Although customer service today means something entirely different to what many of us were used to in our youth (call centres, face to face support, even home visits!) a new era of customer service based in the digital world has emerged.
Over 80% of consumers use social media to engage with brands, but if you’re just a face but have no soul, nobody to actually talk to, you can drive away customers in their thousands.
Don’t believe us? Just think about the last time you tried to book a flight with a budget airline and encountered some typical problem that the computer system couldn’t fix. Was there a call centre? Not even an email? It puts us off for life.
Social interaction and customer service online, be it via email, social media or even a chatbot, it can be a win-win for businesses looking to win over new customers.
Why Customer Service is so Important
According to our sources, over two thirds of online customers expect to receive assistance within five minutes of reaching out to a company. If they don’t hear back, around half will leave the site and abandon the order.
Astonishingly, 92% of consumers in the UK have left one business for another in the last year due to poor customer service.
Here are some ways to make sure this never happens to you:
Focus On The Most Important Social Media Channels
Don’t open all social media channels just for the sake of it. If you don’t have the manpower or the technical know-how to make the most of each platform, then you’re only going to get behind in your ability to respond to messages and interact with users effectively.
Monitor your customers’ online activity and pick a social media platform that your customers are most likely to interact with. Usually, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most prominent and widely used channels, and have the best functionality for customer service.
Create Dedicated Support Handles
Another idea is to create a standalone support account for your business. Most often found on Twitter, you can separate your content marketing from customer service marketing and interactions, making it easier for your team to sift through issues and queries.
Prioritise Response Time
Given the stats above, it makes sense to ensure response time is fast and helpful. Message comes in, a response should be instant, or as instant as possible. Midnight on a Saturday – find someone to answer it.
Even if you do not offer quick resolutions, it is vital that you acknowledge the customer query and assure them that your team is on it. A quick “let us get back to you during working hours” message will suffice.
Silence is, after all, the biggest killer for brands.
Keep a Customer-First Approach
Just as you would in-store or when sweet talking new clients or suppliers, positivity is crucial for customer service. Negative and pessimistic responses will hurt your brand’s image and you can never be sure that the message you have is genuine or simply a troll looking to discredit you on Reddit.
Luckily, Myk Baxter Marketing offers a range of online reputation management and support in the case of such events.
A rule of thumb is no matter whose fault it is, you must be apologetic in your responses. Ensure to end any interactions on an optimistic note too, assuring the customer that you are doing your best to resolve the issue.
Track Metrics and Constantly Improve
There’s no point in making an effort to respond to customer issues if you’re not willing to address them at source. It is vital to measure metrics that not only measure what the issues were, but also how you responded and the effects of your interaction.
If things didn’t go as planned, look into why. If a product is often faulty, work to ensure it’s not for your next customer. As social media can get reckless if left to its own devices, it’s best to follow strict and clear guidelines to minimise this effect.
Contact MBM today to discover how we can help you achieve your best online with our dedicated North East UK digital marketing services.