When asking a brand a question on social media we usually expect them to respond within 24 hours.
Unfortunately, customers have been let down by companies on social media. In 2010 the number of customers who wanted to contact companies through social media had increased dramatically. However, that trend has started to decline since 2017.
This decline wasn’t because customers didn’t want to communicate through social media, but because companies have dropped the ball on social media. They were hard to reach and slow to reply. This forced customers to use other forms of communication to get a faster reply or, they switched to competitors.
What you’re seeing in the diagram above is the failure of businesses to take advantage of an opportunity to get closer to their customers. However, it’s back on the rise. For this rise to continue there are a few things you could do to communicate better and faster to your customers on social media.
Speed is crucial when it comes to social media support
When it comes to social media, speed trumps all. According to a study done by The Social Habit, 32% of social media users who contact a brand expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
Social media’s fast-paced nature and growing demands of customers created expectations higher than platforms like email, where a 24-hour response time is more acceptable.
Merge all communications from your social media into a single platform
This is a big one and shouldn’t be overlooked. If your business is active across multiple social channels, responding to messages, questions, and comments across each of them may be a daunting task.
In a tool like Crowdfire, you can gather all comments and messages from various platforms into one Gmail-like display. By tagging these messages and comments with the appropriate labels you will know what messages to respond to first. These tags can be sorted as “Urgent”, “Pricing”, “Stock availability”, etc. Once they are tagged, they will appear in custom folders.
Here are some examples of urgent customer questions:
“I have tried calling you and I have sent multiple emails without any response from your side!!”
“Hi, can you help me? Your checkout page isn’t loading.”
“I want to get this as a gift. Do you offer same-day delivery?”
Here are some examples of less urgent comments:
“This bag looks so great. I love it!”
“Wow, this is beautiful. Where was this photo taken?”
“How much is the new blue bag?”
When it comes to common concerns use suggested replies
When it comes to social questions and comments, chances are that you will get repeated questions. For example, your product may have a feature that customers find confusing or they have questions about your shipping policy.
Either way, having saved and suggested replies can speed up the process of answering these questions without having to write them out.
“If a conversation… Then…” rule, allows you to tag certain conversations and assign them to teammates, or close irrelevant comments.
Here are a few examples:
If a conversation contains “money”, tag it with “Payment”.
If a conversation’s language is Spanish, assign it to Juan.
If a conversation seems “urgent”, tag it as “Urgent”.
How to respond to customers on social media
When you reply to a customer on social media you’re not only answering that single customer but, future potential customers too. Your primary focus should be to reply to the customer and everybody else who might have the same question.
By tending to that customer’s needs, you are also showing other potential customers that you care about them. It shows transparency between you and your customers, which helps to build trust. Additionally, If any personal information is required take the conversations with customers to private messages.
To take a conversation from a public setting to private messages try this: “Thank you for contacting us, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. We just sent you a private message so we can resolve this issue.”
Here is an example of how the beauty brand, Glossier, handles customer inquiries on Instagram by direct messaging the customer:
How to respond to negative customer reviews
Another very public thing that all companies have to deal with are negative reviews. A bad customer review is impossible to avoid, so when you do get one, it is important that you do the following:
This is a customer who’s disappointed, distressed, or both, and if you leave a bad review without a response, people will lose confidence in your company. Try to respond to these reviews as quickly as possible. A short response acknowledging their complaint and experience is better than not replying at all.
Take responsibility and apologize
Never shift the blame on to your fulfilment centre or a distributor for a bad experience. Your customer didn’t choose the team and distributor you work with, nor do they care. They chose you. That means you are responsible for any mistakes. Own up to the mistake and take responsibility. After the issue is resolved you can take it up with the entity at fault.
Apologizing goes a long way if you want to maintain the trust of your customers. Even when a problem is not your fault, you can always apologize that the customer has had a bad experience with your product or service. This will build trust between you and your customers and could turn a once off client into a returning customer.
Offer the customer multiple solutions
Offering your customers multiple options and allowing them to choose how they would like to resolve the issue increases customer satisfaction. This could be a reduction in price, a gift card, or replacing the item.
Use a knowledge base for easy solutions
Using a knowledge base for customer service can help you cut down on support tickets and deliver faster customer service.
In a survey done by Coleman Parkes, 91% of surveyed customers said they would use an online knowledge base if it were tailored to their needs.
By sending customers a link to a knowledge base article, you don’t have to explain multi-step processes over social media. You can provide them with easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides to solve their issues. This leaves you with more time and satisfied, happier customers.
Whatever tool you decide to use to track your social media communication, tracking it is essential. Don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple social media tracking tools to determine which will effectively help you achieve your goals. The faster you respond to your customers and followers, the better the relationship will be. With these tips and tools, you can put together a social media response plan with the perfect balance between personalization and speed.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Now introducing Social listening. Try it for free.