Should your customer services be social?

Thanks to the internet becoming increasingly mobile, consumers are no longer staying silent and writing a letter of complaint later, nor do they have the patience to be put on hold to an 0800 number for help when they can instantly connect with the brand online.

Thanks to the internet becoming increasingly mobile, consumers are no longer staying silent and writing a letter of complaint later, nor do they have the patience to be put on hold to an 0800 number for help when they can instantly connect with the brand online.

According to a report on consumer expectations on social, 42% expect response from a brand within an hour of posting, with 57% expecting the same response time outside of normal business hours. Additionally, a huge 89% of consumers say they have done business with a competitor due to a brand's poor social response.

A recent study by SimplyMeasured found that 30% of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands are now investing in dedicated customer service handles on Twitter, noting that "managing the negative impact of a disgruntled customer can be crucial in a viral atmosphere like Twitter, where negative PR can spread like wildfire".

Consumers want to know they're being listened to or they'll happily take their business elsewhere, with over 200 million active users on Twitter you would think more brands would be paying attention.

Creating an extra handle for customer service issues allows enquiries to be answered as quickly as possible, as well as taking away the 'clutter' from the brand's main Twitter page. A great example is ASOS' dedicated customer service account @ASOS_HeretoHelp which doesn't only respond quickly to enquiries, but also monitors keywords in order to engage with customers with grievances who haven't yet contacted the brand directly. This level of dedication to customer service not only helps to maintain the brand's loyal customer base, but also offers a strong competitive advantage over their competitors who are still using the much slower 'traditional' customer service methods.

Here are our tips to make your customer service more social:

Listen

There are several great social monitoring tools available which allow keyword tracking and over all social platforms, as well as measure the over sentiment towards your brand and identify common issues. By monitoring the people talking about you or even just talking about your sector, users can be given great customer service before they are even your customer!

React

Don't ignore anyone, ever. Whether positive or negative, giving each customer the same level of attention in a timely fashion is the best way to ensure all relationships are maintained or improved as much as possible. It's always important to remember that customer service isn't just about resolving problems, if someone has taken the time to leave a positive comment then be polite enough to say thanks.

Make it personal

Twitter is a great place to lose the corporate tone and connect with users on a personal level. This can be achieved through signing-off all tweets with the name of the person tweeting from your account and using their face in the profile picture instead of a logo. The more approachable and human your account is, the more likely users will want to interact and build trust.

Curious about how you can improve your customer service on social? Drop us a message to see what we can bring to the table.