If you are not already familiar with the new slang term "the DMs" from a meme near you, it refers to ‘direct messages,' which is a function on Twitter and Instagram that allows you to directly message anyone--whether they follow you or not.
According to Social Media Today, an estimated 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolution for issues with a product or service. As of January 2018, there were over 3 billion active social media users worldwide and over 2 billion active mobile social users-with that number, literally, increasing every day. Companies that effectively add these channels as part of their overall omnichannel customer experience are experiencing immediate benefits in terms of cost savings and productivity.
Providing an exceptional customer experience through social media can be a challenging task, especially in the retail industry where there has been an uptick in inquiries or complaints on social feeds which can snowball and ruin brand reputation overnight. To keep your team and brand on the up and up, here are 5 tips to help you get started.
5 Tips for Social Media Support
#1 Build a Social Media Customer Support Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when adding social support is not mapping out the overall strategy upfront. A clear strategy and planning up front will enable organizations to succeed and it's the forethought that makes all the difference. Taking the time to plan at the onset ensures a better customer experience, more effective response and top-notch social support-all of which builds loyalty and elevates your the brand. Need some help getting started? Download our free guide here.
#2 Handling Complaints On Social Media? Move outta' the feed into the DM
When you receive complaints on your social media channels, the goal should be to acknowledge the complaint publicly on the feed but to reroute the conversation for resolution through a direct message (DM). The key is to respond as quickly as possible, publicly acknowledging that you're there to solve the problem, then guide the individual onto a more private, off-line option like a Twitter and Instagram Direct Message or Facebook Messenger. The difference is, because of the public nature of social media and its ability to rally the masses, agents cannot let a one-person rant escalate into a large group free-for-all, which it easily can, within minutes of the original post. For retail companies specifically, this also prevents customers from posting private information about their order which can potentially get into the wrong hands.
#3 Keep Social Media Support Resolutions in One Place
The worst thing you can do is leave John Travolta hanging in the DMs. The second worst thing you can do is leave your customer inquiries unattended to as this is what viral brand disasters are made of. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, when someone enjoys a positive customer service experience on social media, that person is nearly three times more likely to recommend the brand which fuels long-term loyalty. So, it's important that the resolution stays within the same social channel the customer chose for original contact-connected consumers expect to stay in the original ecosystem unless there's no other way to solve the problem. However, if the channels have to change, it's critical to log a history of the complaint so the customer doesn't have to begin the resolution process from scratch in the new channel.
#4 Create a Separate Handle for Social Support
From Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Spotify, these social customer experience gurus are winning over customers with creative and personalized social responses with dedicated social accounts for customer support. Spotify even encourages their customers to slide into their DMs for technical and billing inquiries (what a time to be alive). We know what you're thinking--you are not as big as Nike or Spotify so your budget won't allow for it. BUT, did you know social support is significantly less expensive than other channels? Social agents answer as many as eight times more issues per hour than phone agents, which makes the price of social support about one-sixth the cost of a phone call. Check out other brands that we think do it well here.
#5 Assign Ownership of Social Support Channels
Whether you create a separate handle or not, assigning ownership of customer support on social channels ends the blurred lines of responsibility between marketing and customer support. Often times, these blurred lines of responsibility cause a stall on someone actually helping the customer or worse, not being able to help the customer the right way. By training and investing in your team to deliver consistent and nothing short of amazing customer experiences, it helps to keep processes, tone, and guidelines intact with your brand.
Need some help with scaling your social support? We are your go-to pros, get in touch with me here.