In this digital age, long gone are the days of calling a 1-800 number for help handling customer service issues. Every day, more people become hip to online shopping; with each passing Black Friday and Cyber Monday season, social customer service continues to rise as the preferred method for people to vent their frustrations, ask their questions and demand their refunds.
According to J.D. Power 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing. And a recent study by Nielsen found that 33% of consumers prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone.
Let’s take Target for example: a quick visit to their Facebook page reveals that not many people are stopping by to sing their praises or leave positive feedback. If they are, the positivity is quickly buried by complaints and questions as the top comments and posts to page. Target’s personalized responses to the comments are also a great lesson in social customer service 101.
However, you don’t have to be a big box store with millions of products to be vulnerable to online complaints. If you offer anything for sale online via your own e-commerce store, whether it be music, tour t-shirts or koozies, it’s imperative to be monitoring your social networks for customer service issues.
Here are five tips for effective customer service monitoring on social media.
Speed – No complaint or question should go more than 24 hours without acknowledgement. Immediately is best, but we get it – it can be hard to peruse your own social networks all day long. Find a good time in the morning or evening, do a thorough check and search of all your social networks and respond to complaints as soon as you see them.
Don’t Balk – Even if you can’t replicate the technical issue or think its impossible that someone ordered from you and never received their products, take their complaint seriously from the get go. If you need time to research it and find the issue, tell the customer that.
Take It To Email – Dealing with an especially disgruntled fan that is spewing negativity or asking for free things in exchange for their hassle? Politely ask them to email you at a customer service related email account, explain their issue and make their request there. That way, the ugliness is taken off a public forum.
Be Personal – Make each response to your fans friendly and helpful. If you’re able, sign off with your initials to let them know a real, live human being is on the other end of the comment.
Communicate The Resolution – It might take you a hot minute to track down a fan’s order, figure out how to refund them or fix a bug in your store. No matter how long it takes, do not forget to update the fan via email or on their original comment, post or tweet. By taking the time to communicate the resolution in a public setting, other folks will see that you took the complaint or question seriously and will have more faith in ordering products directly from you in the future.
Remember, if they are taking the time to complain, it means they also began by taking the time to spend their hard earned money on something you are selling. Therefore mastering these basic social customer service tips should be of utmost importance for continued e-commerce success.
Jessie Whitmire, Account Director, Girlilla Marketing
Affectionately called “Lil Bit” around the office, Jessie is the shortest Girlilla on board, clocking in at 5 foot nothin’. After wrapping up her degree at Penn State University, Jessie fled the snowy tundra of Pennsylvania and made the permanent move to Nashville in 2010. She joined Team Girlilla later that year and has never looked back. As a digital marketer, she enjoys creating and executing campaigns that help her clients give back to their fans and consumers. When not online, Jessie can usually be found pool-side or enjoying live music at some of Nashville’s best dive bars.