Today, social media is the fastest and best way to promote services and connect with the targeted audience. It has revolutionized the way communication is done. It’s an extremely interactive medium where people love to connect, share, and exchange content instantaneously.
Businesses have now recognized the benefits of social media as a platform that facilitates two-way communication between a company and its customers. Companies that are serious about reaching customers can’t afford to not invest in it.
In view of this, providing quality customer support through diverse social media platforms is the pressing need for businesses now. Whether they have queries, complaints, or appreciations, consumers are increasingly getting vocal through social media. No wonder when customers are using a real-time, instant medium to connect with enterprises, they also expect quick replies. According to a study conducted by The Social Habit, 42% of consumers use social to express their problems and they expect resolution within 60 minutes. It goes on to reveal 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. So these stats speak volumes on how crucial social media has become for businesses, especially when better customer service is to be delivered.
Now that you know why social media support is so important for your business, do you have a dedicated team to deliver it? Turns out, a brand’s social presence and engagement are necessary for customers to believe that the brand is genuine and active. A separate support team can be the key to not only address the issues of your consumers, but it can also foster relationships in a way traditional methods can’t. As a result, excellent social media support can fulfill three cardinal metrics – revenue growth, customer loyalty, and brand reputation.
Here is how a dedicated support team on social media can help your business.
1. Social Media Team can Connect with the People You Serve
The first thing you need to properly serve your customers is to connect and communicate with them as much as possible. A dedicated support team is your best bet that ensures you are available no matter where your customers are. But you need to determine where to focus your time and resources. While marketing efforts may drive traffic to targeted social sites, your customer support team has to meet customers where they are already socializing.
As per the latest figures, Facebook has 2.27 billion active users, Instagram has over 800 million, Twitter has 326 million, and Snapchat has 186 million daily active users worldwide. Apart from them, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are major social channels where people hang out. So when there is such an enormous number of people to connect with, there’s also a lot of potential for customer service or support.
Before reaching out to your audience, your support team needs to know where exactly they are. For that, it is important to search for mentions of your brand on different channels. As a matter of fact, having a robotic social presence will not cut it, especially in today’s scenario. Communications from your team should be timely, accurate, sensitive, brief, and friendly. Proactively connecting with them and asking their views and feedback leaves a room for improvements and adjustments. For example, Amazon is using Facebook very well for customer queries.
2. Social media Team can Effectively Respond to All Social Media Feedback, Questions, and Comments
Now it is the responding phase of your team. It’s time to show your customers the human side of your brand, so the key is to deliver support by providing speedy, personal, and empathetic responses. Because of its instantaneous nature, social media customer support has created an ‘always-on’ expectation.
A dedicated team knows where, when, and how to help the customers. If customers seek help on Twitter, they expect a reply in the form of a tweet, not an email. Speed matters a lot, so it’s important to resolve issues as quickly as possible. Or let them know that the team is working on the resolution and follow up as soon as you have an answer. Your customers weigh up your response to their complaint, and they are particular about how you treat them through the resolution journey. Therefore, it’s also an opportunity for your team to turn negatives into positives. They should treat negative feedback as a chance to upgrade the brand’s image, and more importantly the relationship with the customer.
There are different standard response times in different social media channels. Facebook, for example, considers your business very responsive when you reply within 5 minutes or less. Twitter is a platform that is akin to a 24-hour news ticker with a continuous flow of information. Hence, the conversation has to occur as rapidly as texting as people expect an immediate reply.
For example, Nike has a strong and dedicated customer service account on Twitter – “Nike Support”. It provides support 24/7 in seven languages, including, English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, German, and Japanese.
When a customer mentions Nike’s main twitter handle, @NikeSupport immediately jumps in to help.
Social media customer support team use emoji to connect with the customer emotionally and respond their queries. Adding Emojis in the response increases the chances to make a happier customer and Emoji look completely different on different devices, they know how to get new emojis on Android and when what and how to use to connect with the customer.
In short, a dedicated team knows how, when, where and what to answer as per the customer issues and queries so that they can get instant and best solutions for their issues.
3. Your Social Media Team can Provide a More Personalized Experience
In this data-driven and consumer-oriented age, using a one-size-fits-all approach in customer support is not appreciated. Providing generic and templated responses may give a feeling to your customers that they are talking to a machine that doesn’t truly understand their needs. So a dedicated team can effectively provide a personalized experience through support. Social media gives you access to tons of data about your customers. Your team can take advantage of what your customers say and do on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and use this information while communicating with them.
Personalization is undoubtedly a glaring trend these days. Gathering and using customer data strategically means you can extract relevant and essential information for your audience, and craft the most appropriate responses for them. Maintaining a consistent tone and engagement experience across all platforms your business uses is significant to the success of this strategy. Brands that deliver on these expectations are surging ahead in terms of customer advocacy as well as revenue growth.
Netflix is an excellent example of providing personalized support to its customers. It has a great track record of customer interaction and customer care, and it does it with wit and humor. As an entertainment brand Netflix is fully aware of how to keep a casual yet convincing tone:
4. It can Engage with Millennials and Increase Customer Loyalty
There are more millennials active on social media than people of any other generation. They are sharing, interacting, and doing things their own way. This is a tremendous opportunity for growth for your committed support team.
Social media customer service is an excellent way for you to meet millennials on the platforms that they dominate. As per Entrepreneur post, around 52% of millennials actively use social media to resolve customer service issues. By going above and beyond, your team can create more brand advocates than any other means. By engaging with this Gen Z in a constructive way, you can make them long-term buyers.
Apart from providing solutions for their issues, your team can use different strategies to step up engagement with them. This is where you can proactively provide value to your young customers by knowing their personal tastes and preferences.
As your team deepens the relationship, a cycle begins where millennials provide feedback, while you improve the product/service you provide.
Get Started with Your Social Support Team in 3 Easy Steps:
1. Set up a dedicated social handle for customer support
You need to have a separate handle on different channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Twitter is probably the most go-to platform as far as customer support is concerned. Consumers are more in control of the timeliness of the situation and Twitter allows them ‘to be heard’ easily. A separate handle will help filter out support issues and your team can engage more effectively with your audience.
2. Designate a support lead
Have a dedicated person from each department to receive the feedback, and bring it to the rest of the team. Before hiring a proper team, you should clearly define the unique skill set required to run such a team. Figure out which channels need what degree of engagement and commitment.
3. Lay down the guidelines
Your team needs to intuitively identify different challenges and opportunities along the way. Make sure your customer support guidelines align with your company values. The guidelines should be specific about the tone of voice, response time for each social channel, frequently asked questions, level-wise escalations, etc.
The way social media has entered people’s lives, it has forced businesses to completely overhaul their strategies. From searching commodities to consuming informative content to even putting complaints, people are turning to social media. Thus, companies need a separate and dedicated team for social media support more than ever. Committed support can truly harness the maximum potential of social media to deliver the best customer service. It will help business in three ways — revenue growth, customer loyalty, and brand reputation.