Some general rules of thumb for good customer service:
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep
- Listen to your customers
- Be helpful – even if there’s no immediate profit in it for you
- Always be obliging, courteous, and knowledgeable
- Deal with complaints
These rules apply to everybody, and customer service doesn’t stop when it comes to your social media platforms. Even though you can’t see them face-to-face, you still need to keep your customers satisfied! It may even be more important to have excellent customer service online, because if your customer is unhappy, they will likely make it known – and if they’re extremely unhappy, it may go viral and ruin the reputation of your company.
Let’s go over some examples of companies that have used social media customer service to their advantage.
There are many companies that have Twitter accounts that are solely dedicated to customer service – Netflix, Publix, Bright House and many more. Let’s look a little closer at Publix. @Publix and their customer service account, @PublixHelps respond to Tweets, almost always within minutes being posted, usually saying something along the lines of, “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” or “What can I do to help?” And trust me when I say, “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” are two of the most important things you’ll ever say when communicating with consumers on social media!
The woman in this screenshot didn’t even directly @Mention Publix — their customer service team was being proactive and searching for people who are talking about Publix and responding to them. As a result of their great online customer service, @Publix, a grocery store mainly in the Southeast United States, has a Twitter following of over 9,000!
You may not have the budget to have someone run an account solely dedicated to customer service, but it is important that you respond to all comments, compliments, and complaints when somebody takes the time to contact you over social media.
A study conducted last year shows that almost 40% of companies do not track their social media responses at all, and more than half ignore all customer feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Going along with that, in another study conducted by a communications professor at NYU, consumers are 88% less likely to buy from companies who ignore complaints on social media.
See where I’m going with this?
It is imperative that you use the rules of customer service in person and on social media. This is a chance for you to do damage control on something that may have not otherwise been fixed — and highly increase your chances of that person continuing to do business with you.
Do you take the time to respond to your consumers on social media? Do you believe that this is important to the success of your business? Sound off in the comments below!