4 Tips for Social Media Customer Service

Written by Dennis Stoutenburgh

It is 6-7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.

The real value behind customer service is essentially treating others how you wish to be treated. It’s that simple, yet for some business owners this basic principle doesn’t come naturally.

Customer service representatives carry to responsibility give customers a positive first and last impression on behalf of a brand. It’s crucial for representatives to be consistent and provide a solution.

Below is a list of 4 necessary tips to follow for providing exceptional social media customer service:

  1. You have them at hello!From the moment the customer hears the representative’s voice, the tone, attitude and direction of the conversation is being established. Simply put, the most inspiring leadership is by example. If you are positive, calls are more likely be so as well.
  2. Listen. The best salespeople spend more of their time listening, not talking. In this digital age, brands are listening online as well. Ask open-ended questions, and use keywords to search and identify customers or potential customers who need your assistance. Once you’ve heard them out, hone in on providing a solution. If their inquiry wasn’t at the point of a sale, don’t press further – maintain positive composure and keep listening. Every sale involves a re-approach!
  3. Customer appreciation is key. An important part of customer retention is communication. Take lead from Zappos, a brand with award-winning customer service, by giving customers upbeat, creative and speedy responses whether it’s a follow up phone call or via social media. In fact, 33 percent of customers would rather contact a company through social media than by tele phone – use this stat to your advantage and expand upon your social media customer service.
  4. Expect the problems– provide the solution! It’s not unusual for products or services to go wrong, or for customers to misunderstand company policies. The best way to handle the problem is to be prepared with a solution. It’s a powerful customer service boost when a representative can provide answers across a venue of issues in the same conversation ensures. This type of response speaks volumes for the brand’s customer service team at large, and ensures customers that agents are knowledgeable and capable of taking care of issues now and in the future. Furthermore, it instills customer loyalty when representatives take action to resolve and prevent issues from happening again in the future.

When customers are in need, be prepared to listen and identify the issues, be positive, let customers know they’re appreciated, and answer calls or social media inquiries with prompt and solutions-driven responses. To learn more on how to generate positive customer experiences and begin implementing a higher level of social media customer services, visit stratuscontactsolutions.com/services.

Resources:
It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company.
33 percent of customers would rather contact a company through social media (infographic/article) –http://stratuscontactsolutions.com/3-key-performance-strategies-socialmedia-customer-service/.

 

Connecting Culture to Desired Customer Service Levels

 

Each year I sit in on performance reviews for my team. I choose to sit in on performance reviews with all employees – from our top leadership to our newest employees. Some people ask why I do this. “Shouldn’t you be doing something more important?” or “Shouldn’t this be delegated to the managers of these teams?”

Sure, I could delegate this task because I have the utmost confidence in my management team, but I believe that being present to connect with my team is more valuable. Sitting in also allows me to hear feedback first-hand, keep customer service expectations on track, and keep employees informed about our goals.

Additionally, I took some time to think about what I wanted our end customer experience to be. I focused on the qualities I was looking for in our employees and how that tied to what I wanted to deliver. With minor deliberation, we came up with the 4 following traits that we wanted our culture to embody.

  1. Self Motivated
  2. Flexible
  3. Collaborative
  4. Accountable

Afterward my challenge was to find a way to integrate these into our employee’s mindset, which would essentially affect how they interacted with our customers. I used performance reviews as an opportunity to look each employee in the eye and explain how this was going to work. That being said, below are 4 important reasons I partake in performance reviews.

4 Reasons to Partake in Performance Reviews

  1. Gives you time to reconnect with and empower your employees
  2. Allows each employee to have individual time with the higher levels to express ideas, thoughts, concerns, etc
  3. Gives you important feedback from the front lines that otherwise may not circle back to you
  4. Facilitates direct communication so you can ensure that service levels are understood and followed

During reviews, we focus our discussion on goals, expectations and results of implementing these four traits. If someone achieved positive results, we then discuss how that supports one or more of our culture traits. While each item above is worthy of a discussion itself, I primarily use performance reviews as a way to reinforce the culture of our company and how it feeds into everything we do

When you think of customer service, you have to remember that it starts with your employees. If we have the right culture, our people will ultimately want to deliver the highest levels of customer service. Morale, culture, and therefore customer service levels will excel. By getting involved in performance reviews, I’m providing moral leadership and carving a path that shows support and guidance to all employees. My suggestion is to find every opportunity to reinforce the traits you have chosen for your company, and performance reviews may be a great place to begin.