written by Abby Avery
How to use social media to improve customer service

 

We all know that social media is an essential marketing tool for our businesses, but using it as an outlet to shout about our products and brand isn’t all that it should be used for. Our online audiences have high expectations in return for their loyalty. They don’t just want useful, varied and engaging content that is easily digestible; they want to be able to speak to you. They want to be able to find all the answers to their questions. They want your social media pages to be the customer service desk to your online shop, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

If you want your business to stay ahead, you need to meet customer demand, so here we’ll be teaching you ways to effectively use your social media channels to improve customer service

 

Respond to messages quickly

Customers send queries on social media because they expect a quicker response compared to sending an email to your customer service email address. If you don’t offer live chat on your website then a customer may be in the middle of making a purchase but need a quick response to a query before entering their card details. If this is the case, customers will often turn to social media. It’s very important to respond as soon as possible to avoid losing the sale. 

Customers are increasingly using Facebook Messenger to contact companies, but make sure you check the inboxes of all your other social platforms several times a day too to avoid missing any messages and frustrating customers. To help manage messages on Facebook, Facebook Messenger Chatbots can be used to help. They allow you to input frequently asked questions and automatically respond when one is selected. For example, if you are regularly asked about your business location, you can programme the chat bot to reply with your address whenever the customer uses keyword prompts like location, address or directions.

 

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Don’t forget to respond to customer comments too

Being slow to respond to your messages may lead to customers taking to public social media posts to complain about your lack of social customer service, which could put future customers off. Try to respond to all comments, both positive and negative, as quickly as possible. Your public conversations could provide the answers that others wanted to know, before they even need to ask. For example, maybe you’ve posted a photo of one of your products, and someone in the comments asks for the price. By answering the question publicly, you could be helping multiple customers which could be just the thing that sways their purchasing decision.

 

Include all of your business information on social media

It can be difficult keeping up with so many customer messages on social media so try to provide the answers to their questions on your profiles where possible. Look at the messages you’ve been receiving, and if a lot of them are the same query, you may want to be clearer about this information on your website and social media channels. Ensure that all of the business fields are filled out and take advantage of any cover photo space you have too. 

Important business information could include your company description, address, opening hours, phone number, email address and website.

 

Share reviews and success stories

You want your audience to get to know you and trust you. It’s likely that as they learn about you, they’ll search for reviews about your company and/or products. Utilise your social media platforms to reassure potential customers that people already use and love your brand. On Facebook, people are able to write recommendations, but across all of your social channels, create a visual post highlighting reviews and success stories that people have written about you. You will have worked hard to make that customer happy enough to leave a gleaming review so now’s your chance to shout about it.

 

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Respond to reviews respectfully and professionally

As much as we love boasting about our best reviews, it is likely that at some point you will receive a negative one, but this doesn’t have to be detrimental; it’s all about how you respond to it. It’s so important to remember that no matter how rude or untrue or unfair a review is, you cannot argue and you must keep your cool. Everyone will see your response and it sends just as much of a message about who you are by the way you handle the review, as the actual review itself. Try to address each point and take the time to understand where this issue has come from.

 

Create a Facebook group

Everyone who is following your Facebook page has one thing in common, and that’s you. You are a shared interest to all of your audience and the aim is to build a strong online community centered around your business. An excellent way to achieve this, is by creating a Facebook group for your customers to join. The group will encourage your audience to start discussions, share stories and opinions and even help to answer questions. Just be sure to set up moderators and establish group rules to keep things running smoothly. 

 

Add links to your products or services

Your social media updates should contain a mix of selling and non-selling posts. If every single one of your posts is an advert, people will get bored of them. But when it is time to plug your product or service, make sure it’s easy for someone to purchase them. If you’re posting images of your products, make sure you tag them or add a link which directs them straight to the page where they can purchase. Also include the product/service name and any info they may need to know. 

Remember that good customer service is all about being as helpful as possible and anticipating the needs of your customers before they even know they have them. Keep your social media tone of voice friendly, approachable and ensure all of your responses are helpful. Customer expectations are only going to increase as more brands meet their needs, so if you’re social media is failing to tick all the boxes, it’s time for a shake-up!

 

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