In the age of social media and changes in consumer behavior and expectations, stating that you will not deal with customer complaints and services issues on social media is likened to burying your head in the sand and pretending you did not see or hear anything.
The reality is that the voice of the customer is amplified and heightened more than ever before. More consumers take to social media to give feedback on a product or service, make a complaint, or rave about a company or brand. How can businesses address this and create a positive and engaging customer experience?
What should companies consider?
If you are exploring what resources you need to implement customer service and engagement on social media, take a critical look at the following factors:
- Volume of messages and comments
The total volume of incoming messages gives a clear idea of how big the real-time workload on social media actually is, and whether you can manage with your current customer service support or you would need to hire dedicated social media customer service staff. It is important to monitor; if more and more people direct their questions to your social media channels, you may need to consider dedicated staff for specific social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
You can use social media monitoring and listening tools on the market to monitor and respond not only to consumer issues and complaints, but also to consumer praises and positive feedback.
- Time to answer
Time to reply can be immediate, a span of 30 minutes or within 12-24 hours. The time to reply depends on your company’s resources. The general rule of thumb is the more immediate the better. Consumers expect an almost immediate reply or acknowledgement of their comment or complaint. The first reply should be made as public as the social media platform allows; follow up matters can be taken ‘offline’; via email or telephone.
- Time to resolution of problem
Time to resolution refers to the time it takes your company’s customer service agent to address and resolve the query. In cases involving more complex issues, questions need to be directed to a specialized department. The answer has to find its way back to the agent who is handling the case on time. In the case of more complex issues (such as banking issues or process oriented issues), the customer should be made to feel that the problem is actively being worked on and not back-logged in internal bureaucracy.
Dealing with Negative Reviews and Elevating Customer Engagement through Social Media Customer Service
Pre-written responses to customer complaints on social media are acceptable to optimize the workflow. Here is an example:
We are so sorry to hear about this issue. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
However, engaging with each individual by sending them a personal one-on-one message should be your aim. An example of that is below:
We are so sorry to hear that you had an issue with our service. It sounds like it was a very frustrating experience. We’d like to do whatever we can to turn you back into a happy customer. We’ll reach out to you shortly so we can exchange contact information to work through this problem together.
Even though negative reviews seem damaging to your brand, it can do more damage to delete the posts or ignore the tweets and messages. A Facebook page with only positive comments looks unrealistic and you run the risk of further angering an already disgruntled fan if you remove their post before you’ve properly engaged. Instead, keeping negative comments online gives you an excellent PR opportunity. When you reach out directly on social media it shows other customers and potential customers that you care. Studies show that 34% of customers delete their negative review after the company reaches out to them or often they will write a revised, positive post.
In summary, it is critical to engage in every decision point of the Customer and Shopper Journey and detect conversations about your products and services. Engaging with reviews is vital. Authenticity is the golden rule when addressing a bad customer experience. Constantly monitoring for negative reviews is crucial for customer experience and online reputation management.
To learn more about social media strategies for customer service and customer engagement, social media monitoring, and online reputation management, contact us for more info.