We all love seeing viral customer service social media posts but the truth is, most of these examples are rare occurrences… after all, we can’t all giveaway free steaks like the famous Morton’s Steakhouse post nor can we all provide personal drawings of worms alongside Netflix gift cards, like the recent Sainsbury’s case study. These, of course, aren’t bad examples of great customer service on social media but it’s not the most sustainable way to run your customer service on social media. As social media is very public, other customers could come to expect the same handouts when they send a nice tweet. Thankfully, there are steps to providing outstanding customer service daily on social media, without giving away too much!
Don’t Be Afraid Of Customer Comments On Social Media
The first step is to actually allow your customers to reach you easily. No one really wants to call up or even email a complaint these days. Not only do 67% of consumers use social for customer service, recent research by Neilsen revealed that 33% of consumers actually prefer to speak with brands via social than on the phone. So instead of switching off Facebook posts or messages, or disabling comments on Instagram, let your audience reach out to you on social. Once you’ve responded, it will reinforce that you are committed to your customer service across all platforms.
Respond As Quickly As Possible
Sometimes you just want an answer and nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a response when you’ve already been let down. And sometimes problems do need an urgent response! Picture yourself being abandoned by a booked taxi and tweeting disappointment to the company at being stranded. A response from the company is no good 5 hours later when the customer has likely wasted their time and money sorting out alternative transport by then. If the company had notifications for both desktop and mobile Twitter apps, they could have pounced on this straight away and maybe attempted to provide alternative transport in the first instance.
Similarly, I complained myself recently when I found a piece of rogue plastic in a microwave veg pot, which cut my mouth! It took the company 3 days to respond to my complaint on Twitter, where they asked for the product number on the packaging… by this time, the cleaners had taken the rubbish out and the packaging was gone. D’oh!
Monitor Your Brand, Not Just Your Mentions
Tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social are great ways to track your brand when people are talking about you without directly tagging you in a post. Sometimes a customer might not want to mention you directly through tagging you but still have a legitimate complaint or query that needs addressing all the same.A famous case study is the Delta Hotels example, in which a customer tweeted that they loved their room but the view (a noisy generator outside) could be better. They did not tag Delta Hotels in the tweet but, as Delta Hotels were monitoring their brand, they were able to pick up on this and ensure that the hotel the customer was staying at were in the loop. In response, they sent up some sweet treats and a handwritten note to his room, apologising for the view personally. The manager of the Twitter account didn’t have to forward this to the hotel location, and the hotel location didn’t have to follow through with the note and sweets but it was this joined up approach that led to greater customer loyalty from the tweeter in question.
Inject Some Personality – Be Human
Now, that microwave veg pot story actually has a happy ending! After the 3 days, it took them to reply, I responded that the packaging had been taken away by cleaners over the weekend, expecting a response that they couldn’t proceed with any compensation due to the non-existent proof that the product was indeed theirs. Instead, I received the message “Oh no! Oh well, these things happen, and we’re so sorry that you were hurt by our product, that’s never what we want! Let us know your address and we’ll send you some vouchers to get some new pots, plastic free (we promise!)”. I was really impressed by their messaging back to me on Twitter, keeping their tone true to their brand image, and a few days later I received the vouchers through the post along with a handwritten letter apologising for the mistake. This was another really great personal touch and made me feel like a very valued customer. They made sure to follow their personality and tone from social to handwritten letter, showing their customer service team really value their customers and their thoughts.
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