Social media holds power to both build and destroy a business. It’s one of the best channels of support for both you and your customers as it offers you the option to build trust while also gaining engagement. Brands that are proactive in dealing with customer queries and complaints stand out from the crowd, and their customers are less likely to move on.
Research suggests that customers, on average, end up spending 20-40% more money with a company when they engage and respond to customer service requests over social media. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the measures you can take to raise the bar of social media customer support in your bid to stand out.
1. Be Active On Social Media Platforms Where Your Customers Are
What most companies look for is the ‘best’ social media platform for their business, and that’s something that may as well be part of a fairy tale; one size may not always fit all, and the best platform for one business might turn out to be the worst possible choice for yours.
The correct approach is to find the social media platform where your target audience thrives. And if you don’t currently know which one it might be, it’s always a good idea to ask. A simple survey with a few questions like ‘Which social media platforms you use the most?’ among other details, will be enough to put you on the right track.
If you set up shop where your customers already are, you can deliver support native to their preferred network. Don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming everyone uses either Facebook or Twitter.
2. Train Your Customer Support Team to Manage Multi-Channel Communication on the Go
Even if you offer self-service through chatbots and knowledge base articles, you cannot afford to drop other channels. Depending upon your business structure, customers often have issues that need to be dealt with in a fashion that’s more human and reassuring.
All the different channels cater to different sets of audiences — sometimes, even the same customers in different situations. People will want to hop from one channel to the other while retaining context, and this requires you to train your support team to be able to handle multi-channel communication more effortlessly.
3. Follow Strict Guidelines for Brand Supremacy
Social media customer support is largely different from marketing on the same platforms, both in terms of opportunities and challenges. And that begs the question of whether you have social media support guidelines in place, and whether you’re actually enforcing them.
The guidelines you set reflect your business’ values and the way your support team handles situations. It’s imperative you stick to even the most minor things like:
- Response time
- Permission management system and a method to approve messages
- Voice tonality
- Customer issues escalation protocols, etc
These seemingly insignificant elements lend you uniformity and are paramount for building brand supremacy.
4. Be Prompt in Responding to Customer Queries
You must have heard this several times before, and that’s because it’s a major deciding factor for your customer support and highly encouraged. While it sounds like a piece of solid advice superficially, research, too, claims that a wildly growing number of users are shifting to a company’s social media for support.
What’s surprising is that 43% of these users say that rapid response is one of the most crucial components of providing service via social media. As many as 32% of the social media users who contact a brand expect a response of some kind within 30 minutes. Another 42% expect it within 60.
That’s poles apart with email support, where a 24-hour response time is considered normal, if not always acceptable.
5. Always Stay One Step Ahead of Your Customers
You now have the option to analyze problems your customers are facing before they even reach out to you directly with complaints. Certain intuitively useful social listening tools can alert you whenever you get mentioned.
This will ensure you stay on your toes when responding to customers whenever they might be facing some trouble. Now, not only is that great for support, but it also improves your chances to market on the go. These tools are so advanced that they will alert you for mentions even where your brand name is misspelled.
6. Find Innovative Ways to Reach Your Customers
For you to reach your customers, your support team doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) have to stare at their screen all the time. While you always have live chat software tools and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger for contacting customers directly, chatbots can at least deal with straightforward and menial issues. Responses will be quick, to the point, and will save on human resources efforts.
There are other methods as well. You should be using social media to share a variety of content related to your brand. You can also openly talk about the problems plaguing some of your customers, and if there’s a solution, everyone should know. Moreover, posting links to new blogs and knowledge base articles can help with engagement and offer a fresh outlook on customer support on the web.
7. Leverage Your Knowledge Base Software for Your Customers to Get Quick Resolutions
Customer support is one of the primary reasons why knowledge bases are developed. Since it promotes self-service to a great extent, once it’s live, you’ll experience far fewer raised support tickets. Knowledge base software is one of the fastest channels to deliver your service, which means both parties are happy.
If you’re contacted by a customer directly, you can redirect them to a particular knowledge base article that can partially or entirely solve the issues they are facing. You can do that either by commenting on their posts or, even better, asking them to message you directly to seek a resolution. You can also create a group on the given platform where either you or other members of the community can solve the problems that are posted.
Again, you can further utilize your knowledge base with the help of a chatbot application. They’re always on and can source and deliver the correct information in the blink of an eye. Of course, they work best for questions that are straight and simple and match the tags associated with the solution on the knowledge base.
In competitive times like these, customer expectations will continue to grow. What was unthinkable or even optional earlier in business is now a necessity or a deciding factor. The most preferred way to keep up with all these developments is to combine traditional methods with digital media in a manner that’s harmonious and delivers a stellar experience to your customers every single time. Doing just that will help you build stronger relationships with your community.