How to Raise Your Customer Service from ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’ on Social Media?
A quick checklist to creating happy Fashion Social Media Customers
Many businesses made the shift from just offline to a combination of online & physical spheres in 2020-21 but struggle to provide quality social media customer service. It’s not easy being available for every customer 24×7 and being virtually disposable to their every comment. From addressing purchase queries to clearing client inhibitions about products, social media customer service is supposedly underrated, given the critical role it plays. Maintaining a good customer-brand relationship is key to growing your business. Social customer support is highly effective because it allows customers to reach your team on the platforms they already use.
Good customer service is important but that alone isn’t enough in the present-day internet savvy populace. It is the little things like making the customer feel comfortable, understood and welcomed, that make a huge difference. In fact, 36% of respondents to a U.S. survey said “great customer service” is a motivation to recommend a brand online (Newberry, 2021).
One of the first challenges to providing great social customer service is determining on which platform to focus time and resources. While marketing efforts may drive traffic to targeted social sites, customer service teams must meet their customers where they’re already socializing. Common answers are Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. But more importantly-
Why should you pay attention to improving your social media customer service in your business plan? Here are some facts to blow your mind (Newberry, 2021)-
- 70% of people expect to message businesses more in the future for customer service questions.
- 64% of people would rather message than call a business.
- 9% of brands don’t reply to comments on Instagram, and 16% don’t respond to comments on Facebook.
- 69% of U.S. Facebook users who message businesses say it makes them feel more confident about the brand.
- 40% of holiday shoppers say they are more likely to consider buying from a brand they can message.
- 60% of Internet users say bad customer service is a concern when making an online purchase.
Now that we have established why customer service on social media needs to be more than just ‘good’, let’s touch on some best practices that you may incorporate in your customer service strategy.
4 excellent social media customer service best practices
According to J.D. Power (Haines, 2015), 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media channel for customer service. And when they do, they expect a fast response. Research cited by Jay Baer (Baer, 2017) tells us that 42% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes. Hence, best practices you can follow –
- Create social media guidelines
First things first. Create social media guidelines for your team. Social customer support has different challenges and opportunities from social marketing. But it’s no less important to have social media guidelines in place. These should align with your company values and with the social marketing team. Your brand guidelines for social customer support should cover things such as:
- Tone of voice
- Response time for each channel
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Protocol for escalations or other customer issues
- A message approval procedure and a permission management system
- Pay attention to every comment
Each comment could be a potential client that could turn into a customer if dealt with in the right way. Replying to each comment can lead to sales conversions, addressing minor/major customer complaints, or simply build a social media community. There is no picking and choosing which complaints seem easiest to resolve. You need to provide a response to each and every issue with your brand. It also keeps potential customers around. After all, high-quality social media customer service requires serious dedication. Taking an example from Mr. Porter’s Instagram feed :
Moreover, observe and analyze the following points:
- How many comments appear to be written in moments of frustration, perhaps after having a poor customer experience in person or online?
- How many are technical or account-specific questions?
- How many comments provide feedback, positive or negative?
- How many questions can be answered using links to existing help content?
- How many brand mentions require, or would benefit from, a response?
- What time of day are your customers most active on social media?
The answers to these questions will help you plan staffing and resources, define priority criteria, make decisions about self-service options, and determine whether you’ll be able to handle the majority of issues directly through the social channel or require a process for directing social media users to another line of support. In fact, the majority of businesses are truly quite lousy at customer service when it comes to complaints/problems — Don’t be one of them!
- Add online shopping FAQ in Instagram Stories Highlights
Here’s another way to make your customer trust your brand more. The clearer the information provided, the lesser chance of doubts building up in their psyches. This is a self-service social media customer service option that can be a good way to address common questions. Adding FAQs can also help support your customers even when your support team is not available. Although this feature is yet to be launched by Instagram (Freer, 2020), you can always add “Ways to Shop” FAQs on the feed highlights.
All Birds, a sustainable New Zealand shoe brand, carefully and strategically handle their social media and a highlight dedicated to FAQs. Some common questions they’ve listed are:
- Where can I get All Birds shipped to me?
- What size am I in All Birds?
- Do you have half sizes available?
- I have a wide foot, will All Birds fit me?
- I want a pair that’s out of stock. How do I get it?
- My All Birds aren’t clean. What should I do?
- Can I return or exchange my All Birds?
- Keep responses personal, kind & friendly
It is always a good idea to chat with your customer by addressing them with their name and responding with the name of the customer service provider. Treat each person with respect. Use your name (and theirs) when interacting with customers online. In Instagram’s case, use their handle names to address them – just like these international fashion retailers have on their feed:
Over to you now!
Now you’re ready to build yourself a powerful social media customer service strategy. Incorporate these 5 excellent and easy-to-include best practice ideas into your social media customer service. Switch up your strategy a bit and see how your browsers will eventually turn into loyal customers!
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