Social media is a fantastic tool for assisting customers. However, customers understandably have high expectations when it comes to relying on social media to get help. We live in a culture where instant gratification reigns supreme.
If you're planning to use social media as a way to connect with customers who need resolutions to problems, you've got to do it right.
Customers Expect Fast Results, Around the Clock
Although many customer service hotlines operate during set hours, the same isn't true of social media. Consider how you may be communicating with customers who are in different time zones. If one often posts something when your business is closed and friends from other parts of the world share it, those exchanges could quickly spread across the Internet, causing people to either see your company in a good or bad light.
If you're serious about meeting customer expectations, keep in mind that you may have a global reach, and no matter where customers are located, they'll probably expect responses to customer service issues in a few hours or less.
Customers Only Want to Deal with One Represenentative
When a customer is trying to get an issue resolved, there's nothing more frustrating than getting shuffled among several company representatives before an issue gets solved. Fortunately, social media can make it easier to track which representative is handling a particular case.
Work out a system in which you can assign one customer service representative to handle a person's issue by seeing it through to resolution. That not only means a customer won't have to explain his or her problem to multiple people, but it also could streamline the whole process, allowing your customer service team to get more done.
Customers Want to Be Informed
Social media can also be a great platform for informing customers about services they can use to make the experience of dealing with your company more pleasant. Maybe you offer website tools for customers that let them check stock levels of popular items, or reorder items they need on a frequent basis. As helpful as those kinds of tools are, they aren't much use if customers don't know they exist.
Think about using social media platforms to spread the word about the things you have available to give them the answers they seek. Doing that could cut down on the workload for customer service representatives who are tasked with monitoring social media channels to answer common questions.
Customers Expect Netiquette
It's already been established that customers expect prompt help when addressing problems through social media. However, the expected efficiency doesn't mean you can be lax when it comes to upholding some of the basic etiquette principles of interacting with customers.
That means taking care to address people respectfully, use clear language that's difficult to misinterpret, and making sure your social media threads between your company and customers are free of any misspelled words or poor grammar. Being conscientious is arguably even more important online, because the threads you post could be seen by people all around the world.
Customers Expect Your to Choose the Ideal Way to Reach Them
Finally, don't lose sight of the fact that there are just some situations that can't be handled appropriately across social media. For those cases, it's necessary to give customers ways to reach out in other ways, whether that means calling your company, sending an email or using a live chat. Customers expect multiple communication options, especially as technology evolves.
You've just learned about several ways to meet or exceed expectations if you're planning to use social media as a way to handle customer complaints. Put them into practice to see if they can start earning some compliments for your company instead.
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