According to the latest data available for business pages on Facebook, there are over 65 million local business pages on Facebook. In July 2018, Instagram had 25 million business accounts.
Customers follow companies and vice versa. Sensing the presence of millions of users on social media applications, the customer service part of online presence is not a choice but a necessity for organizations. According to a study by JD Power and associates, social media users to the tune of 60% visit business pages online not for marketing reasons but for customer support reasons. Online as well as offline, customers will buy more from a company if there experience with the particular business is good.
It has been found that 42% of social media customers will tell their positive experience over 15% of the same general population. 50% of online customers will share their negative experience with a product or service over just 25% for the general population. As found in the US, 77 % of customers value their time as the most important factor in online customer experience. Customers expect response time for emails within 4 hrs but their expectations rise to within an hour on Twitter and Instagram.
So if you are are providing customer service online, make sure the quality of service is up to the same standard of your conventional channels. A study informs that companies who resolve a complaint in customer’s favor are likely to get repeated business at a rate of 70%. It has been found that customers who are answered on social media have a probability of spending 20 to 40% more money with the same company. So providing good customer services on social mediums is not just a best practice, but it is the emerging way of acquiring and retaining customers.
Customer service on social websites do present a great opportunity but if you are unaware of the best practices in using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as a means of responding to customer queries, it can backfire as responses and online contents tend to stay online for others to read.
So let’s look at some of the best practices for improving customer service experience at social media platforms.
#1 Focus on the right channels
Start by investing your efforts on the mediums where the majority of your customers are located and increase your resources to deal with them.
Like on Instagram, go for the Business Profile. This is one of the best ways to customer support. It has a contact button where you can list your customer support number, email, and the address. It also has Instagram Insights and promotes Posts within the app.
#2 Screening Tool
“ the Domino’s brand is mentioned on social media constantly but only 3% of posts require attention and action from Domino’s social support team. Using social media management software, Domino’s can filter out the other 97% of non-actionable social chatter. “
There are over 400 screening tools available to monitor, filter out and organize the mentions, comments, and news related to your brand. The few famous ones are:
Awario: this software keeps users aware of all online conversations, happening around their brand, service or industry. Awario picks mentions not only on social media, but all around the web: blogs, review platforms, forums, news sites, and more.
HootSuite: suit most small businesses looking for an introduction to social media monitoring on Twitter.
Social Mention: is a monitoring tool with access to more than 100 social media properties. The ratings on Social mention are based on four categories: Strength (number of mentions), Sentiment (positive to negative mentions), Passion (repeat mentions by the same users) and Reach (the number of unique users talking about you).
#3 Empowering the Customer Service Team
Trusting and empowering your first line of customer support members is essential for quick response and redressing of customer’s queries. They should be trained so that they don’t have to wait for approval from higher channels and their action supported. That they will be supported even if they don’t make the correct decision every time.
CRM software in place which locks out everyone else other than the member dealing with a query, thus avoiding duplication. Your monitoring tool should show up exactly who has dealt with each mention and any tags and Line of action that have been added by previous member.
Outsource customer service to third-party professionals
Outsourcing companies are a great alternative if the amount of your customer query is high. You won’t have to waste any time with training, saving you time and money.
Conversocial is a partner of Instagram and it help companies at Instagram navigate the customer service channel for higher engagements and better proactive customer service.
#4 Interconnectivity between various online and offline mediums
A conversation which might start at Twitter may soon develop into a telephonic conversation, a Live Chat, a link to Facebook or posting at Instagram. Your CRM software should be able to integrate and update in real time every step of interaction on the different mediums where you are communicating with the customers.
For bigger companies who receive a lot of inquiries, automated CRM can automatically assign inquiries about specific issues to different teams or directly escalate serious concerns to the senior managers of customer support team.
#6 Quick Response
It has been found that only 36% of consumers that make a customer service inquiry via social media report that their issue has been solved quickly and effectively. Given that 42% of online customers expect a response within 1 hour. So you have to treat your online customer support set up same as the full-time job position you assign offline where there is dedicated staff attending to the queries and problems of the customers.