How to Use Social Media as a Powerful Customer Service Tool

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How to Use Social Media as a Powerful Customer Service Tool

As social media becomes more and more the go-to spot for brand interaction, companies without a social presence would be smart to adopt such a system in order to better serve customers where they spend most of their time.

According to a study by J.D. Power, 67 percent of consumers have stopped by a company’s social media page to deliver questions and comments related to customer service, compared with just 33 percent who merely enjoy interacting with their favorite brand. Your best bet? Get proactive on channels like Twitter and Facebook to monitor customer service issues and complaints, questions or general comments to get involved in the conversation.

But it takes more than maintaining a Twitter page to roll out customer service on social media. Whether they’re calling your company or tweeting a complaint, customers want personalized and consistent care when interacting with a brand. With that in mind, give customers what they want by creating a powerful service that can ultimately help grow your business. Here’s how to get started.

Create Social Media Guidelines

Achieving effective customers service on social media requires consistent and cohesive guidelines. But the real goal is to empower your employees to succeed. As such, your social media team needs the knowledge and confidence to resolve issues quickly and without wading through red tape to find the answer.

Your guidelines should also shape how to communicate with customers in a style that best reflects your brand. Create guidelines on what to do when someone is tweeting complaints, how to escalate the issue to the proper department for resolution, and how to properly set expectations on possible next steps.

Use Omni-Channel Tools

Despite wanting to sometimes stick to your guns, companies must make every effort possible to not lose a customer when issues arise on social media. Aberdeen Group found that companies providing consistent and quality customer service across multiple social media channels ultimately retain 89 percent of their customers.

Meanwhile, companies that conduct customer service via one social media platform only retain one-third of their customers — and have a stronger likelihood of closing their doors for good. That’s why your business needs to implement — and maintain, maintain, maintain — the right omni-channel tools starting on Day 1.

For example, Aspect Zipwire offers cloud contact center solutions to streamline your customer service efforts while lowering upfront capital and IT investments. Now, when customers send a tweet or private message about an issue, your customer service team can make sure the information is relayed across all of your customer service channels, including social media, live chat, email, phone and more. That quality and consistent care can reduce customer frustration and encourage better customer relationships.

Reach Out Proactively

Your company may also want to tap into the powerful, real-time benefits of social media by reaching out to customers proactively. Before your customers jump ship for a competitor, be on the lookout for who is talking about your brand and why. Jump in and offer feedback, support and solutions before ever being asked. Your brand could save more customers and also develop a reputation for always looking for ways to step in and solve problems without even being asked.

Build Real Customer Relationships

At the end of the day, using social media for customer service is all about building real customer relationships. See who is following your support channels, reach out and comment on their posts or tweets, and ask customers if they’re enjoying a recent purchase. Oh, and don’t forget to be human and genuine.

For example, JetBlue has developed a reputation for being highly engaged on Twitter and infusing personality into their tweets. In one case, the company tweeted responses to a passenger with a question about a stand-by policy. The company then made it a point to have a representative find and follow up with the passenger in an airport terminal based solely on his Twitter profile picture. Talk about customer service FTW!

When used correctly, social media can serve as a powerful tool to turn customers into loyal brand advocates. With that in mind, offer customers the consistent, quality and engaged care they’re looking for to build a legendary customer service experience.

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