Social media is about being social and that’s the first reason a brand should be online. Every brand with a social presence is already aware of the power (and responsibility) it gives them towards their audience. Customers spend a considerable amount of time online, which means that it’s easier for a brand to hear their thoughts, their questions, or even their complaints.
Customer service has significantly changed with the rise of social media and this is actually very positive for every brand that is eager to listen to their audience.
Show that you’re available
By the time you decide that you’re ready to listen to your audience, it’s time to track where your audience is and start a discussion. This is the brand’s way to inform the audience that they’re open and ready to help as much as possible.
Ask for help if needed
If you feel that you can’t keep up with your customers’ requests, then it’s time to hire a person that will handle your social customer service. Do not underestimate this role, as customer service is taking place online even more day by day and this is not expected to change any time soon. After all, this may be the customer’s first impression about your brand, you don’t want to ruin it!
‘Promote’ your availability
By the time you’re starting to feel comfortable with your social customer service, you can ‘promote’ it on your social networks by encouraging your audience to contact you for any question, or problem they might have. This way, you’re letting them know that you’re willing to help in any case, by also directing them to the networks that you’re most online (and ready to speak to them).
Be genuinely interested in your audience
Customers appreciate your genuine interest and know when you care about them. Even a casual chat may be enough to prove that you’re focusing on each user separately.
Find your authenticity
Don’t forget, a community manager, or a ‘happiness manager’, is still a human being and that’s exactly what the audience expects from you. Your customers don’t want to chat with a robot, so don’t forget to maintain your human side and incorporate it with your brand’s values. It’s a brand’s authenticity that keeps the customers satisfied, feeling that they’re valuable for the brand. Nothing better than a happy customer!
Stand out from the crowd
Now that you’ve managed to keep up with your brand’s social customer service it’s time to think outside the box and take your online presence to the next level. What if you didn’t just answer a question? What if you managed to impress your customers with your engaging and casual side?
The case of Natwest
I was recently having a problem with my Mobile Banking and I wanted to contact my bank, Natwest, about it. Like many customers out there, I thought of social media as a way to get in touch with the bank, before even considering a call, or a visit to their site.
Customers want to find a solution to their problem as fast as possible and social media is always the most convenient way for them to contact a brand
I found Natwest on Twitter, I even found their personalised Twitter account for customer service (always a good idea!) and that’s how our tweets started. After a couple of mentions back and forth, trying to understand why the bank’s app didn’t work on my phone, we continued the conversation with Direct Messages, in order to further explain the issue.
A few messages afterwards the issue was finally solved and what a surprise, I was discussing with a person that enjoyed witty wordplay as much as I do, leading to creative uses of the word ‘app’ (as this was the reason I contacted them at first) from both of us.
There was a similar case with Pret A Manger and a customer that started as another case of customer service and ended up in a fish pun rap battle (!) and here’s what we can tell from such cases:
Be unique, be authentic, that’s the reason you were hired at the first place.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself, even when engaging through your brand’s social accounts.
Customers love such cases of online conversations and with just a few tweets you may be able to win them over for good.
Don’t you think it’s worth the try?