Social Media as a
Customer Service Tool

Social media is an important component of any comprehensive marketing mix, but it should not be seen as a one-way platform to shower your audience in messaging. Instead, it should be embraced for the opportunity to forge deep, personal relationships with your target audience, on a one-on-one basis. This two-way flow of communication makes social media such a powerful tool, but it can also leave marketers vulnerable without a clearly defined customer service strategy in place.

According to a recent study from Sprout Social, 81% say that social media has increased accountability for businesses. Social is now not only an extension of your brand, but it’s tasked with enhancing your customers’ experience with it.

Here are some tips to help gauge your social climate and weather any potential storms:

Do a temperature check. Your customers have their own voice on social, and brand reviews are a big part of that. By turning on the review section of your Facebook page, you allow customers to give their opinion. Positive feedback speaks volumes about your company and what it means to customers. While it does leave you susceptible to negative reviews, it also allows you to publicly respond to those reviews in a transparent manner. More sensitive topics can be resolved privately in a direct message to the customer with a public response indicating that you personally messaged them to discuss further.

Forecast when you can. Social media is instant. It’s important to remember that your customers expect a response to their request or concern fairly quickly. Prepared statements to frequently asked questions are a great way to stay on top of this. No matter the industry, some questions will continue to pop up. Keep in mind, a bit of personalization, such as addressing the customer by name, goes a long way. Working with the client customer service team, keep a running list of responses for reference, so you can reply in a timely manner.

This approach has helped with the Lofthouse Cookies Facebook Page which frequently receives inquiries from its nearly 40,000 fans. The majority of messages and comments are asking about product availability in their specific area. Our response typically includes the following three parts: 1. Personal greeting; 2. Quick acknowledgement and thanks for their message; 3. CTA asking for more information such as their zip code and which grocery store they prefer to shop at. One succinct reply is best to stay organized and keep your customer on task.

Stay on their radar. If the comment or message warrants more than a quick response back, be transparent about that. Working with the client team, take the request up the chain of command indicated in your social policy. Reassure the customer that you are working on resolving their issue and you will let them know as soon as possible.  In these instances, it’s critical to circle back and follow up.

Jump in the puddles. Celebrate the victories and positive comments. Let your customers know you appreciate their business and encourage them to keep sharing! The power of community on social is big, especially with consumer brands. Prospective customers are more likely to walk away better informed on their buying decision if they see good feedback from others.

Responses to our retail customers vary by their positive message, but a play on words is always a way to leave a lasting impression. “We love getting these types of messages, the frosting on top of our day!”

As with more traditional marketing efforts, it’s critical to have a game plan for social. A clearly defined strategy will keep the team on the same page, working together to provide the best customer experience for your fans and followers.

See examples of Celtic’s client work here.