Customer Service Strategies in a Digital World
How you handle customer service can make or break your company online. Customer complaining on social media channels needs to be dealt with in a timely and professional manner. Do not avoid replying to both positive and negative reviews and comments. Best to have some well-defined responses ready depending on the review or comment in question.
With social media being so prevalent, users often take to their favourite channel with their complaints.
75% of users surveyed said they include social media when evaluating a purchase.
32% want a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response in under an hour!
When you set up your social media keep that in mind.
How to use social media for customer service
Using social media to manage customer complaints may seem like a burden but the payoff is repeat business and happy customers.
Users often take to the majors like Twitter and Facebook. Don’t shy away from either even if you’ve received some nasty feedback in the past.
When you initially set up your accounts you entered an email to register and you’ve probably noticed unless you changed the settings you get an email every time someone is active on your page/profile.
If you find this bothersome try creating an email like firstname.lastname@example.org that forwards to your own account or the account of an employee whose job it is to monitor your online presence.
If it’s directed to your own email create a folder or label specifically for customer service or PR that these emails automatically go to. Don’t let it get lost in your emails though or you’ll miss alerts.
*Depending on your email setup this will vary in execution*
These alerts will let you know when you have a new comment or message on your profile.
When you get one have a response protocol ready. You don’t want to jump on a complaint and then have to wait 2 days for a decision-maker to draft their response.
One single meeting with your team on customer service/PR protocol on social platforms can save you a lot of headaches.
Have canned responses ready
Canned responses refer to an automatically generated response that is prompted by the user contacting you. You may have seen these in the past and wondered how they get set up; now you get to set them up for yourself:
Twitter rolled out some great tools last year for users who operate their business online:
That link allows you to upgrade your account with messages that will automatically send to anyone who messages you directly and will show users that you provide this option.
This is a great signal to Google too – that you’re serious about your business and helping customers.
If you want more help using Twitter try our section dedicated to using Twitter for business.
Facebook also allows you to set up your account to help communicate with customers via instant messaging. To turn on instant replies to any instant message to your business’s page follow these instructions:
To turn on Instant Replies for your Page:
To turn off Instant Replies:
You can direct users in both instances towards a contact email or simply let them know you’ll review their message within the next 24 hours and respond.
Once you have these set up, how you use them is entirely up to you. Each were only available within the last 2 years so not all businesses have adapted yet but those that have done it have set user’s expectations.
For more tips on using Facebook look at our section all about using Facebook to grow your business.
Monitor your reviews
Whether it’s Yelp (who’s results are now actually trending in SERPs) Google reviews, or Facebook reviews (if you have them turned on) it’s very important to stay on top of your reviews. There could be even more players in your niche so be on the lookout for sites dedicated to reviewing your products or services.
If you get a bad one you don’t want to remove it. That would defeat the purposes of the reviews.
Instead use the platform’s response option to address the reviewer’s concerns.
By demonstrating to users you take their feedback and complaints seriously you show them they can trust they’ll be treated with the same respect should things go wrong between you and them.
The point of PR and customer feedback should not be to defend yourself outright.
While some users may be serial complainers or even thieves always assume the best in the customer.
Use their complaint or question as an opportunity to possibly address something within your business you should have paid attention to a long time ago.
Often you’ll find the customer has either made an error or there’s a genuine issue you need to address with your business.
Whatever the case, keep in mind what you post will be what users see when reading up on your company. Not only that but Google looks for signals of a bad business in online engagement and reviews as well.
Just because a lot of customer service has moved online doesn’t change the fact that your business needs to give a good impression to potential users/customers. Put a smile on people’s faces as much as possible and your social media can really help you grow.
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