Best Practices for Social Media Customer Service in the Caribbean
Tips to perfect customer service online
There are now more companies online and on social media more than ever. As both businesses and consumers become more active online so has customer service interactions. Similarly, offline, customer service on social media is the way businesses offer support to customers via their social media pages. However, many local businesses are still not sure how to handle these types of interactions, especially negative ones.
Before we dive into how to handle customer service online here are some interesting statistics:
● Facebook reports that 64% of people would rather message than call a business
● Forrester reports that “Digital customer service interactions will increase by 40%.” in 2021.
● Statista reports that 59% (Global Average) of people have a more favourable view of brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints on social media.
Given these statistics, companies must have a plan or protocol around their social media customer service. Here are some ways to create and implement a strategy for online customer service.
1. Monitor your social media mentions, messages and comments
Companies have to keep tabs on what customers are saying about their brand online at all times. The best practice is to check messages, comments and mentions at a specific time every day and allocate the necessary time to address them. This is especially useful for smaller businesses that are handling their own social media.
Besides addressing direct messages and comments, it is equally important that brands keep tabs on any conversations about them whether they are positive, negative or a helpful critique. Smaller companies may do this the traditional way by searching their companies name and checking their mentions on respective platforms however, some companies opt for websites that offer this service, especially, larger brands. Social Mention, Mention, Google Alerts and Brand 24 are great options for this service.
2. Always Respond
This is not commonplace. Research done by Marketing Land found that “customers get a response on social platforms about 50 percent of the time,” from companies online.
It is imperative to address each message you get, especially direct messages or comments with complaints, within a reasonable amount of time. The best way to ensure businesses stay on top of this is to set up a list of common questions and their answers. Better yet Facebook has an automated question and answers feature to help businesses manage their inbox. It also has a personalization feature so answers can include the customer’s first or last name.
3. Manage Customer Expectations
All of that being said, it is not realistic for most companies to have 24/7 customer service available online. Therefore, companies need to manage what customers expect when they write to businesses.
Facebook offers an “Away Message” and Instagram has their “Quick Replies” feature, where businesses can send an automatic response letting people know when to expect a response or when the business’s customer service is active online. Some companies also include information for specific solutions, for example, if it is a complaint about delivery or the product itself they will ask the customer on this “automated” message to email or call a number for a faster solution to that specific problem.
4. Have Customer Service Guidelines and Protocols
Whether it is a small, medium or large business, it is imperative to have strict guidelines for how to handle all types of customer service issues on social media. This will ensure continuity in the business’ response to certain situations as well as a document to refer to in the event of uncertainty.
The guidelines should include:
● Spreadsheet with frequently asked questions and their answers. As mentioned before Automated Responses on Facebook Messenger is a great solution for this and it helps increase quicker response rates.
● A defined “Customer Service Tone of Voice” depending on the brand or industry business should clearly identify the tone they want to use. For example: Friendly yet practical or cordial and straight forward. This is especially important if companies are outsourcing social media work.
● A set Responsive Time, is both the hours when the company’s customer service is available and the maximum time a customer has to wait for a response.
● Protocol for situations that are getting out of control, for example having pre-written responses for situations where a disgruntled customer is getting heated. This will take away the emotion from the moment as the response template ensures the tone is continuous even with difficult customer relations.
5. Make Public Conversations Private
If ever in a situation where a customer has brought up a subject that would be better dealt with privately, for example, any situation where the business needs to ask them personal questions like their address, phone or order number, respond privately.
Facebook, which is arguably one of the better platforms for customer relations, has a feature under comments that says “Private Message”, by clicking this, the conversation will automatically go to Messenger. The great thing about this Facebook feature is that it also tells viewers that the company replied to the client privately.
Customer Service is by no means an easy feat, especially online but practising these basic strategies will help make the process a whole lot easier for businesses!
Do you need to rethink your Digital Strategy? Connective Pros can help! Contact us via our website or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a consultancy for your business.