Thanks to social media, the interaction between customers and businesses has never been the same. More so, they are now more expectant of an immediate response as every comment, tag, and direct message means they are seen and heard. As a brand, you can either turn them off with a stuffy, robotic approach or delight them with a timely and friendly response that fits your brand voice or identity. This is where customer experience strategies, specifically your social media customer service, come in.
What is Social Media Customer Service?
Simply put, social media customer service is the process of delivering customer service through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok (among others). It typically involves responding to customer inquiries through chat, addressing complaints in comment sections, and providing additional information or support through public posts.
Social media customer support is an extremely powerful tool that enables businesses to connect with customers and provide excellent customer support. It's highly effective because customers can reach brands on platforms they already use. There’s no need for long phone queues or endless email threads when you can just send a direct message or tag the brand on the platform of your choice.
Connecting through Socials: A Must-Have for Brands in Today's Digital Landscape
People want it social
70% of consumers expect to message businesses more for customer service questions through social media in the future
Twitter users are willing to spend up to 20% more on future purchases with a company that responds to their tweets
Besides being an effective and preferred communication channel, excellent social media support can help businesses develop a strong brand image and strong relationships with customers. Customer complaints, especially those posted publicly on a brand’s social page, can damage its reputation. But when managed correctly, social media customer support can quickly boost brand image as word of great customer service spreads across platforms.
Social media is also great for collecting valuable customer feedback and insights. By monitoring social media channels for brand or product mentions, businesses can better understand what customers like or dislike and apply those insights to their next business plans or strategies.
By providing helpful and consistent responses to customer inquiries and concerns, businesses can showcase their commitment to excellent customer experiences. This is where social customer care comes in.
Beyond Customer Service: What Social Media Customer Care Looks Like
Social customer care entails going beyond customer service by proactively meeting your customers’ needs. A well-thought social customer care strategy involves providing timely and tailored responses, actively monitoring social media channels, and leveraging social media analytics to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences.
Here are some social media customer service examples that “go beyond customer service”:
Resolving Issues Efficiently
A customer Tweets at a retail company, expressing dissatisfaction with a product they purchased. In response to the tweet, the company's social media team apologizes for the customer's negative experience and offers a solution. To ensure that the customer's problem has been resolved satisfactorily, the team follows up with them via direct message.
Proactively Listening and Providing Support
Complaints of service outages of a telecommunication company start spreading on Twitter. The company’s social media team immediately begins contacting customers in the affected area via direct message, offering updates on the situation and potential resolutions. They also post updates on their Twitter account, informing all customers of the case and the steps being taken to resolve the issue. The team can mitigate the outage problem through effective communication and proactive support and prevent further customer frustration.
Providing Prompt and Personalized Responses
A customer posts a question about a restaurant’s menu offerings on its Facebook page. The restaurant's social media team responds quickly, providing customers with the information they need and offering personalized recommendations based on their preferences. The team also takes the opportunity to engage with the customer, thanking them for their interest in the restaurant and encouraging them to visit again.
Good Social Practice: How to Give Your Customers Great Customer Experiences on Social Media
As online features evolve and people find new ways to contact brands they love online, social customer care standards will constantly change. That being said, brands need to know that social media customer service should be an extension of their customer experience (CX) services. The fundamentals and best practices should look the same; they’re merely translated for an online audience.
Here are some social media customer service best practices to share with your team.
1. Consistency is key
While promptness is a crucial feature in any customer experience, maintaining consistency is just as important. Brands should not just aim to respond to all inquiries within a reasonable timeframe; they should also be consistent in how they respond to customers. This means maintaining a friendly but professional tone that ensures the customer’s comfort and satisfaction.
2. Show empathy and take ownership
When a customer reaches out with an issue, it's important to show empathy and take ownership of the situation. Use phrases like "I'm sorry to hear that" or "I understand how frustrating that can be" to show that you truly value the customer’s experience. Additionally, take ownership of the issue and find a solution that satisfies the customer.
3. Be human
Customers want to feel like they're being heard and their concerns are being taken seriously. The best way to do this is to make them feel like they’re talking to a real person. Don’t hesitate to add human touches like greetings and personalizations. Use the customer's nickname, let them know you understand what they’re going through, and offer a solution tailored to their situation.
4. Monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand
In addition to responding to direct inquiries, monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand or products is important. Doing so can help you catch potential issues before they escalate and provide valuable feedback and insights about what your customers like and dislike.
5. Leverage AI and automation tools
Leverage automation and AI tools to help streamline your social media customer service efforts. The right tools can significantly help with tasks like routing inquiries to the appropriate team member, providing suggested responses, and monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand.
Advantages of Outsourcing Social Media Customer Support
Even with the best practices, strategies, and tactics, social media customer service can still be overwhelming for most businesses. Managing a high volume of messages, mentions, and posts across multiple platforms will ultimately take up a lot of time and resources, especially for an inexperienced team. Outsourcing social media customer support to a third-party provider can significantly improve response times and service quality. Here are a few reasons why you should consider outsourcing:
Outsourcing social media customer support can help you easily avoid costs associated with hiring and maintaining in-house social media operations. You can rely on your outsourcing partner's existing infrastructure and trained personnel and use your extra budget for other business areas.
Scalability and Flexibility
Outsourcing your social media customer support can provide you with the scalability and flexibility you need to meet ever-changing business demands. As your business grows and your social media presence expands, you may need to scale your customer support operations to meet the needs of your growing customer base. With an outsourcing partner, you can easily scale your social media customer support up or down as needed without worrying about onboarding additional staff.
Social media is a 24/7 platform, meaning customers need to receive support anytime. Outsourcing social media customer service to a proven provider like TaskUs can help you deliver round-the-clock support. This is especially important for global brands, as it allows you to provide consistent and high-quality service to customers in different time zones.
Highly Satisfied Customers
Ever-increasing user expectations and competition demand the best customer service from businesses. Founded on people-first culture and a commitment to innovation, TaskUs is a master at robust customer care, consistently delivering Ridiculously Good CX support (including omnichannel support and social media customer support) for fast-growing brands across various industries.
Recognized by the Everest Group as the World’s Fastest Business Process (Outsourcing) Service Provider in 2022 and highly rated in Gartner Peer Insights Review, our team of social media experts leverage our proven formula for seamless, personalized, and end-to-end client support: high-tech AI solutions with the ever-essential human touch.
Aside from our proven services (TaskUs’ CX Support powers at least five apps on your phone), we continue to exceed performance expectations—all while remaining agile and flexible to meet our partner clients’ fluid transformational goals.
For instance, we provided one of our partner clients a CSAT of 92.2% upon campaign launch compared to the 90% goal by maximizing our teammate’s productivity in each customer support channel. Our teammates’ productivity scores averaged 58 compared to the initial target of 50, which proved how well they managed queues, avoided backlogs, and quickly resolved client issues.
The Best Things in Life Fit Beautifully A Story of Partnership
Abbie is the Global Digital Customer Experience Lead responsible for ensuring that we create the best experience possible for your customers as it relates to your brand and making each touchpoint of the customer journey effective and engaging. With her vast experience and a demonstrated history of working in the offshoring/outsourcing industry, she is highly skilled in managing end-to-end operations across various verticals and horizontals. She is a strong business development professional, and Continuous Process Improvement is her passion.
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