5 Tips on How to Use Social Media for Customer Service

Posting engaging and relevant content is important for business owners and marketers. However, monitoring the activity can sometimes be overlooked. It’s important to respond to mentions and tags, even when they are negative. I’m sorry; I meant especially when they are negative.

Many business owners and marketers ignore the notifications of comments, mentions and tags. You shouldn’t! When someone is sharing negative thoughts about your business or brand, they are giving you negative press. It simply cannot be ignored.

Now, every business owner should know that the holiday season is a very busy time for everyone. Advertising efforts and budgets increase, which means buying usually increases. But before people buy, they usually research the product online. We’re living in a digital age now, where consumers are trusting reviews, blog posts and social media comments. During the holidays, the importance of social media is amplified. The amount of potential issues is higher than usual.

By now, we all should know that simply having a social media presence is not longer enough. Here are 5 tips on how to provide great customer service through social media:

  1. Be there. First of all, you can’t provide great customer service if you’re not where the customers are. If you’re not sure, send out an email blast (Google Forms) with a survey. Emails can be found through current clients/customers and/or a subscription. Without knowing where your customers are, you could be missing out on some social damage control, not to mention marketing reach. Once you find them, answer their questions or issues directly on that social network. It not only is convenient for both parties, it also makes your business and brand more humanized.
  2. Listen. This is where the monitoring comes in. Make sure your notification settings are set up so you get an alert every time your business is mentioned. This can easily be done on each social media network, or you can use a free tool that combines all social media networks on one platform, like Social Mention. When you have the time, I also recommend you searching for common misspellings of your business. Not everyone will know your twitter handle or Instagram username. Catch as many people as you can to deliver great customer service.
  3. Be timely. Time is of the essence! Respond as quickly as you can. People think of great customer service as quick. Even if it’s a short apology, it’s something and you acknowledged the issue. Damage control can be a process, but the apologetic response that happened in less than 24-hours can make all the difference.
  4. Be smart. “The customer is always right.” The truth is, if you’re responding to or having a conversation with a customer on social media, the customer is always right. Remember, how you respond to the issue is public! Everyone can see it. Make sure to use to right tone of voice. If the customer uses emoticons and slang, you should reciprocate. Be positive. Most importantly, know when to take the conversation off-line. If it’s an easy fix, social media is a great tool for customer service. It it’s more than that, you have to be smart and transfer the conversation to email or phone.
  5. You are the expert. Use your expertise and knowledge base to deliver customer service faster. This creates happy customers, which in return, makes you happy! Even if it’s not a negative comment on social media, you can answer questions! It saves time for yourself and makes the customer happier.

Social media gives business owners the advantage of building relationships with customers. Those relationships create loyal customers! The holiday season can get crazy, but if you monitor and keep up with your social media accounts, you’ll have one less stress to worry about. Remember: happy customers means a happier you!

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