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Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. LinkedIn. SnapChat. TikTok.
The social media site du jour might fluctuate, but this doesn’t: Brands must meet customers where they are. In the world of customer engagement, digital channels are growing fastest. A recent Sprout Social study found that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people — and 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them.
This makes social media a powerful hub for conversations with your customers and prospects. If you’re looking to maximize the value of social media for customer service, there are some essential things you can do to make it easier for your customers to connect with you and solve their problems.
Anticipate What Customers Want From Your Brand on Social Media
The specific engagement your brand will see on social media varies according to your business and the customers you serve. But you can prepare for some of the more universal inquiries. Let’s look at three common interaction types you’ll see as your customers turn to social media for answers.
1. Help with the basics
Think about the simple, transactional questions your agents handle every day, including, “I need help logging in” or “How do I check my account balance?” You might also get asked, “What is your return policy?”
You might already have an FAQ page to address these questions. That’s a great place to start to prepare your team to address the same types of inquiries through social media. And down the road, these kinds of inquiries and use cases that are good candidates for automation.
2. Questions about your product or service
This is customer service at its best. And this category is fun to tackle — it holds a lot of potential for your brand. Your current and potential customers are almost certainly asking questions about the products you sell or the services you provide. These questions often come in as a direct message, so they might not be as visible. Work with your social media team to make sure they’re monitoring for these types of inquiries and know how to route them to the right team. That will help you respond quickly and provide a great customer service experience.
3. Complaints and challenges
This one is last on the list for a reason. (You were looking for it, weren’t you?) Social media is a very open — and visible — channel. That can create a lot of power. A single post from a frustrated customer can be seen and heard across social media in a way that a phone call can’t. However, this shouldn’t scare your company away from being engaged and authentic on your social media channels. It just means that having a plan for these kinds of interactions can help you respond in an appropriate and timely way. Keep reading for some tips on how to do just that.
Providing Good Customer Service on Social Media
The customer service skills you already instill in your team will go a long way to providing great customer experiences, regardless of channel. But there are some key things to keep in mind when you’re offering customer service on social media platforms.
Find Opportunities to Set Your Brand Apart on Social Media
You can find ways to provide excellent customer service that makes your social media presence a competitive differentiator. Getting started can be as simple as checking out your competitors’ social media channels and profiles. Here are some questions to ask when you’re checking out the competition:
This research will highlight opportunities for your brand to do things differently — or to try a different flavor of things that seem to be working well for other companies.
Build Stronger Relationships and Customer Loyalty With Moments of Delight
Providing customer service on social media isn’t just about reacting. It’s also a great opportunity to be proactive and create more engagement with your brand.
Suppose that someone mentions your brand in a positive comment or post. They might not need anything from you, but you should respond anyway. This is a great way to show that you’re actively listening to your customers. You want to encourage them to engage with you on social media. You can also turn those mentions into opportunities to create moments of delight.
For example, imagine if a resort guest posts a great photo from their room’s balcony, looking out over a beautiful beach. The guest mentions or tags the brand in the post. This brand’s social media team has a lot of options. They can do nothing. They can like or reshare the post. They can respond with a personalized comment and maybe throw in a fitting emoji. Or, they can do something delightful. The social media team can find a way to send a small box of chocolates to the guest’s room, with a handwritten note, thanking them for the post and wishing them a lovely stay. (True story. The team chose that last option.)
Those moments of personalized, meaningful connection between a brand and its customers are incredibly powerful. That is the potential of social media for great customer service — and for exceptional customer experiences.
Let’s connect. If you don’t already, follow Genesys on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and the Genesys blog. I’m the person behind the handle, and I look forward to being social with you. -Nick O.
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