There was a time not so long ago when all customer service was handled over the phone or in person. If a consumer couldn’t come into a store or a business to make their complaint or voice their question or concern, they would do so via the telephone. This system was in place for decades without much change, other than a few tweaks to make the process faster and more efficient for call center agents and less time-consuming for callers.
Times have changed, though. These days, consumers are shopping in many different ways - and that demands customer service that comes in many different forms. Just as a customer is less likely to buy their goods in-store from a traditional brick-and-mortar location in the modern day, so are they less likely to seek customer service from a traditional contact center phone call.
This is why your agents must be trained in handling - and never neglect their duties in - social media customer service.
What is Social Media Customer Service?
Before you can excel in providing social media customer service, you first must understand what it is.
Strictly speaking, social media customer service is just the provision of customer support via any social media platform. This can come in many forms, including but not limited to:
- Messaging via social media messenger programs.
- Replying to comments left on a company’s social media posts.
- Sharing posts made by consumers to use as social proof.
While customer service on these platforms can be quick and convenient, it can also be tricky to get just right. There is a delicate balancing act between brevity and warmth, between fun and formality that your agents must be able to strike to make the best use of social media in serving customers.
Training your staff toward the proper use of social media for customer service purposes is vital if you intend to use it for this. While most of your employees probably already know the basics of how at least one major social media platform works, they aren’t likely to understand the infer points of providing customer support through these channels - and are even less likely to be properly trained across multiple platforms. If you want to enjoy the benefits of social media customer service in your facility, investing in proper preparation and training is important.
How Does This Meet the Needs of Today’s Customer?
Curious as to why social media customer service is so important to meeting the needs of your consumers? Approximately a third of modern consumers polled prefer using social media instead of telephone or email. This means that social media is likely to be the preferred method of communication for a generous portion of your consumer base!
Utilizing social media as a way to provide service to your customers also meets them where they are. This shows your consumers that they are valuable to you - that you share their values and ideals. For younger consumers, it also gives them the feeling that your company is on their level and relevant to their interests.
There are so many reasons to consider incorporating social media into your customer service approach, but perhaps one of the strongest arguments for doing so is that your competitors already are. If they haven’t already adopted the addition to traditional customer service procedures, they are probably considering it. To stay ahead of the curve - and ahead of the competition - it’s important to learn how to properly employ social media as a customer service tool. Your consumers will love you for it - but your competitors definitely won’t!
How to Make Sure You Don’t Miss the Boat on Social Media Customer Service
If you’ve gotten this far but are feeling skeptical, it’s probably because you’re worried about spreading your staff too thinly. Your team is already providing customer service via traditional methods like voice exchanges over the phone and email campaigns. How can you expect your agents to make time to also provide social media customer service?
There are two ways you can accomplish this. You can employ either of these methods or use them in combination - it’s all about what works best for your facility and staff.
The first approach is dedicating a small portion of your staff to social media response and engagement. In some cases, this may be a single person, part-time. In other cases, it may involve a team of people who take on the task full-time. Again, who and how much time you dedicate to handling your social media is truly dependent on what the needs of your company are and how you plan to utilize the tool.
The second approach is to automate the process. For companies who don’t need to have a personalized response to every tweet, Facebook post, or message that comes in at all hours of the day, this can be a good option. A software program automates the process of posting pre-written content at specified times, sending automated replies to messages during out-of-office hours, and cycling through content to keep pages fresh and current. This takes the burden off your actual agents and frees your team up to only respond to posts and messages that require longer replies with a more personal touch.
Whatever you choose to do - combine these approaches or choose only one - outfitting your operation with the necessary tools and technology is an important part of the process. To get your facility up to speed with the demands of social media customer service, contact the industry experts at ChaseData. We have everything you need to provide consumers with an excellent experience, via both traditional channels and social media platforms. Contact our team of specialists today to learn more.