Marketing & Advertising Magazine

Providing Quality Customer Service on Social Media

Posted on the 30 March 2020 by Shurby

Writing for branding agency FreshSparks , CEO Sonia Gregory notes that your company's Facebook support response time rate is clearly shown on your Facebook page. And Facebook only considers your business "quick" (or very responsive) when you reply in five minutes or less - 24/7, not just during your business hours!

Facebook Messenger is also a powerful communications tool that facilitates quick responses. In Facebook's own words, "Integrating Messenger into a customer service strategy allows customers to communicate with your business on their terms. No more waiting on hold or keeping website windows open. And the conversation stays in Messenger, an easily accessible spot for questions and re-engagement." The Facebook for Business page for Messenger provides the details for getting started.

Although we've been focusing on calls for help and complaints, your customers are (hopefully) also thanking you for providing a great product or service - or for your earlier, timely assistance. Reply to compliments, as well, which will build customer loyalty - and ask them to write a review, as well as recommend you to their family and friends!

Providing an authentic - and professional - voice

In addition to replying in a timely manner is the absolute necessity to reply in a respectful manner. Whether it's an inquiry or complaint, acknowledge the customer. In the first case, let the customer know that you are looking into the matter and will contact them as soon as you have the answer. Depending on the nature of the inquiry or complaint, you may want to invite the customer to have the conversation in private. As Gregory recommends, determine which conversations should become private - whether it be moved to direct message, email or phone.

For this to work best, Gregory provides the following recommendation:

Having a strategy in place will help avoid commission of the first deadly sin of responding to complaints by becoming defensive. Even when the complaint isn't made in a polite manner, don't take it personally. Keep a professional tone, acknowledge the complaint and - depending on the situation - let the customer know you'll do you best to resolve it. Remember, all the world is potentially reading your response, not just the customer. A rude reply could prompt a potential customer to form a negative opinion of the way you do business, and continue their search among your competitors.

"The most-reputable businesses always give priority to complaints and negative comments. The difference between the two is that complaints are generally made by customers while baseless negative (and downright abusive and insulting) comments can come from rivals or trollers. That's because no customer exists that doesn't want a quick solution to their issue."

For the legitimate complaints, make a sincere effort to look at the cause of the complaint. If the complaint was about an employee (damaged property, was rude, didn't complete the job to the customer's satisfaction, etc.), get the employee's account to determine the facts. If the employee was at fault, make sure he/she understands your company's customer service standards, and follow up with any necessary training. If the same employee is the source of other complaints, you've got a decision to make.

Your customer-facing message: Apologize, let the customer know that you've spoken to the employee about the incident, that you have taken steps to make sure it doesn't happen again, and that you are committed to providing excellent service. Then do so.

Always be current

As we noted earlier, providing great customer service through social media isn't always about addressing complaints and answering questions. Being proactive gives you a good opportunity to serve your customers by anticipating their needs. For example, if a situation beyond your control disrupts your regular service (unfortunately, I think we all know what this refers to; hopefully, we will soon reread this in better times), jump on your social accounts and let your customers know about new business hours, changes in service and how they can stay connected with your business.

Even in the best of times, keep your customers involved on your social accounts by informing them about special offers, member discounts or other perks. Support your customers, and they'll support you with their loyalty.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blatant self-promotion

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