Customer service on social media is so much more than replying to complaints and daily inquiries. Your goal as a brand is to wow customers, be proactive and create lasting relationships. Here are 4 ways to do this!
In our last article, we discussed some techniques to improve your CX strategy on social media. Today’s truth is that companies have to start keeping up with their customers on their social media platforms or face falling behind. But what is the best way to communicate effectively with your customers, and how to do you build meaningful relationships with everyone who is reaching out online?
Justine Burgaud, a Senior Social Media Manager with TSC, chatted with us about some of the best practices that companies should consider when building out their customer service brand voice. Her experience working as a social media manager with the world’s largest food company has taught her that the most crucial aspect in creating an effective strategy is to take a proactive, instead of a reactive, approach to communicating with customers. “Companies shouldn’t be afraid to start conversations with customers. Talk to your customers and learn how to improve your service– don’t just write an apology if you receive a negative comment.”
Here are four ways to develop an effective customer service communication strategy that will leave your customers wowed:
If you’re a larger company, you likely have several customer service representatives answering inquiries through social media. While this is an effective way of tackling as many comments as possible, it also gives way for inconsistencies in your brand voice. To avoid this, it’s essential that companies develop specific guidelines and processes to moderate the way in which community managers and customer service representatives respond to customers.
“You have to stay consistent on all of your channels. Most brands have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account, and several community managers, so defining guidelines is helpful in staying consistent and having the same tone of voice,” Burgaud explains. She also says that defining processes is important in choosing how to respond to specific cases and questions, such as when customers leave positive comments or if someone asks a frequently asked question.
“If someone takes the time to leave you a positive message on social media, he or she deserves a response,” Justine Burgaud says. When developing your processes, define how you want your community managers and customer service agents to respond to these types of messages. Whether it’s simply liking a positive comment, or responding with an exciting message, reactions to positive comments should be consistent with your pre-defined brand voice and tone.
Similarly, it’s equally important to have processes around how to respond to negative messages or feedback. If a customer reaches out to say that they preferred the way a product was before, or to suggest new features, this shouldn’t go ignored. Comments that require additional attention from team member outside of the customer service team should also be addressed, and there should be guidelines as to how to direct people to the correct answer.
There’s nothing worse than going on to a company’s Twitter page and seeing the same pre-written response on hundreds of messages. Not only does that show that the company has put very little thought into how to communicate with their community, but it also implies that the company has no real interest in considering feedback.
“Having your agents really know your product and know your brand will help them know the right answer for a specific customer request, without having to resort to a pre-written message,” Burgaud explains. The messages you post on social media are available for all to see – it’s important to communicate to customers that you care about what they say and think about your brand.
Sometimes your customer service agents will receive questions or comments that might be new – but most of the time, customers will be coming to you with similar complaints and concerns. Being proactive – or in other words, anticipating customer questions – can help your community managers find the best answers quickly and efficiently. The goal is to ensure that the customer’s life is made easier through your interaction with them.
“Let’s say for example a customer is looking for a recipe that includes one of our products. Instead of telling the customer ‘check out our website,’ I instruct our community managers to find the recipe and link them directly to it. Anticipating these questions and being prepared with exact answers will provide customers with the best experience,” Burgaud says. Communicating frequently with customers will reveal exactly what types of inquiries and comments to look out for – gather that date and prepare to anticipate similar questions in the future.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the short-term techniques for improving your CX social media and communication strategy, it’s time to start looking at some long-term goals for effecting true organizational change in the way you interact with your customers. In our next article, we will look at several long-term strategies for tackling customer service over social media, including how to improve team dynamics and engaging in social listening.
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