Social Media as a Customer Support Channel

Do you fully understand the effectiveness of social media as a customer support channel? Approximately one out of every five consumers has reported using social media to get a customer service response at least once within the past year, and people are more likely to have a positive opinion of a brand that responds to online queries quickly. Everybody knows that, you think. Well, before you decide to anoint yourself a social media customer care superstar, you’ll want to make sure to keep these tips in mind.

Timing Is Everything

According to research conducted by Lithium Technologies, 53% of customers who use Twitter to ask a brand question expect a response within an hour. That number rises to 72% if a complaint is involved. So if your social team has that “let ‘em cool their heels” mentality, it’s time for a policy overhaul. We’re an on-demand society, and that include instantaneous responses from your social media customer support team.

If you work in an industry that demands immediate communication (such as the travel support industry), the need to respond quickly becomes even more imperative. Updating a tweeting airline customer about a gate change doesn’t do them much good if you get back to them after the plane has taken off. Some industries require near-constant social monitoring, so you may also find that it’s necessary to expand your customer support hours in order to be online when your customers are.

Some Queries Should Be Moved Offline

When responding to negative customer queries, you must decide if you should resolve the conflict offline, especially since data from Conversocial shows that 95.6% of consumers who see negative comments on a brand’s social media pages are affected by them. Let’s face it, if you see a post about a roach being cooked into your favorite take-out pizza, that’s probably going to stick with you next time you’re in the mood for a slice. If you don’t think a problem can be resolved in one exchange or if the issue involves sensitive information, it may be wise to move it to a private message for resolution.

You Need the Right Tools

Tracking and managing customer activity can be surprisingly easy if you have the right tools. Some systems are automated and provide you with convenient reports. We offer tools to help you analyze social media brand volume so you can maximize efficiency by ramping up support during peak times – and then scaling back down when appropriate.

No matter what type of listening or analytics tool you use, make sure you understand how to analyze the data you get from it and use it to provide superior social media customer care. (There’s no point in buying sheet music if you can’t read it, right?) Don’t hesitate to reach out to a support provider that has the flexibility to let you scale up and down as needed, offers on-demand services that match your company’s cycles, and can give you the analytical know-how you need to succeed.

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