5 Steps To Creating Effective Social Media Customer Service

4 min read

One of the most effective and efficient ways to improve your business's customer service is through social media. Modern consumers are turning to social media to connect with brands expecting that they will be provided with the support they are in search of. Utilizing social media is a great way to provide helpful self-service tools to your customer base while improving their overall experience with your company.

A JD Power Survey showed that out of 23,000 online participants, 67% of consumers reached out to a company's social media platform for support. Leading companies have already begun to take advantage of this trend, leveraging their social media following to improve their service and support. The day of people wanting to call and talk to service reps for support has passed. Today, people want quick, convenient, and easy ways to find what they're looking for‚ and a great way to provide that for them is through social media.

So the question becomes:

  • How do you listen to your customers on social media?
  • And how do you respond?

Here is a 5 step outline on how to do just that:

1. Pick Your Platform

The first step to creating effective social media customer service is picking your social media platform so you can effectively target your audience. There are a lot to choose from and it may seem overwhelming. The current top 5 social media platforms of 2020 are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat, in that order.

The best way to pick your platform is by targeting your audience and finding where your customers are. By basing your network here, you can easily reach a large portion of your customer base in their preferred method. Therefore, making it easier for the customer.

If you don't know where your customers are, an easy solution is sending out a survey. A direct, one-question email survey sent to your customer base can lead you to the right platform.

After picking your platform(s), another helpful strategy is to create a separate social media handle just for customer service and support. This is one more step to make things even more convenient and simple for the customer to reach out for support. You can include this customer support channel handle in your main company profile, or any other main social media pages your business uses, to help direct customers.

2. Be Proactive

Once you have established your business's social media platform and handle, the next step is to be proactive. This means getting ahead of your customers by anticipating questions and support they may need. This can eliminate their need to reach out for support in certain scenarios, and ultimately, reduce customer confusion. Therefore, freeing up your business's customer service time and resources to focus on more complex matters.

There are several simple ways to be proactive on social media. A very popular and effective option is doing a live Q&A. This can be done on a variety of platforms such as Instagram and Facebook stories and live videos, or simple comment and reply sessions. A live Q&A can be especially useful because it allows consumers to ask simple questions and receive an immediate response without needing to search out further information. It also allows its viewers to see answers to their own potential questions, reducing their need to search for support. And as a bonus, getting live questions from your customer base will give you a deeper insight into what information they are lacking from your company, and how to improve on that.

Another proactive social media tactic is using polls for customers in order to receive feedback. Polls can be posted on nearly all social media platforms and allow for the audience to answer with a quick one-tap response. This can show your business valuable customer insight, allowing you to understand better ways to improve and support the customer's self-service experience.

How-To videos are another good proactive tool. They can also be posted to nearly all social media platforms, and are the perfect opportunity to explain how to use a product before any confusion arises. Linking resources to your business's website or customer service center with these videos are important as well. That way, if the customer's question is not answered in the video, they know where to follow up.

3. Monitor for Mentions

The top way to monitor the conversation happening around your brand is through hashtags. DigiMind surveyed twitter and found that consumers used hashtags 91% of the time to mention global brands overusing the company's handle just 9% of the time.

This means you cannot wait for consumers to reach out and tag you in service requests, but you instead should track the conversation happening about your brand. This way you are ready to respond to a consumer issue without them even needing to reach out to you.

4. Always Respond Quick!

This just might be the most crucial step. Answering any and all questions that consumers present to your brand shows that you not only have a reliable customer service team, but that your business cares about its customers.

However, this is a two-pronged step. Just responding to consumers social media concerns is not enough. It is crucial to respond in a timely and friendly fashion.

The Social Habit conducted a survey that showed 32% of social media users expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. The internet has created an expectation of fast-paced responses, different than that of email, phone, or in-person service.

It is important to set an expectation of how long your customer should wait before receiving a response. This should be a fast, but also a reasonable and consistent goal, so the customer can rely on their issue being resolved in a timely manner.

5. Set Response Guidelines

Setting response guidelines goes hand in hand with always responding quickly. Creating a set of parameters to follow when responding to a consumer will ensure consistency. These guidelines should be created with your business's values in mind, along with your consumers’ satisfaction as a top priority.

