problem is more important to them. Responding within a timely manner makes the customer feel like they are being put first and made a priority, fostering a better relationship with them.
The benefit of social media is that other users can also see your prompt response and your motivation to resolve their issues. They get a view of how you handle customer complaints which can also help foster a good relationship, even with a potential consumer of yours.
4. Filter the Noise
For most small businesses, this may not be a huge issue, but for some companies, it can become overwhelming to sort through all the mentions and comments from users on social media to determine which ones need to be prioritized. Much of the activity that companies can see are just mentions and tags that don’t need a response right away. What companies need to focus on is the comments and mentions that do require a prompt response. Now, how does a business go about this?
Depending on the volume of activity compared to customer support, technology can be utilized to sift through the noise. Customer service support platforms are a great way to combine customer information in one place so that you can see history and get more context on different situations. If you would like recommendations on customer support platforms, reach out to us, and we can help you determine what would be the best fit for your small business.
5. Go Above and Beyond
Another great benefit of social media is the ease of being able to communicate with customers. This makes it easier to provide excellent support by going above and beyond what consumers expect. There are different ways that you can go above and beyond with your customers and here are a few:
Interact, even without a customer complaint. If a customer mentions you or tags your brand in a post, interact with them. It can be a simple comment expressing your thanks for their support of your business. It shows others that you are engaging and paying attention to your customers. (Also helps to boost your reach and engagement rates.)
Follow up with complaints and issues. You have a trail of messages back and forth, so check in with them. It’s been a couple of days, was everything resolved? Is there anything else you can help them with? It shows that you are attentive and care about your customer’s experience.
Feature customers! You can retweet on Twitter, share a post on Facebook, or stitch a video on TikTok. Show customers that you appreciate them by promoting their content on your newsfeed!
As you can see, there are so many ways to create great customer service through social media and it doesn’t take as much effort as one might think. With a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of typing, you can create great customer service without paying an exorbitant amount of money or sitting on the phone for hours being berated by customers. The internet is here to stay, utilize it to its fullest!
Qualtrics, “What is social media customer service?”, Qualtrics, https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/customer/social-media-customer-service/, Accessed January 3, 2023
Zendesk Blog, “Providing great social media customer service”, Molly Murphy, March 12, 2022, https://www.zendesk.com/blog/customer-service-through-social-media/, Accessed January 3, 2023