Using social media can be intimidating—especially when it comes to maintaining a community and a brand identity. In 2005, only 7% of the US population used social media. In 2015, 65% of Americans were on a social networking site, and the number continues to grow.
With so many people on the internet, issues are bound to occur. Therefore brands have to keep in mind customer service when maintaining a Facebook page or Twitter account. They might be approached with questions about a product—where to find it, how to use it, etc.—or they might be faced with a disgruntled customer.
In any case, brands need to think about each situation they approach. Here are some simple guidelines to remember when responding to customers:
Don’t Delete The Problem
You cannot delete your problems in real life – this holds true in social media. Deleting the problem is a temporary “fix” but often users will check back on their comment/tweet. If they see it has been deleted it creates a larger problem. The brand is perceived to not care about their audience’s opinion or concerns. Some very big brands have made this mistake and we at Pathfinders would suggest crafting informative responses to those who are concerned.
Don’t Ignore It
A great rule of thumb is to read each comment/tweet and assess what the user is trying to say.
Sometimes a comment won’t make sense. When that happens, inquire further—start a dialogue. Whether a user is complaining or giving praise, both need to be acknowledged with a response. Sometimes a simple like/favorite can suffice, depending on the context of the message.
Every interaction on your social media channel should get attention.
Don’t Stock Respond
Nothing makes users less engaged than seeing the same responses multiple times.
Stock responses make your social media channels seem like they’re run by a robot. Social networking is an innovative tool that can be used to reach millions of people – so it is very important to take the time. K-Mart ran into this issue in the past. For best practice we highly suggest crafting response variations or write to every user.
Always Provide A Solution
Before pressing send and responding to a question, it should be asked – “did I provide a solution?” This is an essential ask before leaving every individual response. Social media has become another platform for customer service so it would be no different than speaking to someone on the phone or in person – they would never leave their customer without a solution.
Get Your Social On
It can be tricky to navigate the right response to customers but if you follow these guidelines, your social media voice will be personal, efficient and invaluable. If you find that your company needs customer service guidance for your social channel, we have a full team capable of assisting you with moderation and customer service needs. Connect with us!