Social Media as a Customer Service Tool

Social media is climbing the charts in terms of the outlet shoppers are using to influence a purchasing decision.  Customers are choosing to connect with brands via social media, realize this and engage their audience with news, campaigns, deals and offers on their social media networks. Acquiring a new customer costs twice as much as retaining an old one.

How are these two points relevant? Well, because you can use your social media channels not only connect with customers, but to retain them as as well. You can use social media as an effective customer service tool. Statistics from this infographic from Social Media today show that eServices, like chat, social and the web, constitute 13% of incoming support requests at present. eService is expected to grow by 53% in the next year, with social media alone registering a 37% growth. Keeping this in mind, here are a few tips to effectively use social media for customer service.

Create a Separate Customer Service Channel: The first thing you should do is create a separate handle or page for your customer care/grievances section. This makes it easier to identify, plus, you can separate marketing campaigns from customer support. Use a similar tone and stick to the same branding tools so that customers know they are dealing with your company.

Be Prompt: Customers sometimes turn to social media because they feel they will be heard sooner. Be as prompt as you can, because an angry customer via email is corresponding with only you; while on social media anywhere from 100 to 1000 or more followers can view an angry comment or question. Respond as soon as you can and acknowledge that you have seen their comment or question; not more than 10 minutes. Similarly, if you are experiencing some technical issues with your website or phone lines, post regular updates on your social media streams so that customers are in the know.

Make it a Singe point of Contact: If you can, try and solve the problem at the point of contact. If a customer has a simple question related to availability or specifics of a product, let them know in a comment. Avoid asking them to call on a separate number or send an email.

Train Your Team: Most importantly, train your team. Especially in small companies, where employees handle more than one responsibility. Any employee might have to handle social media at a point in time, so training them on how to use your page and how to respond helps.