Providing timely customer service has always been a daunting task, especially when it comes to recognition of customer’s anticipation and addressing it in a fulfilling manner. All the more true, when you’re having to deal with a multitude of tasks, and providing help on SM isn’t your only duty. (Am I right, SMEs?)
With social media and technology taking over most of the everyday operations, it’s time to realize how it affects customers, who are craving interaction. Personalized interaction. There’s no place for complete and utter automation anymore, and plain emails with a reference link to your Terms of Conditions isn’t going to cut it, anymore.
Answer: Quick Wins. Ones that literally take you no longer than 30 seconds to complete. Ones that let big problems dissolve into smaller tasks. Ones that show your customers you Care.
1. Create a separate fan page for Customer Service
Creating a separate page specifically for customer service literally won’t take you longer than 30 seconds (I checked), yet will present your customers with a dedicated source for their inquiries, complaints, and engagement. It will also help to declutter your main fan page, while prioritizing on engagement.
Things to remember:
- Support page needs to have a proper naming in accordance with the social network’s rules. I.E. On twitter aim for Ask[YourBrand’sName], [YourBrand’sName]Help, [YourBrand’sName]Support, but keep in mind you’re limited by 15 characters.
- Provide full page description, conveying the exact purpose of the page, attaching the link to your FAQ page.
- Pin a Tweet/Facebook Post, sharing info on your Open Hours, and encouraging people to ask away!
- Do not forget to include a Hashtag both in your page’s description and in your tweets. The go-to hashtags are #happytohelp or #heretohelp, however many brands include a custom hashtag i.e. #HubSpotting to help them further personalize the mentions, and track query posts better.
2. Track mentions
According to a 2014 Accent Marketing Report, social media is emerging as a preferred tool for engagement, and specifically for customer service. Here’s the Graph with Favored Social Media Channels for Customer Service:
The question is: How do you keep track of all of these Social Networks? What if you set up your Twitter Support page, and your customers are complaining on Facebook or LinkedIn or God forbid Google+?
Answer. There are a couple of ways to go about it:
1.You can set up email notifications for when you get a DM or your support page gets mentioned on Twitter or when someone writes on your wall on Facebook.
This might get a little spammy, so I suggest creating a separate Inbox Tab (or adding a “Social” and “Forum” tab if you’re using Gmail). Remember to “check” the following features on Twitter or Facebook.
2.There are multiple tools out there, like Social Mention, which you can use to track your brand’s presence across different networks.
It’s worth checking, if what you’re after is an iceberg of mentions (if you get such) about your brand across different platforms.
If you’re in need of a quick win, though, you can set up email alerts for specific “keywords” (i.e. “yourwebsitename.com” or “Help [YourBrand’sName]”, thus maximizing your chances at successful customer interactions across the social media.
3. However, for a more personal approach to tracking your Brand’s appearance on the internet in real-time Brand24 might prove to be more useful. (Haven’t heard about them? Check them out, it’s a booming startup).
This quick win doesn’t come free, but can be well worth the investment. Choosing their Premium Plan, you get to set up 10 keywords, with mentions updating every hour.
Quick look at their slick Dashboard, and you’re aware of hypothetically every mention of your brand across the internet, a task which would otherwise take you a solid 10 minutes of researching.
Here’s what Brand24 looks like.
3. Favorite, like, tag their Post (Recognize their presence)
By committing to Customer Service on Social Media you commit to transparency. So why not embrace transparency and make it work for you.
It’s probably the quickest of the quick wins.
And it satisfies 2 goals:
1. Point for transparency.
Upon, generally speaking, “liking” their message you are committing to answering whatever the customer is asking, while showing you and your customer’s followers/friends that you are encouraging interaction, and thus prompt them to take interest in you.
Point supported by a report by American Express, showing that:
Three in five (59%) consumers would be willing to try a new brand or company in order to get better customer service.
2.Active social media users are accustomed to receiving appreciation in the form of likes, favorites, tags, etc. Makes us feel all warm and tingly inside.
Therefore, I suggest employing this strategy when providing customer service. It’s a type of instant gratification for engaging which is essential for your brand.
4. React at a moment’s notice, even if just to acknowledge
The sole reason for why people are turning to social media for customer service is because they expect it to be delivered according to platform’s rules.
So say, on Twitter, you don’t expect to receive a response after 24 hours, you expect an answer from brands as you would from a person, and within the time frame of no more than an hour.
Prioritizing on fast reaction should be your main focus on social media. However, it is not necessarily the solution that your customers want, it’s the interaction and the acknowledgment.
They want to hear that their inquiry/complaint has been heard loud and clear, and you are, in fact, attempting to resolve it.
Additionally, let’s face it, neither a 140-word tweet nor a facebook post allow you to go into much detail on the solution, especially when it’s technical.
With this quick win, you will be killing two birds with one stone.
Acknowledge their message, by thanking them for the contact and kindly ask them to provide you with further details or an email address via a Direct Message.
As simple as that.
It’s not rocket science, it’s not a hidden feature, and it won’t resolve your customers’ problems, but it will grant you the time needed to approach each query with care, when you have the time to do so.
— Customer Service (@ExpressHelp) June 5, 2014
5. Getting ahead of the issue
It’s true you cannot foresee all of the possible issues or difficulties, leaving you somewhat in the dark and sometimes unprepared to answer at a moment’s notice, thus upsetting your followers.
Luckily, there’s a quick win specifically for when you encounters problems, and would like to stay ahead of the issue.
Share a quick status update, addressing the issue, and letting your followers know you’re working on it. Oh, and don’t forget to Pin it to the top of the page.
Here’s an example.
Due to an iOS 8 bug, slo-mo videos on iOS 8 devices are not backing up to Dropbox & Carousel. Working on a fix. http://t.co/tsg2S5YJ5W
— Dropbox Support (@DropboxSupport) October 21, 2014
Hopefully, the above mentioned Quick Wins will help you boost your social media customer service. Didn’t see a quick win you think is worth mentioning?
Feel free to share it in the comments section.
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