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Best Practices for Social Media Customer Service

Posted on the 10 October 2013 by Marketingtango @marketingtango

Not long ago, customers logged complaints or comments by calling a customer service hotline – or speaking directly with a manager, if they were lucky.

Today, a tweet is the new comment card, and social media is the new customer service frontier.

That’s why advanced brands realize that delivering first-class customer support is an integrated marketing function. These brands benefit from positive word of mouth and friend-to-friend recommendations as well as enhanced customer loyalty, according to Ambassador, a referral tracking and management software company.

In a fun new infographic, Ambassador shared best practices for creating sensational social media customer service. For example, did you know that 71 percent of online customers expect to receive assistance within five minutes of reaching out to a company? Or that consumers who receive good customer service via social media are likely to spend 21 percent more with a brand?

Here are some channel-specific tips for creating a memorable customer service engagement with social media:

On Facebook

  • Show hours of business
  • Outline behavior rules for users and commenters
  • List your company’s other contact channels
  • Enable the ability to reply to certain comments

On Twitter

  • Keep your brand, customer service and other service accounts separate
  • Respond within one hour to inquiries
  • DM private messages to customers

Regardless of the social media channel, Ambassador recommends following the three golden rules of social media customer service:

  • Respond swiftly
  • Identify each company representative
  • Show some personality

Like any other integrated marketing strategy, social customer service has to be grounded in a plan. Before you get started, know what you want from a social customer service initiative. Read “Social Listening for Small Business: Come in from the Cold, Comrade,” to learn three important reasons for social listening. (Hint: You could learn a lot about social customer service from a Cold War-era spy.)

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