Customer complaints are increasingly being channeled through social media. A study done in 2015 by brandwatch showed that most retail brands still don’t listen to customers on Twitter. They discovered that 46.6% of brands engage with tagged (@mentons) that were categorized as neutral, questions, or complaints. 64.6% responded to questions within 5 days and only 11.2% responded within one hour. As a consumer, if I reach out to a brand on social media (I personally only use Twitter for this), and they don’t respond within 24 hours during the normal work week, they have lost my business.
Twitter plays an instrumental role in social media customer service. This isn’t surprising since 49% of monthly Twitter users follow brands or companies, compared to just 16% of social network users overall. Twitter users are 3 times more likely to follow brands than Facebook users. If your company isn’t already on Twitter, it’s time to start.
While many companies attempted to provide customer service through Twitter, many of them fail.
Let’s take a look at what is working in social media customer care:
1. A separate account
If you have started implementing customer service into your strategy (which you should be doing anyway) and find you are getting multiple support requests a day, it’s time to create a dedicated customer service Twitter account.
This account should have one goal and one goal only – providing customer service and handling requests, questions, and complaints. Here is an example of a brand doing this:
2. Personalize the Experience on Twitter
Another very important opportunity on social media is to provide a lasting impact to better your relationship with the customer.
A lot of companies end tweets with initials. Instead, try ending tweets with your full name. Another suggestion I have to increase the personalization of customer support is to use your face as an avatar instead of just a blank logo. This gives customers a better chance of connecting with you when they see a face instead of just a logo.
3. Timely responses
Offering support to a customer on the channel they reached out to you on is important. Twitter support lines can be a great way to help prevent your phone line or email from blowing up, especially if you respond quickly. Like I said, if a brand doesn’t get back to me in 24-hours, depending on my issues, they might have lost my business.
4. Effective hours
I’m not saying you need to be available or have someone available 24/7 but if you are an airline, bank, or something similar, you should consider it. At the very least have your hours published on your account bio so people know when to expect a response.
6. Use Direct Messages on Twitter to your advantage!
Most customers want help with the shortest amount of time. It can also be a great way to “filter” issues if you have a lot of incoming tweets in a short about of time. A lot of companies do this and utilize this effectively instead of asking the customer to email them or call them.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, social customer care is becoming mainstream. There are a lot of benefits to providing customer service through social media. For example, since Twitter is public, the one-on-one interaction has an audience where everyone can see an issue being resolved. Plus, the conversation can be distributed. You can retweet comments, words of thanks, and accolades to your larger audience. When you receive a good comment from a customer, engage and always take advantage of the opportunity to publically show your customers you care!