How to be Effective at Customer Support on Social Media?

Are you a modern day business seeking to establish better relationships with your customers? Do you want them to feel a personal touch with your brand?A good way you could go about it is to think in the direction of setting customer support services on social platforms.

Remember, the last time you dropped a complaint on Twitter on your bank’s handle and they actually responded resolving your issue? That did feel nice right!

Research from a survey suggests that about 67% of 23,000 online customers surveyed have contacted a company via social media. Another study by Gartner points out that ignoring customer service on social media can result in an average churn rate of 15%. In light of such commonality these days, progressive businesses are exceedingly resorting to customer support through social media, which is why you must not shy away from it too.

However, you should remember, only setting up customer support doesn’t solve the purpose. What’s more important is that it’s done right for you to get desired results. Setting up inefficient and ineffective customer support can be counterproductive and end up annoying customers.

Here are some ways by which you can ensure customer service through social media –


Assigning a Dedicated Team 

Maintaining effective customer support on social media is no cakewalk. You must assign a dedicated team of agents to handle the entire process efficiently. You may set a customer support guideline outlining protocols related to escalation, the tone of voice, time to be spent on each channel and so on for standardization. After all, how would you feel if the response you got after tweeting wasn’t polite enough? Your executives should be trained to be polite at all times and familiarised with the ways of handling the new age social and mobile customers too.


Ensuring Speedy Reply

Being prompt in replying to a customer’s comments is extremely important. It can actually work the other way round if you set up a customer support on social media and end up not responding promptly to customer queries. Ideally, you must try and ensure that your customers are communicated to within an hour of their query. In fact, for any other types of mentions too, you must be careful that there isn’t a delay of more than a few hours. A research by Bain & Company suggests that customers whose requests have been responded to promptly by the business over social media, end up spending 30% more with the company.


Prioritizing Responses Based on Importance

The volume of social media noise that a business generates could vary depending on the size of its operations and customer base.

If you’re a company that receives too many customer messages, it can get hard to reply to all simultaneously and promptly. In that case, an organised approach is helpful.

You could manage responses in terms of setting an internal priority ranking methodology. The order you pick should depend on your business specifics. As an example, you may prefer to reply to complaints and grievances before technical and account related doubts. Alternately, issues that affect the image of your brand could be more important in terms of demanding promptness than catering to product or service requests.


Following Your Customers

Providing superlative customer service implies literally following your customers to wherever they are socializing.

You could begin by searching for mentions of your business/brand on social sites. You could also follow this with queries/interests/grievances and even discussions. You should never leave it on an online commenter or the search algorithm to respond to your customer. You will be surprised by how impressed a customer will be when the brand itself catches up with him/her.

Another aspect could be to add something valuable to the conversations relevant to the industry, if not your specific brand to look like a thought leader.


Setting Up Automated Monitoring Tools

Once you know where and how your customers are connecting with your brand, it is time to connect back. The quickest and easiest way of doing it is using an automated monitoring stream. You can customise the streams like positive and negative comments, questions, blogs etc. Depending on the segment you like, let the tool monitor the streams for you.


Grabbing the Pulse of Your Audience

Monitoring the mentions, comments and so on about your brand may be automated. However, it’s still important to listen carefully to your customers and observe a general pattern. The idea is to analyze their activities to get a grip on the issues that are normally raised over a given period of time to improve in an overall sense. For instance, which comments are induced by a poor experience or which ones are pure feedback.


Adding a Personal Touch

How would you feel if you tweeted Samsung with a drawing you drew for them along with asking for a free phone and they actually gave you one, customised with the drawing you sent? Well, that’s actually happened and also hints at why a brand like Samsung has a loyal base of customers.

Customer service is all about building great relationships. The more personal touch you are able to add, the better it works. Personalizing your response with a simple ‘Hi’ followed by the name of the customer can work wonders. Similarly, discussing sensitive topics in a private setting implies showing respect for the customer. Paying attention to these small details doesn’t go unnoticed and makes a significant difference.

With that, we can come to some good examples of brands who are social support ambassadors.


Some Examples Of Brands Doing Great At Customer Service On Social Media

When it comes to marketing, starting to list good examples is seldom without Nike being at the top of the list. Nike has dedicated support handles in eight languages on Twitter, with the executives being patient and prompt to requests all day along all through the week. Their responses are always polite and always make the customer feel cared for, even if they’re wrong themselves.

Another great example when talking about engaging in extremely prompt social customer service that comes to mind is popular Indian food delivery app – Swiggy. They have proved themselves to be an extremely pro customer company, by having their Twitter handle representative respond to an aggrieved customer in under 8 minutes. Such customer service is sure to benefit them with a loyal clientele.

Yet another interesting instance of a brand with great customer support that comes to mind is the Waterstones Trafalgar Squares Store. Even though social customer support isn’t something completely vital for a bookstore company, Waterstones was alert in constantly tracking their social handles.

As a result, they helped a customer who tweeted from inside about mistakenly being left locked in the store come out. The tweet and their prompt response and aid to the customer went viral bringing the brand a lot of positive publicity.


With all that being said, customer service can be a game changer in terms of building a perception for your brand, if done right. Do you have some examples of great brands in this regard to share?

Are there any other steps you follow to be effective at the task? If yes, let us know in the comments below.


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