Digital & Social Media

4 Tips for Offering Effective Social Media Customer Service

Social media isn’t just for marketing. Here’s how to offer effective social media customer service.

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Brands that are active on social media have been noting a trend in the last few years. Even if they use social media channels primarily for marketing, more and more customers are approaching companies’ social media teams looking for customer support. Today’s customers can often connect with trained agents on social platforms and get faster resolution to issues than if they call in to a phone center. If you are looking at introducing social media customer service support, here are four ways to get it right in the year ahead.

Establish ground rules: Managing expectations is one of the most important parts of effective customer service. If you are going to introduce social media support, get clear on the guidelines. What platforms will you be supporting? What types of issues can you resolve on social media? What information do you need to be effective? What hours will you be providing support? Document these details and make them part of the customer education process.

Define your ideal customer experience: At an organizational level, you have probably defined what your ideal customer experience looks like. Do the same for what social media customer support looks like. In most cases, this will be about fast and efficient service that balances customer satisfaction with delivering intelligent response in a visible format. Knowing what you’re trying to accomplish is imperative to successfully rolling out this initiative.

Set KPIs, with a focus on time: When customers reach out to social media customer support, they are looking for a specific kind of support. Typically, the name of the game is speed—rather than complexity or a deeply personalized interaction. As a result, it’s important to think about how you configure your service delivery and what success metrics you set. When you focus on timing and rapid response, you are more likely to meet customer expectations.

Set a limit for public and private: In an age where identity theft is rife and the headlines are full of brands that have had their customer data breached, it is important that any public support channels have clear practices in place. What answers can you provide on social media? What should be moved to direct messaging? And what should be taken to a different platform entirely? Make data security a central consideration of social media support in order to be more successful.

Customers are increasingly turning to social media channels to get support from brands. Implementing this approach to customer service can help you be successful—as long as you have the right strategy, training, and guidelines in place.