By Maggie Schneider Huston-Oracle on Sep 22, 2015
Social customer service is here. That’s undisputed. Regardless if you’re a B2B or B2C brand, you need to have an excellent social customer service strategy. Here’s how to do it:
1. Set Up A Structure: This may sound pretty basic, but it’s an essential element to a successful strategy. Who will be responsible for handling customer service requests that come in through social media? Is it your current social media manager? Your customer service team? Someone else? Clearly delineate who is responsible for answering these questions, and then give them clear guidance for how to execute and deliver rewarding results.
At Oracle, the social media managers are responsible for fielding initial requests. By using the Social Relationship Management (SRM) tool, we are the first ones who see the customer’s comments. From there, we can either respond within the SRM, or direct the question to an expert in another department via our seamless integration capabilities.
2. Respond To Everyone: As Jay Baer said, “Answer every customer, in every channel, every time. You answer every phone call and email, don’t you? A lack of response is a response - it’s a response that says we don’t care what you think.” If someone has taken the time to reach out to you, you must respond.
For example, we get a lot of spam posts on our Facebook page. We’ve resolved this issue by clearly stating the community posting guidelines and then deleting comments that are inappropriate. Transparency is crucial; if we randomly deleted posts, it would look like we were suppressing dissent. We welcome a healthy debate, but draw the line at spam or vulgar language.
3. Be Helpful: Nothing is worse than a generic response to a specific question. It’s pretty simple: if you don’t know the answer, find someone who does.
What does a good response look like? Empathy. Understand what your customer is going through and resolve to make it better. It’s all customer service; it’s just a different platform.
4. Learn From Your Customer Feedback: “Customer feedback is the petri dish for operational improvements,” says Jay Baer. A customer who reaches out to you with a complaint is giving you a direction for improvement. If someone tells you they’re having a problem with XYZ, chances are pretty good that everybody else is having that problem, too. It gives you the opportunity to fix problems and make your product better.
Plus, when you’re responsive to feedback, you build customer loyalty. Think about it - if you complained about a product and the company fixed it quickly, you’d be satisfied, right? Taking it a step further, you would be more likely to buy from the company again because you know if there’s a problem, they’ll solve it. If you’re really satisfied, you may even turn into an advocate for the brand.
In our next post, we will discuss the “4 Things You Should Never Do on Social Customer Service.” Stay tuned…