1. Timely Response
Research shows that on average, a customer who expresses a complaint on social media expects a response within one hour. Additionally, customers expect the same response on social media as they would receive from calling the company with a complaint.
Although it may not always be realistic to provide a resolution to the customer’s problem within an hour, it is important to quickly acknowledge their concerns and let them know that you’re working on it. This small act of consideration sets the tone for your follow-up conversation and also significantly impacts your image as a company. The customer service you provide on social media should always match the experience a customer would receive through other means of communication.
2. Ensure accuracy
Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate lengthy details via social media, in that case it is best to request and email address or phone number to contact the customer directly. If you are unsure of an answer to your customers inquiry, don’t guess or assume an answer that will only end up changing down the line. Instead, let your customer know that you’re looking into an answer for them and give them a time-frame in which they can expect to hear back from you.
When communicating with a customer in response to an inquiry or complaint, it is extremely important not to make promises that you can’t deliver on. For example, when dealing with a customer complaint if you are unsure how soon a representative from your company can contact the customer, don’t say someone will be in touch shortly. This sets a false expectation that will only complicate things and frustrate your customer even more. While it is important to give your customer a timeline to expect a follow-up call or email, it is most important that that time-frame be realistic.
3. Follow Through
Whenever you tell a customer on social media that you need more time to find an answer for them, it is very important to actually follow through on that promise. In a situation where you know you won’t have an answer by the time-frame you have given them, reach out to them as soon as possible and explain what is going on so that the level of trust they have in you doesn’t diminish.
While it is recommended to get back to the customer with a resolution within the time-frame you have given them, sometimes resolving complex issues will take much longer then you initially anticipated. This is something that can’t be avoided at times. In this case, the more you keep the customer in the loop of what is going on the better their customer experience will be.
4. Be Personable
When it comes to interacting with your customers on social media, it is important to speak to them on a personal level, while at the same time maintaining professionalism. No one wants to feel as if they are speaking to a robot, your customers want to feel like they are speaking to a person they can relate to.
Being relatable to your customers not only helps them connect with you better, but builds trust and overall enhances the customer’s experience with your company. In life, we tend to gravitate towards people we have a connection with and it’s no different in business. Building a strong connection with your customers on social media starts simply with being friendly, relatable, and personable.
5. Communicate Offline
It is important that you acknowledge and respond to all customer inquiries that you receive on your social media platforms. While some questions can be efficiently answered directly on your social media channels, you always want to move communication regarding complaints or complex issues offline.
As a rule of thumb, if a customer has a general question, then it is fine to keep the conversation online. For customers that have issues of a complex nature or have expressed dissatisfaction with your company, you would want to move that conversation offline as soon as possible. In these cases, it’s best to transfer your method of communication to another channel such as an email or phone call.