Social Media Customer Service | How to Interact with Customers Online

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Tweets, likes, pins, posts, shares, snaps… oh my!  For some businesses, these words may not seem relevant.  However, most consumers are engaging with online social trends daily.  For almost every company, no matter the demographics of the target market, chances are a large percentage of their customers are daily users on a social networking account.  Social media customer service allows a business to interact with consumers more conveniently than ever before!

Why Provide Social Media Customer Service?

Managing social media pages is often a full-time job for one or more people depending on the size of the firm.  Nonetheless, social media customer service is the simplest and most cost-effective way to proactively engage with consumers.  In fact, great customer service provided on social sites can reduce the number of service related phone calls and store visits that a business receives.  When a product or service fails a customer’s expectations, they typically want an explanation, assistance or refund for their issue.  A social media page is the digital extension of a brand.  Consumers are now sending online messages, private and public, to companies for a variety of reasons.  Having a proactive approach to social networking will help maintain customer satisfaction and reduce the negative fallout from a bad experience.

Some businesses avoid social media because they fear the negative attention that their business might attract.  In these cases, having a measured response will have a better outcome than no response at all.  When customers feel neglected they are more likely to drag the company’s reputation through the mud worse than when their problems are addressed.  Many companies have developed strategies for dealing with negative attention online that often encourages the conversation to be handled in the private messaging section of a social site.

how to interact with customers online

Social Strategy

Full commitment to social media customer service will provide the best results.  Go beyond simply engaging with a tweet or post directed at your business by following the customer’s account or sending a request to connect.  If the customer has an issue with a purchase they made through your business, provide them with as much support as possible.  Empathy towards the issue is typically received much better than a defensive response, even if the company is not at fault.  Providing any sort of promotional benefits, relative to the issue at hand, is a great way to reduce negativity.

Additionally, thank everyone who leaves a positive comment or review.  For negative or average reviews try and address the issue in a way that acknowledges the customer, but assures others that the problem is uncommon or specific to the customer’s specific situation.  Remembering that social media is a public platform in which others will see helps to discourage regrettable posts.   If a customer is upset beyond a reasonable measure, there are methods to ban or block them from writing obscene comments and reviews.  Having policies for common situations is good, but remember that each event should be handled with individual care.

How To Keep It Interesting

One myth about using social media for business purposes is that the company must maintain a flawlessly professional appearance.  The fast food company Wendy’s recently struck internet gold with a social campaign targeting millennials.  Using humor and trending topics the company organically achieved millions of views by engaging customers directly.  The social media coordinator responded to tweets from customers with quick-witted humor that was unexpected from such a large company.  This tactic should be implemented by staying true to the brand’s personality and avoiding sensitive political topics.

best customer service ideas for social media

Ready To Implement?

Social Media Customer Service is no longer optional for the clear majority of companies.  For those firms who are not ready to commit their own employees time, there are other ways to support this strategy.  Digital Resource is a marketing agency based in West Palm Beach, Florida that handles the social presence for many different organizations with daily posts and excellent customer service.  With each page checked daily, customer’s compliments and concerns will be validated seamlessly.  Contact an internet marketing specialist today to learn more!

Tayler is a graduate from Florida Atlantic University where she studied multimedia journalism, English, and psychology. She brings extensive writing knowledge to our team and over ten years of customer service experience. Tayler is ready to provide businesses with quality content that helps to build consumer satisfaction and rapport.

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