The social media has become one of the most important platforms that businesses use to communicate and reach out to new potential customers. For a long period of time, Facebook was seen as a medium that allowed people to connect with their peers. However, with over 2 billion people using Facebook on a daily basis1, more and more companies are recognizing the power of this social media giant and how it can help them connect and communicate with their customers at various levels.
Why customer support matters on social media:
— 67% of consumers2 now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolution for issues.
— Nearly 1 in 3 social media users3 prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone.
— 71% of those who experience positive social care (i.e. a quick and effective brand response) are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers that do not receive any response.
Most customers prefer to express feedback, grievances, and queries on social media. In fact, a research conducted by the Social Habit revealed 42% of consumers4 who complain via social media expect a response within 60 minutes.
Many consumers take to social media to talk about businesses. They recommend those that are reputable to their friends and complain about those that are not able to meet their expectations. That’s why social media is a platform that companies should be careful about.
In this article, I’m going to discuss how companies can leverage Facebook to communicate and provide better customer support to their customers.
1. Reply as Quickly as Possible
Unlike other customer support channels such as email or phone which are not expected to be available 24/7, most people always assume that social media support is available 24/7. As said before, 42% of consumers expect to get a response within 60 minutes. Therefore, if you have established customer support on Facebook5, then you need to ensure that you respond to complaints, reviews, and inquiries as soon as possible so as to meet the expectation of your customers. If you take too much time before responding to customer queries, then customers would react negatively. For instance, they would share with their friends about the poor experience that they had with your brand. They would also complain publicly about services or products that your company offers. Hence, their friends and family are less likely to buy products or services that you offer in the future.
Also, Facebook usually monitors your support response time. It will only label your page as very responsive if you are able to reply to your customers’ needs within 5 minutes. You can set the messenger for business pages to offer instant one-to-one customer services while keeping a record of the conversation.
Take Etihad airways for example. Once you access their Facebook page, an instant messenger room opens up and invites you to send any questions you may have.
2. Decide Which Request Should be Resolved in Private or Public
Regardless of how hard you try, the fact still remains that you cannot please everyone. You must, therefore, brace yourself for negative comments. As a result, you need to come up with clear guidelines on how to handle customer services via social media. These guidelines must be well documented and followed to strengthen your brand building. Outline comments, questions or complaints that should be resolved publicly and those that need private resolving.
Take a look at Qatar Airways’ Facebook page, when it comes to sensitive data the support agent decided to address the problem over the email.
3. Ensure That You Respond to All Questions, Comments, and Feedback
Any customer who has taken his/her time to comment, enquire or complain on Facebook should be responded. It is not a good practice to let go of your customer’s thoughts just like that. Be attentive to every customer’s comment and respond to all including the negative ones just the way you won’t ignore a customer when he/she visits your store.
Take ASOS for example, they reply to each and everyone on their Facebook page and promote transparency by using names when answering to support inquiries.
4. Be Transparent With Names
When replying to customer comments, it is important to mention the name of the agent who is responding along with greetings. Doing so will benefit both the customer and your business. On your side, it helps to foster accountability by knowing the person who replied in case of any dispute. On the customer side, it makes them feel special and heard. Mentioning the support agent’s name helps humanize the process and gives the customer a chance to speak directly to them.
5. Manage Customer Service With a Tool
The person managing social media customer service should be trained on how to use various tools. This is important regardless of the period that the company has had a social media presence. There are many reputable tools that you can use to enhance customer support on Facebook like:
6. Review Your Page Insights
It is important to review your page insight regularly and use that information to improve the quality of service that you render to your customers. For instance, if you realize that most customers complain of slow response, you can channel that information to your customer support team so that they can come up with ways to improve response time. By reviewing your Facebook analytics regularly, you will be able to know areas that you are doing well and those that need improvement.
7. Use Bots in Facebook Messenger
Most businesses usually overlook the power of messenger. With millions of people using messenger on a daily basis, you can use it to communicate with your customers and respond to their comments, queries or questions. Facebook is trying to make that easier for businesses and organizations as well. You can use bots for lead nurturing, sharing how-tos, or sharing questions across the customer service team.
In conclusion, handling customer service on Facebook can be challenging but rewarding if done correctly. Establish clear guidelines and don’t forget to identify relevant tools to make the process easy and more efficient. Remember that if your customers are happy with your customer support, they are more likely to make a purchase, write good reviews about your business and even refer their friends and relatives to your brand.
1 — https://www.statista.com/statistics/346167/facebook-global-dau/
2 — https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/social-media-customer-service-statistics-and-trends-infographic
3 — https://soulofbrands.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/nm-incite-report-the-state-of-social-customer-service-2012.pdf
4 — https://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-research/42-percent-of-consumers-complaining-in-social-media-expect-60-minute-response-time
5 — https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-collaboration-tools-social-media-teams/