Whether or not you intended to use social media as a customer service help desk, clients will use their Facebook or Twitter profiles as a means to contact you when frustrated. There are many reasons why a client might reach out for help on social media. Perhaps they have pre-purchase questions they’d like answered before committing to the product or service. Maybe they are having issues with assembly or performance of a product they purchased. Often, a client may attempt to receive technical support over social media. Sometimes, it’s just an unhappy client looking to vent their frustrations. To handle such situations professionally and gracefully, you will need to come up with a plan.
Create customer service email addresses and phone numbers.
In most cases, especially in regards to tech support, the problem cannot be fixed over social media. You will need to decide how each one of these cases will be handled. Will there be a separate department for technical support? What about product and service inquiries? Refer client inquiries or complaints made on social media to the correct point of contact. If your company doesn’t already have customer service and tech support email addresses and phone numbers, it’s time to set those up.
Establish an approvals process for solutions.
Once the customer service cases come in, who decides the next steps? Let’s say a client posted a comment on social media that the product she purchased is missing a piece. She will be referred to the corresponding customer service number. Once the compliant is made, who decides whether a replacement piece or a whole new product will be sent out? The same scenario can happen with a service provider. Maybe a carpet cleaning company did not remove all stains like the advertisement promised. Who decides if the client gets a refund or an additional service free of charge? Your plan will need to include an approvals process for things like product replacement and service refunds.
Train your staff.
Now that you have plan in place, it’s important that every member of the team is aware of the new social media customer service procedure. Walk all employees, even the employees who won’t be managing social media, through the new process and make sure they understand the importance of customer service. Fully train all employees who will be managing your company’s social media pages. They need to understand not only the customer service process, but also how to communicate with clients during the process.
It’s important to remember that not all clients who have a problem with your product or service will reach out for help. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a good thing. While it may mean one less negative comment or review, it also means that client will most likely never try you again, may tell their friends not to bother with your services, and you won’t be made aware of a potential problem within the company. Feedback is a good thing and your company should be encouraging it. Send clients questionnaires after they’ve tried your services. Place an advertisement at your place of business encouraging feedback on social media. Include a request for reviews in your monthly email blast. The better communication you have with your clients, the better customer service you can offer.
Social media isn’t meant to be a billboard for your business. It’s all about creating connections with your clients and those connections need to be maintained with care. Having a solid social media customer service plan in place will enable you to keep your clients happy and help you establish a positive brand image online.
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