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Hmm! Can Social Media Platforms be a Tool for Customer Service?

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For sure, social media has allowed consumers to impact brand equity as never before by controlling a TWO-WAY conversation with the brand. Henceforth the reason, why is social media your most important customer service tool. Furthermore, the manner in which one relates to customers on these platforms can either build or break a brand. It is therefore vital that social media is viewed as a customer service forum.

While any use of social media marketing in business must revolve primarily around ROI, any organization can now use social platforms ranging from Facebook to Instagram to offer real help and support to their customers, driving intangible value in terms of customer loyalty and retention.

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Social media tools are referred to as online technology that allows people to communicate in an easy way by utilizing the internet to share and discuss information. 

Observing the fact that 42plus% of the world’s current population are social media users indicates that most people spend a substantial amount of time on their phones. While browsing through various online platforms, accessing effective and responsive support is important.

“Remember during your interactions that social media was made for people, not businesses”.

Neal Schaffer

As we all know, traditional media such as television, newspapers, and radio, provide one-way communication. In contrast, social media is a platform that enables everyone to contribute to online conversations through publishing. From a business perspective, social media enable conversations to be prompted, promoted, and monetized.

Understand Customer Service & Social Media

Customer service, also known as customer care, is the provision of assistance to prospective and current customers on issues related to an organization’s products and services. It involves assisting customers in making cost-effective and correct use of a product or service. It includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product.

Why is Social Media Your Most Important Customer Service Tool

In fact, customer service is an integral part of the growth of an organization. Nowadays, organizations offer customer service through various platforms including face to face interactions, email services, phone calls, and social media platforms.

Recently, the revolution of internet technology has given customer service a new face. businesses and organizations are moving towards using social media to offer customer service to their clients. With the current situation of covid19, social distancing makes social media a more impactful tool for delivering a brand’s message and to get your business going and growing.

A customer service experience should be able to change the perception of consumers towards products and services offered by a particular organization. However, to effectively use these social media platforms and techniques, a good mastery of digital marketing is necessary.

Why Social Media is Your Most Important Customer Service Tool

  1. Social Media Puts You Where your Customers Are
  2. It Lets You Hear What your Customers Have to Say
  3. Also, Helps You Respond to Customer Complaints More Quickly
  4. Lets You Engage Your Customers
  5. Social Media Gives You More Control Over Your Image

71% of people are likely to buy a product after a good experience on social media

Social Tea Media LLC.

Four ways to use Social Media as a tool for Customer Service?

Respond quickly

Customers expect a quick reply through social media. Checking for issues and complaints once per week and then responding days later doesn’t cut it anymore. You should respond within 24 hours no matter what, and within a few hours if at all possible.

Most forms of customer support via phone and email are not typically expected to be available 24/7. Yet, social media customer support has created an “always-on” expectation.

As a result, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes. This means responding to inquiries, reviews, and complaints as quickly as possible is the best social media customer service strategy.

Ask Questions and Encourage Feedback

The best way to get a feel for what your customers truly think of your product or service is to ask. Also, if you don’t ask for feedback, people will think you don’t care. Any and every sale should offer the customer a survey of other forms of feedback opportunity to voice their satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Even without thinking for a sale, regularly posting comments asking for feedback is a great idea. The customer may not always be right, but enough of them with the same advice or complaint usually are. Moreover, the more feedback you can get, the better you can improve your product or service.

Use Hashtags Strategically

Hashtags are a crucial part of social media marketing. It is a great way of labeling and finding social media updates. It makes your content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest. Indeed, hashtags help you to increase traffic on Twitter and Instagram.

Hashtags can increase awareness, getting your content seen by more people than just followers and increase your social shares. Some of the ways you can utilize hashtags include; utilize trending hashtags, keep it simple and relevant, also be specific and unique. By simply incorporating #hashtags into your social media content, you can expand your reach and increase your audience. Knowing how to use a hashtag is fundamental to your success on social media. 

Be Useful and Social

Just because it’s a customer service channel doesn’t mean that the same rules don’t apply as a marketing channel. The number one rule is, of course, to be social. Social media is all about interaction, and it’s important that customers perceive your business to be standing by, ready to help.

Never, never, forget that social media will only be helpful to you as long as you stay social and engage with followers. As soon as it becomes a broadcast medium instead of a conversation, the game’s over. You will lose followers much quicker than you gain them. Additionally, your social media sites are ideal places for disseminating information about your brand, product, or service, but you want your social channels to provide valuable content as well.

Facebook Tip for Customer Service

Your business Facebook support response time rate is clearly shown on your Facebook page.

Besides, Facebook only considers your business “quick” (or, very responsive) when it replies within 5 minutes or less—around the clock!

afrikkmedia Facebook response rate badge (very responsive)

Now, you may not have the ability or resources to monitor social media accounts 24 hours a day.

Fortunately, the addition of programmable messenger “bots” and customizable away messages for off-hours give you other quick and effective options for providing customer service on Facebook.

Top 6 Tips For Managing Social Customer Service Issues:

Assign one person (or a team) to manage/respond to tweets or posts pertaining to customer service issues.

It would make sense that this person also manage your social media accounts, since they will have the most up to date information on comments, posts, etc. The company rep should think of relating to every member of the Internet audience as an individual, not as a group, when responding to a question on live chat, Facebook, or Twitter.

2. Remember: while it may seem overwhelming to manage another aspect of social media for your business, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. You can outsource digital marketing services. Your Online Presence Management Partner. We aim in Boosting brand awareness, marketing your products or services, and listening to your consumers.

Read Also: Why You Need A Social Media Manager for Your Business in Kenya.

Know who your customers are.

Be relevant and relatable to your target customer. Create just 20 percent of your content to promote your business – the rest should be aimed at engaging your followers.

Develop a strategy for dealing with dissatisfied customers.

What can you offer them? 10% off their next visit? A gift card for them to “try you out” again? Regardless of your strategy, ensure that your social media team runs the “We’re Sorry” promises by management before extending them to the customer.

Reply publicly.

Other customers will see this, and take in that you have acknowledged their fellow customer’s complaint. If possible, try to respond as quickly as possible (within the same business day). Many customers expect that you will respond within 2 hours. If you can achieve that, great! If not, strive for 8 hours or less.

6. Finally, get the details privately. In your public response, ask the customer to direct message you, their email address so that you can resolve the issue with them that way. By communicating with the customer directly, you will gain more insight into the specifics of the incident, and allow yourself (read: your company) privacy in dealing with a dissatisfied customer. HostPinnacle Kenya implements this Best World Class Web Hosting

Wrapping Up

To sum up, customer service is of importance, although the degree of its essence varies from product to product, sector to sector, and customer to customer. It should however be noted that whichever the level of importance, customer service is instrumental in enhancing an Organization’s ability to generate business. Social media offers vast opportunities for customers and businesses. Using it for customer service is just one of the many potential ways that it can help any company or brand grow. In fact, regular monitoring of your business social media pages combined with savvy use of the sites can elevate your customer service efforts from acceptable to exceptional.

Additionally, be sure you’re always solution selling rather than product selling. My advice to you the better your social care, the more social traffic you can expect, and this is a good thing! Start your journey to earning more loyal customers and building stronger relationships with them through correct and effective use of social media for exceptional customer service! Oh! and Lastly “Use your competitors to your benefit on social media” 😉

Which of these customer engagement tips have you used in your business? Which is your favorite platform? Let us know in a comment

HERE’S OUR TOP 4 CONSIDERATIONS WHY INTERNET MARKETING MATTERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN KENYA

social media must have for business infographic

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