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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 14, 2018

Top 5 tips to improve social customer service

While most companies are on-board in improving social network-based customer service, many continue to approach social customer service in a not fulfilling way. And, while about two-thirds of consumers contacting businesses for customer service are doing so on social media, this is a problem. Here are five tips to improve social customer service.

by Kristina Knight

1. Be Responsive

"Like all other communications, customers expect an immediate response to their questions. For social media in particular, Facebook Messenger displays a badge when a company excels at responsiveness. The 'Very Responsive to Messages' badge indicates the company has a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes or less, consistently over seven days," said Mike Myer, CEO & Co-Founder, Quiq. "Also, know that customers want 24/7 support--issues don't stop happening on nights and weekends. A study from Convince & Convert found that among those respondents who have attempted to contact a brand, product or company through social media for customer support, 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours."

2. Offer More Than Support

"In addition to being a great customer service solution, social media can also be a powerful pre-sales resource. Make sure agents are ready to answer questions, provide suggestions and share the information their customers need to help guide them through their purchase experience, without being too pushy. Customers will be turned off if they feel they're being pressured, but appreciate thoughtful suggestions to help them along their purchase decision path," said Myer.

3. Choose the Right Customer Service Agents

"When you look at the new digital channels like chat, social, and messaging, it is important to consider which agents have the skills to write and respond appropriately to customers," said Myer. "It takes someone thoughtful in their communications to handle the art of responding on behalf of your organization over social media. Make sure agents are well-versed in social support and receive coaching before setting them loose. Companies will also want to determine how its "voice" should be presented and if it differs across channels - can responses over social be more casual? Are emojis okay to use?"

4. Take Advantage of Multimedia

"Social media is a rich, multimedia-capable channel where you can post emojis, images and videos. Customers send their friends and family photos to help explain things more easily, so give them the opportunity to interact with customer support in the same way. For instance, if a customer receives a damaged package, they can snap a photo to show the damage rather than trying to explain it. The ability to use images and emojis can shorten the interaction time, solving the issue faster and at a higher satisfaction level. It's also an easy way to infuse personality and emotion into support interactions," said Myer.

5. Allow for Cross-Department Collaboration

"The debate of which department should own social media has occurred since Facebook's inception," said Myer. "By now your company likely has a process for addressing inbound support inquiries, product comments, customer posts and outbound social engagement on your pages. Whether it's the role of customer service or marketing, make sure both departments work closely together to establish a protocol that ensures timely, knowledgeable responses by the right people. Consistency in response quality and speed across all channels is key to good social customer service, so it's important that everyone be on the same page."

Tags: advertising, cx tips, ecommerce, Quiq, social customer service, social marketing

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