More and more customers are looking to get customer service from a brand through social media. Service requests have increased 2.5 times in the past two years. According to the Social Media Benchmark Study by J.D. Power and Associates 67 percent of consumers have contacted a company through social media for customer service compared to just 33 percent who responded to a company’s social marketing. Here are some steps to improve your customer service efforts.
Train and Empower Your Customer Service team
A well-trained customer service team will greatly benefit your company. Make certain to educate in multiple areas, such as social skills, the company’s customer-care guidelines, when and how to escalate, customer behavior and conflict resolution. Empower them and equip them with multiple methods of resolving issues, for example, not always defaulting to a discount when resolving an issue or complaint but offering other ways of making the customer happy.
Monitor and listen proactively Set up alerts for instant notification when your brand or product is mentioned in a positive or a negative way. Proactively address any negative sentiment. Listen on social for indirect product mentions and address issues quickly. Social listening can also help a brand to zero in on their competitor’s issues. Remember that finding ways to solve these challenges before competitors can lead to increasing their market share.
Respond Quickly Response time is critical to customer sentiment. According to The Social Habit, 32% of consumers expect to get a response within 30 minutes and 24% expect the 30 minute response even outside of normal business hours. Companies should track response time to monitor Customer Service performance, and to determine when a staff increase may be necessary.
Keep a separate account for Support Many of the companies that do best with customer service, such as Microsoft, American Express and Zappos, have created a separate account for customer service and support. This allows a separation between marketing and branding efforts and consumer support. Keeping a separation also helps to interpret key performance indicators in a more meaningful way. For example, KPIs would focus more on speed of response and resolution for the customer service side. On the marketing side, it would focus more on how the audience is engaging with the brand.
If you follow these suggestions, your customer service team should be well prepared to satisfy customers when they reach out through social media.