This article has been reposted, with permission, as part of a content collaboration with Main Street Hub.
You know how important it is to show your guests excellent customer service when they come into your business, but did you know that consumers have high expectations for business’ online customer service too?
In fact, 67% of consumers now utilize networks like Twitter and Facebook for customer service requests, and 33% of consumers even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than a phone call. This means that each and every message, mention, and wall post that comes in for your business on social media has the power to influence that consumer’s opinion of your business and their likelihood to visit.
Implementing a social media customer service strategy can increase your annual customer satisfaction scores by nearly 20%.
Don’t miss Main Street Hub’s 5 simple tips for extending your great customer service on social media:
1. Respond to all mentions and direct messages
As a local business owner, it is important to monitor all wall posts, direct messages, mentions, reviews, and tags that come in for your business on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp.
Many of these online reach-outs from your current and potential customers will be requests for business information, questions about your products and services, real-time notifications of their visit to your business, or description of previous experiences. You want to respond to all of these communications in order to seem accessible, appreciative, and responsive to your customers.
Customers who receive a service request response through social media spend 20–40% more, so providing a quick and helpful response to every online interaction will positively impact your business’ social media ROI.
2. Address people directly when you respond
When someone writes on your business’ Facebook wall, leaves a review on Yelp, or sends you a direct message on Twitter, it is important to respond in the most personalized way possible. Including the customer’s name at the start of your response is a great way to show that you are paying attention and care about each individual that you interact with online.
If the review, message, or mention contains a detail about the customer’s experience or a particular thing that stood out to them about your business, work that into your response too. The more personal the better — it shows that you’re listening, that you value customer feedback, and that you took the time to craft a response that speaks to their concerns.
3. Say thank you and keep an open line of communication
Whether the customer’s communication that you are responding to is a positive or negative one, it is important that you thank your customer for taking the time to reach out and give you their feedback. After all, constructive criticism is the most effective way to find out what you can be doing better to improve the experience your customers have with your business.
Don’t forget to remind your customers that they are welcome to reach out to you anytime. Encouraging more comments, messages, mentions, and reviews will not only increase your engagement, it will also maximize your reach! As more of your fans and followers engage with your page, you will gain exposure to their networks — getting your business in front of brand new audiences.
4. Take sensitive topics to a private message
Unfortunately, some internet users use business’ social media pages as a channel for rude or inflammatory language. It is important for your business’ brand and public image that you resist the urge to publicly engage with these kinds of internet users. Comments, wall posts, reviews can be hidden and/or deleted from your business’ page at your discretion.
Whether or not you choose to hide the negative interaction, you should message that follower directly to answer any questions, comments, or concerns that needed addressing and clear up the issue privately.
5. Retweet or share positive responses to resolved issues
When a customer reaches out to you on social media to ask a question about your business or respectfully voice their concerns and you are successful in providing an answer or smoothing over their experience — that is a big win for you and your online presence. On Twitter and Facebook, be sure to retweet or share the positive resolution to interactions like those.
This will show everyone that follows your business on social media just how seriously you take customer service — both online and in your community!
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