Report: 62% of Consumers Use Social Media for Customer Service

posted this in
Social Media
on November 12th, 2013

That’s an astonishing statistic, right? If more than half of your customers turned to social media to complain or ask for support on a daily basis, would you be prepared?

Social media used to be about catching up with old friends from high school and keeping people up-to-date with what’s happening in your life, but consumers are starting to use social media for a number of different things, including customer service.

With that in mind, I put together 4 quick tips to help make sure you’re ready and available when customers use your social media channels for support.

Put together an action plan

We have a client that gets a lot of negative feedback online.

And it’s not that the company isn’t providing quality service to their customers, it’s that they have such a large customer base that having an unhappy customer here and there is inevitable.

So we put together an action plan for when bad feedback comes rolling in. Our goal is to respond immediately and try to fix the problem immediately. And we have a certain way that we respond to different types of feedback.

For example, if someone had a furnace repair gone wrong, we handle that differently than we would for a customer who’s having a problem with their thermostat and isn’t sure how to fix it.

Putting together an action plan of how you’ll respond to different situations and who is responsible for responding is crucial to making sure feedback never goes unnoticed.

Be ready to respond immediately

Customers who use social media to complain are looking for an immediate response. A 2012 study by Edison Research shows that customers expect a response to their question or comment within an hour.

I would recommend responding to comments during business hours as soon as possible and checking for comments first thing in the morning to see if any came in overnight. Never leave a comment unresolved for more than 24 hours.

Using a social media platform like Sprout Social or Hootsuite is a great way to make sure you’re catching those comments as soon as they come in. If you’re only using the notifications from social media sites, you’re probably missing a lot of feedback.

We use a dashboard that listens for every mention of our name across multiple social media sites. That way, if someone tweets about Rocket Media but doesn’t tag us in the tweet, we’ll still see it and be able to respond.

Offer a solution

Your action plan should also include what type of solution you offer for different types of problems.

For example, if your customer had a bad repair experience with one of your technicians, offer a way to make it right by paying for the repair or including a direct phone number to talk to someone in charge and work it out.

If someone tweeted your company about a problem with a product, direct them to a set of manuals or information where they can find the information they need.

Track what happens next

If you get negative feedback from a customer, it will be easy to track whether or not your action plan made a difference because you’ll know if they purchase from you again.

Try offering different types of solutions (discounts, free next visit, etc.) to see which has the better response rate for customers.

If an upset customer purchases from you again because you refunded their money for a repair gone wrong, keep using that tactic to see if that’s what customers respond to best.

Keep an eye on the customers that leave you negative reviews on social media and review sites and track what helped fix the problem.

Noticing a trend?

Does your customer service team have a manual or set of guidelines they follow for each call they answer?

These tips are no different than how you respond to negative feedback over the phone or in person. Social media has just allowed for another, easier outlet for people to reach you.

It’s about putting someone in charge of looking for feedback on social media and making sure you’re prepared when something negative comes in.

Don’t have a plan of action for your social media communities yet? Contact us today and we’ll recommend the best plan for your business.