How to Handle Customer Service on Social Media

Social media can be a great boom to industry today, getting the word out about your products much faster, to many more people, than ever before at little or no cost to you. But when it comes to customer service, social media is a double-edged sword. If your customers are not happy with your customer service, they may quickly turn to social media to let others know about it, and if you do not manage your social customer service reputation effectively, things could get out of hand fast.

What are some of the best ways to handle customer service in the social media age? Here are a few tips to consider.

Respond Fast

People in the internet age are used to getting quick satisfaction. If someone has a complaint or criticism of your service on social media, you will want to respond as quickly as possible, both to prevent further negative feelings on the part of the commenter and to show others that you are responsive before too many people see the complaint.

Having someone monitoring social media channels so you can respond within the hour is best. You can also set your search engine to alert you when your company’s name is mentioned online so you can respond quickly.

Respond Appropriately

If you receive a positive comment, thank the commenter! Let them know you are happy to have been able to provide them with good service and would appreciate opportunities to do so in the future. If you receive a negative comment, be civil. Apologize for the customer’s dissatisfaction. If you really did something wrong, own it and give a clear way that the customer can proceed for remediation.

If the customer is mistaken about what they are complaining about or criticizing, try to give your side of the story without any judgment, and still offer to do what you can to make the situation right.

Take It Offline

If someone has a complaint, take the conversation offline as soon as possible. For example, direct the commenter to an online form where they can register complaints or concerns directly with the company. Extended online conversations about your service can turn into a free-for-all where everyone tries to get in on the action.

Respond Personally

People who make customer service comments online want to feel like you are hearing them. A clearly automated reply is a big turnoff to customers, even if it is one directing the commenter to a direct customer service form, as mentioned above. Even if your goal is to redirect the commenter to your site, include a personalized message to show them you have heard and understood their individual complaint and you value them as a customer.

Navigating the world of customer service on social media can be tricky, especially when your job is manufacturing, not social networking, and you may be dealing with people who are experienced with addressing companies on social media and do it frequently. But if you navigate the waters carefully, you may find that social media can work to your advantage.


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