This week we feature an article by Devin Pickell, a Growth Marketer at Nextiva. He shares customer service best practices that successful brands use to help their customers on social media. Businesses have been using social media for years now to publish content, engage with their audiences, advertise their products, and stand up for social […]
This week we feature an article by Devin Pickell, a Growth Marketer at Nextiva. He shares customer service best practices that successful brands use to help their customers on social media.
Businesses have been using social media for years now to publish content, engage with their audiences, advertise their products, and stand up for social causes.
Another intuitive and frankly underutilized way brands can use social media is for addressing customer service inquiries.
In this article, we’ll discuss why your brand should consider upping its customer service game on social media and take a look at some brands that do it well.
Data tells us that one-third of U.S. consumers have used social media to complain about a brand. If you don’t bother to respond and let complaints go unresolved, this could have a negative impact on how others view your brand, even if they’ve never interacted with your business before.
You don’t want complaints to sit on a public forum like social media, which is why your social media person should either have the autonomy to reply to complaints or be given a strategy for addressing complaints.
Even something as simple as taking the chat off the public forum and into direct messages (DMs) can do wonders for the customer experience, see the example below of how this is done:
Another reason to use social media as a customer service channel is that traditional channels like inbound call centers and email, while still effective, are being slowly outpaced by social media. According to a report by Conversocial, 54% of customers prefer to use social media for getting support conversations started.
If your brand has no plans to adopt social media for customer service, you may be missing out on key interactions with your customers.
If your brand is open to using social media for customer service or looking to improve your social support strategy, here are some of the top examples from brands that have mastered social media.
Take a page out of one of these brand’s playbooks if you’re looking to embrace social media as a customer service channel.
What they did right: With more than 1,2000 stores worldwide and an e-commerce site with millions of monthly visitors, it made sense that Best Buy created a separate account solely for customer support. If you have a wide-reaching brand, it could help to create a separate account to hone in on those customer inquiries.
This timely response also helped Best Buy reel in a customer from using a competitive service. Adding the social support person’s name at the end of the Tweet made this feel response feel more personalized.
What they did right: Who said B2B brands can’t embrace social media for customer support? Here is a recent example of Semrush interacting with followers regarding a bunch of links on their website that were returning a 404 error.
Even with their website down, Semrush took the time to respond to each person in their replies with a live URL. Great customer service isn’t always the fastest, but it is the most thorough and caring in regards to the customer.
What they did right: It would be hard to write a “great customer service” article without mentioning Zappos, as quality service is literally part of the brand’s mantra. Here, we see Zappos have a back-and-forth interaction with a customer regarding a pair of shoes that would be experiencing delayed shipping.
Zappos’ social media person decided it was best to be completely transparent about the shipping delays instead of ignoring the customer or giving a false expectation. Nowadays transparency is the name of the game. According to Sprout Social, 86% of U.S. consumers say brand transparency is more important now than ever before.
What they did right: We mentioned earlier that Semrush was a good example of being thorough and replying to each individual customer with a website issue. Shopify is another brand that exemplifies thoroughness when it comes to customer service.
Here we see a customer is struggling with sales tax being applied in their checkout system. Peter, the Shopify representative, not only provided product screenshots but a full thread of helpful tips and explanations. This is the type of product knowledge you should expect from your support team.
What they did right: The final brand example on this list isn’t a customer service interaction between two humans. Instead, it comes from Macy’s, a brand that utilizes customer service automation on its social media in the form of a chatbot.
Basically, a user clicks a button regarding their inquiry and is then lead down a chat flow. This allows the customer to (hopefully) resolve the issue themselves, but in case the issue isn’t resolved, they’re allowed to escalate to a human representative.
Self-service customer support is trending upwards. Research from Harvard Business Review revealed that 8 in 10 customers are open to resolving an issue themselves before reaching out to a brand.
With more people taking to social media to seek support from brands, now is the time to consider implementing it into your customer service strategy.
Meet your customers on the channels they enjoy using and make the process of getting support as painless as possible. By using some of the tips from the brands I’ve listed above, you’ll have no issue satisfying your customers on social media.
Devin Pickell is a Growth Marketer at Nextiva. He combines his skills in content marketing, SEO, data analysis, and marketing strategy to meet customers at the right moment in their journey.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
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