Did you know that 42% of consumers who complain expect a 60 minute response time on social channels? We live in an age where instant gratification is the norm and customers would rather reach out via Facebook and Twitter to voice their opinion about a business than tell the business owner directly. So, how can a business use social media to help their customer service?

  1. Be fast. A response should be timely, and since social media never sleeps, it's Rule #1. We suggest establishing a maximum amount of time that’s allowed to pass before an comment is replied to and stick with it. This will create an expectation from your consumers so they won’t be chomping at the bit after fifteen minutes without word from your business.

  2. Be courteous. “I’m sorry” and “Thank you” are the two most important things to say to a customer, especially when the response is privy to everyone on the internet. Also, take into consideration what the customer is saying and respond accordingly. Don’t used canned responses because they often come across as ingenuine and forced.

  3. Be consistent. Always respond to comments on your social channels whether they are good or bad. Acknowledgement by a brand to a consumer is essential to building trust. No matter how big or small the problem or how often the same question is asked, always address the issue.

  4. Be mindful of your surroundings. Send a customer to a place where you can really take the time to address his or her concerns. For instance, you don’t want to put them on blast publicly if they owe your business money. Suggest a phone call or email which will allow you to really get to the heart of the matter.

  5. Be a spokesperson for success. Do you have a customer or client that’s been beyond amazing or extremely happy with your product or services? Don’t be afraid to spotlight their success! We do it all the time! It will make your customer feel great AND spread the word about you.

  6. Be likeable. Yes, that’s an abstract concept but it's a very powerful one. If you notice that there are a lot of folks rating you, interacting with your posts, and so on, adopt a “brand ambassador”. You can also reward the people who interact with you the most, and you can even give them a quick shout out or “Customer of the Week” status.

  7. Be grammatically correct. You need to get a point across in 140 characters or less sometimes. In order to make full use of that precious real estate, you need to be spot on. Remember, this isn’t a personal post where you can play fast and loose with the rules. This is a reflection of your business and brand so be conscious of your wording.

  8. Be proactive. Have a new service you offer or a product that’s back after popular demand? Create a post and let everyone know! It's also easier to address problems like closing for bad weather or delays in shipping before people have time to create a complaint about it.

  9. Be more. If your customers have faith and confidence in your business, they will come to you for more than just your product. Be the resource in your field and answer any questions, whether it's directly or indirectly linked to your industry.

Even though social media is used as a marketing tool 95% of the time, it’s also crucial for customer service. It's public, which makes it even more important to be aware of. There are many brands that aren’t paying attention or just blatantly ignoring social media. When executed correctly, you can turn fans and followers into buyers, which in turn creates revenue.

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