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How-To Use Social Media for Customer Support



As social media grows, so do its many uses. What began as a simple platform for people to be heard has grown into one of the most powerful business tools available today, and as a result more and more business functions are taking place on social media – one of which being customer support.

One of the many reasons customers follow their favorite brands on social media is the personal touch it provides. On social media, they can send their favorite companies questions, comments, or concerns about a product or experience, and can expect a response in return. Managing customer support on social media can seem easy when your audience is small, but as your company grows and attracts new customers, an increasing number of customer support requests will find their way into your inbox and timeline. As your company grows, it'll become more important that you reply to customer support questions as quickly and accurately as possible, so you'll want to have a customer support strategy prepared.

When a customer contacts your company on social media, they're looking for the same high quality customer support they would expect from a phone call directly to your help line. If days or weeks go by without an answer to their message, it's understandable that the customer may be turned off by your poor response times. Social media allows information to travel faster than ever possible before, and customers expect responses to their questions very quickly as a result. Not only do they expect timely responses, but they expect to be treated well. Customers want to feel cared for, and no matter how large your company may be, each and every customer should feel as if they are the only person to which you are selling. Be honest with each and every customer, and treat them as you would a guest in your own home. Be polite, but be personable as well – no one wants to feel like they are being responded to by an automated machine.

Social media is interesting as a social media platform in that not every call for help will come by way of your inbox. Many times, customers will talk about your brand without directly mentioning your page at all. If you aren't monitoring these mentions, you could be missing out on a number of customer service opportunities. Luckily, there are a number of tools on the internet that allow you to track mentions of your brand on social media, and taking advantage of these tools could help you take your customer support above and beyond.

Responding to indirect mentions can be tricky, because there's a time for intervention, and a time to keep your distance. Generally, you'll want to reply to genuine requests and concerns. When a customer tweets about your company, complaining that the product they received was defective, you should definitely reply with a solution. However, there will be times when individuals create posts about your brand that have little you can assist with, so it's best to stay out of these conversations. If someone tweets that Pepsi is better than Coca-Cola, it would make little sense for Coca-Cola to address the issue. It'll take good judgement on your end, but with time and practice you can establish a thorough understanding of how to monitor your brand online, and when and how to respond to indirect mentions on social media.

Customer support is one of the most important areas of business, and having an excellent rapport with your customers will do you nothing but good as your company grows. As you implement new social media customer support strategies, you'll want to measure your success along the way. Measuring your success is largely about tallying up the number of messages you've received during a specific point in time, and how many of them you were able to reply to within a set time frame. In addition, you'll want to measure how many issues were resolved during that period of time, and how many went unresolved. Ideally, the number of cases resolved will be very high, and the time it took to resolve them will be low.

Once you've determined your resolution rate, you'll want to get an understanding of customer happiness. This can be tricky, as it's largely subjective, but there are tools at your disposal to make it happen. One great way to measure customer happiness is to ask for a simple survey response after their issue has been resolved. Compile the list of results, and take note of how many customers were happy and unhappy with their experience. Use this data to learn more about how you can improve your customer support.

When it comes to customer support, always remember that going above and beyond when possible is the key to success. Do everything within your power to make the customer happy with their customer service experience, and you'll see your customer support ratings and customer happiness skyrocket.

What are some other great tips for improving customer support on social media? How has your customer support team adjusted to this new platform? Let us know in the comments below!

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