The Dos and Don’ts of customer service via social media

Dos and don'ts for social media customer service

In today’s tech-centric world, social media plays a huge role. People turn to social media for information, to voice an opinion, or read and engage with other’s opinions. Ever greater numbers of consumers are likewise becoming commercially involved on social media by engaging with products, businesses, and brands in a very direct, personal and visible way.

In view of this, how businesses deal with their customers on social media is becoming ever more important, with customer service, in particular, becoming crucially important.

However, there are some definite dos and don’ts that are important to bear in mind to ensure that you make the best use of this golden opportunity to interact with you customers. It will also help you avoid some of the dangerous PR risks that you can encounter in providing customer service in the highly visible interactions with your clients on social media.

Here are some valuable pointers regarding the dos and don’ts of providing customer service on social media.

The Dos of Customer Service on Social Media

  1. Create an interesting and comprehensive profile that strongly supports the professional image you wish to project of yourself and your business. A complete and transparent profile will help gain the trust of your customers as it presents your business in a professional and welcoming light.
  2. Build a strong social media presence that will resonate not just with the customer base that you are targeting, but expresses the core values that your business wishes to project and stand for. Interact with your customers in a way that they will find engaging and welcoming and which is closely tailored to the specific social media platform. Use a vocabulary that your customers are comfortable with and which demonstrates a mindset that resonates with them.
  3. Always use your customer’s name when responding to a query, comment, or any concerns from a customer. People want to know that they are talking to another human being, so avoid sounding impersonal and remote. You need to sound friendly and accessible. If you address them by name, they will immediately start feeling that you are engaged with them and care about whatever their issue might be.
  4. Responding to customers is crucial – so always respond quickly, and publicly if appropriate, to any comments and complaints. Responding publicly may help other customers who have the same problem, and promote trust by being open and up front. Any problem is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your customers. Boost brand loyalty by exceeding customers’ expectations if you can. If a customer has said something nice, acknowledge that compliment.
  5. Make it a policy to follow up to make sure that the customer’s problem has in fact been sorted out. Following up to check that the customer is happy and their problem has been successfully addressed is one of the best ways to let your customers know that you are serious about delivering top-notch customer service.
  6. Be specific in your answers and customize your response to the individual customer. A customer almost always needs specific information relating to their problem, so do not fob them off with generalised or generic responses that may not address their problem and still leave them dissatisfied.
  7. Don’t overwhelm your customer with technical and specialised jargon. Speak to your clients clearly and in terms that are understandable and unambiguous. Assume that your customers do not necessarily have the technical grounding that you have, so keep your answer clear, courteous, and concise.
  8. Develop self-service options as well. There are many enterprising and tech-savvy customers who are happy to use speedy self-service options. Create a library of video tutorials, FAQs, and how-to guides. Not only will this create a resource your customer service agents can also draw on, but it will take some pressure off your help desk.

The Don’ts of Customer Service on Social Media

  1. Avoid shoddy spelling and grammar at all costs. Poor language use is unprofessional and will damage your credibility and make people doubt your ability to give them good service.
  2. Don’t inundate your customers with spam by sending them a constant stream of promotions, advertisements, or reminders. It can easily become counterproductive.
  3. Always keep your cool on social media. Never become defensive or embroiled in arguments with customers no matter what the provocation. This can escalate issues that could have been resolved speedily. It is sometimes also advisable to ask the customer to go to a direct or private message rather than continuing on the public forum.
  4. Never ask customers to resend their query to another platform. Do them the courtesy of responding on the same platform. It will speed up resolving the issue and will be much less frustrating for the customer.
  5. Do not let your customers wait for days for a response. Deal with queries speedily, but without rushing your replies to the point where you are not understanding the issue properly and resolving it efficiently.
  6. Don’t limit your interaction with your customers to social media. Make sure that your website provides them with a live chat option, in whichever way you choose to implement it. The advantages of live chat are many and varied. It improves the customer support experience, provides 24/7 support, and helps with onboarding customers.

In Conclusion

  • Social media gives you a golden opportunity to connect with customers, build a strong relationship with them and grow your brand and business.
  • Providing excellent customer care should be a core value of your business as customers are the lifeblood of your business.
  • Sticking to some common-sense dos and don’ts of customer service will ensure that you deliver the courteous, efficient care your customers expect and deserve. Make them feel valued and appreciated, and they will reward you with brand loyalty.