Your customers fuel your business. Without them, there would be no you. Well, there would still be a you, but that you would probably be in a bit of a financial rut. As we know, customers want to be heard, and their voice is important to the growth of your business, so great customer service is key! When you are an e-commerce business, it’s unlikely you have a brick and mortar shop where people can visit when they have a question, need support, or are having issues with your product or service.
Did you know most e-commerce businesses don’t even have a phone number? While email can work for customer service, it is easy to miss important messages amongst the masses of emails you get throughout the day. As a customer, when you are having an issue, it can be frustrating to have to wait for a solution, let alone never get a response. So, in an age where calling or emailing just doesn’t cut it, where should you turn?
You go to where your customers already are: on social media. As a business, it is likely that you already have social channels set up. A majority of the social channels have simple instant messenger chat options that would allow your customers to contact you and get a response in real time.
Like anything else you do for your business, it is important to have a strategy. Creating a strategy to tackle customer service on your social channels is simple, here’s how!
The best social channels for your business are the ones where your customers are. There is no sense being on a channel that is the most popular or just enjoyable if your target demographic doesn’t use it. Do the research and find out where your audience spends their time. If your target is professionals, head over to LinkedIn. Are you millennial-focused? Instagram may be your best bet.
There are plenty of tools out there, like Google Alerts, that will alert you when someone mentions your business name or any other keywords you program in. If you are a small or medium sized business, the mentions of your company off your own social sites may be few, but it doesn’t mean that they are non-existent. As you grow, so will these mentions. Plug in your company name, common misspellings, and any product or service specific keywords that would be directly linked to your business and start listening (well… reading)!
It is likely that, as a business, you have already established a brand voice that you use in any copy and in your marketing. It is important to keep this consistent voice when dealing with customers directly. Play off the tone that the customer delivers the message in. If they seem frustrated, being empathetic yet informative is important. If they are casual or humorous, that is a green light for you to do the same in your response. Sometimes creativity or wittiness in your brand tone on social goes a long way, as can be seen here with Smart Car and Wendy’s.
This may be the most important factor in providing great customer service. Customers looking for support don’t want to wait for it. 32% of social media users who contact a brand through social expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. Facebook keeps track of your response rate and it is visible to anyone who views your business page. You don’t need to sit on your social channels all day waiting for someone to contact you, but be sure to put on your notifications and check back every few hours. Social never sleeps and people will contact you after business hours, but don’t worry – It is reasonable that the response time in these hours is a little slower.
If a customer posts on an open forum such as a Facebook comment, Tweet, or a LinkedIn Group it is often in good practice to take the issue offline. In order to protect your brand and resolve issues that may involve personal information, provide the customer an email or phone number they can reach you by. No one likes to be passed around, so use a tone that ensures the customer that the issue will be more easily solved if they contact you that way. Make sure to respond quickly once the issue has been moved.
Delivering great and efficient customer service is essential to the growth of your business. Find where your customers are spending their time on social and be there for them. As social channels are public, it is important to be professional yet true to your brand voice, as your reputation is always on the line.
Need help figuring our what social channel you should be on? Or looking for community management help? We've got your covered! Chat with a specialist today.