Some things to keep in mind while creating your response guidelines are your expected response time (as mentioned in step #4), your tone of voice and how it reflects the customer's tone, a consistent set of answers to frequently asked questions, and a set procedure to follow on more complex customer issues (when to escalate). Check out ServiceTarget's response guidelines below:

Response Etiquette: It is very important to always respond to comments or messages we receive on our content. This shows that we care about our feedback and are glad to take time to continue the conversation or resolve any issue. We should also do our best to read the room and respond in a thoughtful way that matches the tone of the response. However, this does not mean that if we receive negative feedback we should respond in a negative tone. Always remain positive, then accommodate with the appropriate response tone.

When following up on more complex customer issues, there should be a set plan to execute and ensure the customer's issue is resolved. This is where the public issue should be made private and follow-up steps can be made to find a solution. This can be done through private messaging on most social media platforms or through direct emailing or phone contact.

Social media is an awesome tool for empowering customers with the self-service materials they need to succeed. However, it is not the only tool. Another important step in the self-service journey is driving adoption and shaping customer preferences toward self-service in order to ensure it's success. undefined

I love to write with one goal in mind - to help you build amazing customer experiences. Our content is tailored to help you understand your customers, design great products and deliver world-class customer self-service. I share my knowledge and experience through my articles, videos, podcasts, templates, and more - so you can take your customer experience to the next level.‍

Want to learn more about what we offer?

Explore the stages of our product tour and the self-service solutions we provide to see how our diverse applications can work for you.

Explore more blog posts!

That's not all! Our blog has tons to offer. Explore more posts below to keep learning!

knowledge centered service

5 Steps to Successfully Implementing KCS in Your Organization

Knowledge Management

Are you looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer support processes? One solution to consider is Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS). This blog will provide a step-by-step guide on successfully implementing KCS in your organization. From assessing your current knowledge management practices to training and educating employees, we'll cover all the key steps to ensure a smooth and successful adoption of the methodology. Following these best practices can streamline support processes, reduce the need for repetitive tasks, and improve the overall customer experience. Let's get started!

continue reading →
knowledge management

8 Tips for Maximizing Team Productivity with Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

As a business leader, you know that maximizing your team's productivity is essential for success. One way to do this is by implementing a knowledge management (KM) system. KM is the process of creating, sharing, using, and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. By centralizing and organizing information, a KM system can help your team work more efficiently and effectively. In this article, we'll provide eight tips for maximizing your team's productivity with knowledge management.

continue reading →
digital experience

5 Steps to Building the Ultimate Digital Transformation Roadmap

Customer Experience

"Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Learn how to build a comprehensive digital transformation roadmap that will help you stay competitive in today's fast-paced digital landscape. Our latest blog article, "5 Steps to Building the Ultimate Digital Transformation Roadmap," covers everything from assessing your current situation to measuring success and staying adaptable. Don't miss out on the insights and strategies you need to drive digital innovation and success. Read now! #DigitalTransformation #Innovation #BusinessGrowth

continue reading →
digital transformation

84% of Companies Fail at Digital Transformation: Here's How to Avoid Being a Statistic

Customer Experience

As a business leader, you know the importance of digital transformation in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world. But the truth is that many companies struggle with digital transformation and fail to realize its full potential. In this blog, we'll explore the challenges of digital transformation and share tips and best practices for overcoming them. With 84% of companies failing at digital transformation, it's more important than ever to avoid being a statistic. So, if you're looking to successfully navigate the digital landscape and drive innovation in your organization, this blog is for you. Let's get started!

continue reading →
call center

How AI-Powered Search Improve Call Center Efficiency

Customer Experience

If you work in a call center, you know how important it is to handle customer inquiries efficiently and effectively. But with a high volume of calls and a wide range of topics to cover, it can be challenging to quickly find the information you need to assist customers. That's where AI-powered search comes in. This blog will discuss how artificial intelligence can revolutionize call center operations by improving search functionality and streamlining information access. Whether you're a call center professional looking to improve efficiency or a business owner looking to upgrade your customer support, this blog is for you. So, let's get started!

continue reading →