Social media customer service is the evolution of modern contact center business. If you don’t think so, just browse your newsfeed or timeline on your favorite social media platform and take note of just how many exchanges are happening between everyday users and company customer service representatives each day. It seems that any time someone has a problem or concern, they can quickly reach out to their favorite companies via social media.
This is not a trend that your call center can afford to miss. Regardless of your overall customer service strategy, social media customer service is the key to success in today’s centers. If you want to keep up with your competitors - or especially if you are hoping to pull ahead from the pack and set trends, rather than simply chasing them - you need to shift your focus to integrating more social media customer service this year.
Why Social Media Customer Service is Important
Just as you have likely often seen people seeking help form a company or brand via social media, you have likely seen many questions, concerns, or complaints about products or services voiced in public spaces on these platforms. People are not shy about sharing their feelings regarding bad experiences, and these amateur reviews are the kind of thing that can drive people away from a company forever.
The best antidote to this kind of negativity is being present to combat it. If your brand has an online presence, they can field questions, address concerns and complaints, and keep inflammatory remarks to a minimum. They can also refute false information - a common problem on social media - to keep consumer regard positive.
Social media customer service was once an afterthought for most companies. However, the most popular and successful brands nowadays know that to remain competitive and to keep consumers happy and satisfied, providing customer care through the social media platforms they already use and love is crucial.
The following tips are designed to help you make the most of your social media customer service efforts:
Know Where Your Consumers Are
The right social media platform for one brand isn’t necessarily going to work for another. It depends on which platforms your audience is already using. Meeting your customers where they are is crucial; knowing where they are is the first step.
Older users are typically on Facebook, along with the general population. Millennials tend to prefer the fast pace of platforms like Twitter. Younger users - like Gen Z consumers - are typically found on Instagram or Snapchat. Knowing where your audience already is will help you meet them - and their needs - there.
Know Who Your Company Is
Have you ever read the tweets of one of those snappy, sarcastic brands that tend to good-naturedly joke with consumers and other brands and wondered if their strategy would work for you? The truth is, unless your audience is very similar to theirs, it likely wouldn’t. The key to finding your voice as a brand goes back again to knowing who you’re serving and knowing how they want to be treated and talked to.
Younger consumers are happy to be joked with and teased along with receiving the help they need. Older consumers are less likely to have time for jokes, so if you want to provide great service, it may be a better approach to keep humor conservative and gags to a minimum on your official social media channels while serving this demographic.
Combine Chatbots and Human Agents to Provide the Best Possible Service
Social media customer service should come in two forms, when your consumers dive into your direct messages. First, provide them with a chatbot to answer basic questions and inquiries promptly and at any time of day. This will reduce wait times, provide quick, seamless service for many needs, and keep your live agents from having to spend time on concerns that are easily resolved via an automated chat feature.
However, it is also important to provide a live, human agent to fill in the gaps where these chatbots fall short. There will always be more complicated, more in-depth requests that require actual conversations to resolve. Likewise, some people just want to talk to a real person. Those customers are best served by a live agent, so ensure that both options are available.
Set Guidelines and Establish Consumer Expectations
One problem that many companies face when introducing social media customer service is keeping regular business hours. Consumers believe that if they see a customer service option available online, it should be accessible - no matter what time it is. Likewise, consumers also tend to feel that if they are using the platform themselves, someone should be available to serve them via customer service on the platform as well - again, regardless of time.
This is not only not sustainable for your business, it simply isn’t feasible. Let consumers know upfront with clear signage on your platforms what your live agent business hours are. This way, consumers will never be met with unexpected silence.
Ensure that You Have the Tool and Technology to Handle the Platforms
While many social media platforms are accessible through both desktop computer and mobile device, many of today’s most popular devices are only available via mobile app. To provide the right level of customer service, your agents will need to be trained in the operation of these applications - and your facility will need to be outfitted with the technology necessary to access them.
For the tools and technology you need to provide seamless social media customer service, contact the industry experts at ChaseData. We have the experience you need to not only provide excellent service, but to present a better face to your consumers - and to be more present in their consciousness in the months and years to come. Give us a call to learn more today!