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Tips for implementing social media-driven customer service

February 3rd, 2012 by | 1 Comment

Tips for implementing social media-driven customer service

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Integrating customer service into your social media strategies lets you utilize the Web’s real-time, interactive nature to respond to your customers more efficiently. Needless to say, this level of interaction and the effectiveness it offers are among the things traditional customer service platforms (via snail mail, comment cards, and toll-free numbers), can only hope to accomplish.

Laying down your social media-geared customer service plans can effectively yield great results. Not only will you be able to efficiently tackle and resolve issues, but the resulting interaction can help raise your brand’s reputation and be a trusted name in your niche.

As expected, brands have different needs, goals and when it comes to their social media campaigns. Customer service, however, should inherently be designed and handled to assist customers. That said, here are a handful of tips for successfully implementing customer service as part of your brand’s social media strategy.


Bringing It to the Social Web


Knowing your way around the social media Web is crucial to be able to effectively roll out your customer service efforts. But that’s not all you’re going to need to get the ball rolling; you’ll also need a strong social presence. And to be able to establish a strong social presence, you’ll need:

  • A Dedicated Social Profile— Creating a social profile or two dedicated for customer service interactions tells your existing and potential customers that you’re there should they need to reach out to you for any concern. Twitter and Facebook are obviously great places to start, though you may also want to also pay attention to other services and niche sites like message boards, or even your site’s own comments sections.
  • Roundup Competent People— Just like traditional customer service departments, your brand will also need a team of competent people to handle issues from your clientele as they come.
  • Learning Resources— After forming your team, you’ll need to make sure they’re well informed and ready to engage with your customers. For this, you’ll need a knowledge resource your team can consult every now and then. It should include your brand’s standardized set of rules, issue resolutions and other tips to best resolve any issue presented by the customer.


Operating Hours and Availability


Because social networking sites operate 24/7, customers can send messages your brand, or post their inquiries and concerns anytime. Unfortunately, unless your brand has a lot of resources, you won’t be able to immediately respond during the wee hours of the evening, holidays and the weekends. Delayed responses can be misconstrued; leaving your customers thinking you’ve let them down. And then you’ll either have lost a customer, or you’re going to have to deal with a borderline irate person the next working day. Here, the best thing you can do is to establish specific hours of operations.


Adding a Human Component


Being able to personalize your engagements with your followers is a valuable quality in social media marketing, and is especially appreciated in customer service. People tend to trust those who they can talk to and easily relate with. This you can achieve by letting your brand embody a human personality.

Your personality (and hopefully not some sympathetic persona you decide to project) will definitely help in shaping and strengthening your brand’s relationship with its customers. It not only makes the entire customer service experience somewhat pleasurable, but customer grievances may seem a little more tolerable when they have someone they trust to talk to.

 


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One Response to “Tips for implementing social media-driven customer service”

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