Congratulations! You have a lovely product or service, a great marketing strategy, and are producing engaging content that people interact with. It may seem that you have it all figured out. Not so fast! In this article, we are going to address a crucial problem that most businesses nowadays face. And it is how to ensure that they have outstanding social media customer service. Together we are going to explore the best 5 practices and the worst 5 mistakes any brand can make when taking care of their customers. This is a perfect read for all the businesses and marketers out there that want to check if they are doing things right and want to improve their customer care.
The 5 biggest mistakes in social media customer service
We are going to start with the bad examples to give you the chills. Some of these are quite common, while others are huge red flags that something is wrong with the customer care unit. And if you think this is not so important, you’d better reconsider – according to helpcare.com, 60% of all customers say they will choose the competition if they face bad service.
Lie to a client
As it is said – you can fool some of the people some of the time. However, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. You should never lie to a customer. The most important thing for any brand is trust. And once you lose that you can never get it back. Another valid point – if you get caught lying, people will hear about it. Helpcare.com claims that 90% of customers share their negative experiences, and you can imagine how vocal they are going to be if you lie to them and they find out.
Don’t leave comments under posts or ads unanswered
There is a good chance that if someone leaves a comment on your page, it will be negative. Users want to express their opinion, or even ask a question, and they see the comments as the perfect way to do that. If you are not paying attention to them, you are making a mistake. Comments on social media can offer valuable feedback, and give you ideas on how to improve your business.
Of course, some will not be relevant or will be just “hater” comments. You have the option to hide them from the comment section for the other users not to see them. We don’t recommend that you delete any comments. That can make people angry in no time.
If you handle an issue with a client in the comments of your page in a good way, a lot of people on social media will see that and you will leave a good impression. However, the perfect social media customer care specialist knows when it is time to transfer the conversation with the client on a personal message.
Leave a client angry or unsatisfied
Often if a client is turning to customer service, they will be confused or angry. Turning an angry client into a satisfied one is a piece of art that only the best people know how to do. However, leaving a client angry or unsatisfied after he had an interaction with a customer care representative is a very alarming sign that something is not right. People should feel satisfied even when they don’t have their needs met.
Apologize for the experience they’ve had even though you know they may not be right. Try to calm them down and tell them you’ll do everything you can to help. Never give exact promises, however. By doing these small things, even if the client was not happy, he or she will have had a positive experience with customer support.
Make the client wait for a long time
Clients usually want their issues to be resolved (or their questions answered) quickly. The worst thing you can do is slap an automatic answer on your social media pages and make the person that wrote wait 2-3 days before giving them a reply. One of the best ways to ensure poor customer service is not to reply in time.
Remember how Richard Branson turned this into an advantage? Every person that waited more than a specific time to reach customer support received some amount of money. And people were happy. You can consider some discounts or other bonuses as an apology to people that waited a long time to have their questions answered.
You think you know it all
The worst thing you can do in social media customer service is to think you know it all and have the best answers and procedures in place. You should constantly look for ways to improve your work and your team. Working in Social Media can be stressful, working in social media customer service can be double the stress. Make sure that you provide your team with the support they need for that as well. The emotional state of the person providing customer care is a key factor in resolving issues with angry clients. It is not only about the professional skills of the team, but also their emotional state as well. Take care of that.
Research for new ways to increase client satisfaction and provide additional training for the team that handles social media customer service. Look for good practices all around on that specific matter.
Top 5 things you can do to make your clients happy with social media customer service
We have to say that most of the things in the top 5 of what you should do are just the opposite of the ones mentioned above. Great customer service is not rocket science. When you think about it, the steps to achieve are quite logical and should be a must for any business.
Be quick and precise with your answers
If you can provide your customers with quick and precise responses, they will be happy. Resolving issues and answering questions promptly will show them that your business cares about customer needs. This will make the brand more trustworthy and reliable. Even if resolving the issue takes some time, the client will be happy that someone got to him quickly and is taking care of his problem. And if you manage to do it the right way, there’s a pretty big chance that the customer will give you another shot.
Do a follow-up on the clients
A lot of businesses never do this and they sure are missing out on a lot of potential benefits. Your social media customer service team should always check out how the clients feel after they have interacted with the brand. Here are just some cases in which you should consider doing a follow-up:
- Check if their issue was resolved and if they are happy with the answer they got;
- Check if everything with their purchase was okay and are they happy with their overall experience;
- Check if their question was answered and if you can do something more for them.
Doing a follow-up can help you build customer loyalty. Besides that, you can get some great insights and ideas from the feedback you receive.
Have a positive attitude
Remaining with a positive attitude even in a situation with a difficult customer is a must. You should aim to cover the following 3 pillars of great customer care:
- Be positive;
- Wait for the customer to explain the problem;
- Have a problem-solving approach.
Let’s integrate them into an imaginary chat. An angry and frustrated customer reaches you. You respond by being positive and polite. After that, they explain their problem (sometimes in an angry manner). Wait for them to explain, take mental notes, and while they write, think of ways to address what they are complaining about. When they are finished thank them for the feedback and propose a solution to the problem. After they have let it all out, they will be more perceptive about your proposal.
Remember – customer service can sell!
Many people are ignoring this option and this is just insane! When you provide great customer care and people are happy, they will listen to recommendations from you. Imagine someone asked about the size or color of a dress. After you take care of their needs, you can always throw in a line like: “Do you know that this bag or these shoes go great with that dress? Now we have it on 20% off and people are crazy about it!”.
Small things like that can turn social media customer service into a sales booster for your business. Nowadays, everyone sells in one way or another, from accounting to the actual salespeople. Don’t miss out on good chances to get more purchases.
Have a tailor-made approach. Create a custom response for each client and be personal
Even big brands don’t go the extra mile for their clients. If you do it, you will forever win their hearts. In most cases, there will be an answer that most people responsible for customer service just copy-paste and send to different unhappy clients. Use the personalized responses and try to understand the problems of the people that write to you. If the situation is serious, give them a little something to feel better, like a discount code or a coupon. And when you put your name in your answers, this creates a feeling that there is at least some personal touch.
They are going to love it! Small things matter the most. Even if you think they don’t. This might take some extra time and effort, but it is going to pay out for sure.
Those are our top five picks for social media customer service don’ts and do’s that every business should be aware of. Do you agree? What are the biggest mistakes and good practices in this area that you have seen? Let us know! Leave a comment below or reach out to us. We would be happy to hear your story and give you some advice.