Modern customer service is sometimes performed for an audience. Social media platforms allow customers to post comments and questions on public company pages. This can be a brand obstacle or boon depending on how a customer care representative handles the pursuing interaction.
When a customer service agent addresses a consumer on a public forum, they are representing the brand as a whole. Here are few best practices to ensure interactions stay on message and portray the company in a positive light:
Make a social media plan
Any company that uses social media for support has to prepare for the unique challenges social customer service interactions create. They are unique platforms, and strategies for call center services or e-mail communications may not apply.
A company first has to decide which social solutions it wishes to provide. Marketing expert Aaron Agius wrote in Entrepreneur magazine that companies have to utilize social media platforms that support their brand. Customer service centers probably want to use Facebook and Twitter, as they are the most popular. Other options like LinkedIn and Pinterest may appeal to certain audiences.
Each of these platforms have their own posting, chat and messaging procedures. Agents have to be trained on each of them and know how to use features and tools to optimum advantage. A third-party customer management provider with social media experience can help design training procedures.
Proper response to public remarks
A social media center should carefully monitor all of the platforms it offers. Social Media Examiner stated the company that owns the social page should always be the first to respond to a public customer service comment or concern. If too much time goes by, other social users could add comments, and the conversation might move in an unwanted direction.
Quick responses still have to be on brand. In the rush to answer a comment or concern, employees shouldn’t sacrifice professionalism. Every remark made in a public forum seems to be from the company itself. The technology tools used to track platforms should also display best practices for public remarks. Customer experience management must promote consistent language, tone and word choices across all platforms to speak for the company.
Customer service agents also have to reflect the brand. Social media postings often benefit from humor to promote engagement. A social media center can decide when light interactions are acceptable and what kind of tone is appropriate for the company. All standards and practices must be visible to care agents, customer care solution software provides centralized databases.
“Social media centers should have procedures for customer service follow-up.”
Turn customers into advocates
If an agent engages a customer in a public forum to great effect, the repercussions can extend beyond the singular interaction. Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers said positive customer service experiences are often shared on social media pages.
People create social media accounts to create connections with other people; customers enjoy having content they can share with their family and friends. When customer care solutions go above beyond, it provides the consumer with a story about a brand that is interesting to others.
Social media centers should have procedures for customer service follow-up. If a consumer does share an engagement on a channel, the company should be aware and have options for further engagement. Facebook postings can be liked, tweets can be retweeted and Pinterest images can be repined. Customer care representatives not only speak for the brand in public, but they can get the customers furthering the message in their personal lives.