Top tips for great social customer service

Published on 28 October 2014 by in Latest News

Social media has revolutionised the way in which consumers communicate with brands. Twitter has emerged as one of the prime locations for social customer service with consumers now turning to social channels for help when it comes to queries or complaints. According to Nielsen’s Social Media Report in 2012, half of US consumers used social media to ask questions, report satisfaction or to complain. A third of consumers also said that they preferred ‘social care’ to customer service via the telephone.

Here numero provides you with some top tips to provide great social customer service.

iStock 000025013656 Small 300x199 Top tips for great social customer serviceResponse times

As social media is a real-time channel, customers’ expectations are higher and therefore they expect a quicker reply than they would through traditional channels. Econsultancy recently discovered that 72 percent of customers expect complaints on Twitter to be answered within the hour. Ensuring that your company has real-time analytics is therefore vitally important, meaning you can respond to alerts in a timely manner. Monitoring customer service channels is becoming ever-more crucial in order to stay on top of each customer’s issues and deliver a quick and reliable response.

If an issue can’t be resolved immediately, then be sure to at least acknowledge that it has been received and that it is being looked into. Whether the enquiry is positive or negative, it’s important to acknowledge receipt of the tweet or post. Conversocial reported that 88 percent of consumers are less likely to purchase from a company that leaves questions on social media unanswered.

This is also why it’s important that if you can’t operate a 24 hour customer service, your channel should state its operating hours clearly in the profile. A simple morning tweet and signing off tweet in the evening will suffice.

Personalisation

One of the reasons why consumers are drawn to social media is because it offers a convenient one-to-one response to resolve their issues. Consumers don’t like customer service reps that offer robotic scripted responses. Businesses need to show that there are real people dealing with their questions. By agents adding their names or initials to the end of a response, brands can begin to build trust with their customers.

Offer a resolution

Twitter customer service Top tips for great social customer service

Around 70 percent of social customer service enquiries occur because traditional service has failed to resolve the issue. Give careful consideration to who is answering questions via your social care account; if your customers are likely to contact you regarding technical issues make sure the team is knowledgeable to answer questions quickly and accurately without having to divert the query to another channel. If it is possible to resolve the issue in channel, it is better to do so as this is the channel that the customer has chosen.  However the reality is that not every issue can be easily resolved over social media or in as little as 140 characters. Customer service reps must be able to determine when to take a conversation onto a different channel or offline.

Dedicated twitter handle

If your customer service channel is separate from the main account, this should also be clearly stated. By having a single Twitter handle dedicated to customer service questions, you instantly make the experience easier for consumers as they know where to direct their questions. Consumers in a survey by leading technology firm stated that they were looking for a direct response to their question by visiting social media, with 31 percent saying they expected direct access to customer service reps. @NikeSupport is a great example of this, as it is dedicated solely to responding to Nike customers who need help, tweeting over 160 thousand times and responding to customer queries every couple of minutes.

CRM

Often a customer interaction on social is a result of a poor experience on a traditional channel such as telephone or email. Research from Forrester showed that inadequate records of a customer’s interaction history with a brand meant that 35 percent of customer service agents were forced to restart conversations at every unique interaction. As brands invest in social customer service technology, they need to link their social efforts with their traditional CRM system, so they have access to customer history and therefore a better opportunity to resolve queries first time. This will also help to deliver consistent omni-channel service.

numero believe that by integrating Facebook and Twitter as part of a business’s customer service mix, an organisation can exceed expectations and delight customers with exceptional experiences that will encourage loyalty. Effective social customer service has the potential to generate positive and engaging customer experiences and, when necessary, allow a company to act fast to reduce damage done by negative comments online.

 

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