Customer Service for the Digital Age: How to Effectively Engage with Clients on Social Media
In this day and age, it is easier to connect with customers than ever before. Social media is everywhere, and everyone is on it pretty much all the time. This puts your business in the position of being able to instantly and easily interact with clients, answer their questions, address their problems, and build community with them all from the comfort of your smartphone. Here are some tried-and-true strategies to provide your followers with the best possible customer service experience through the magic of social media.
Reply to all comments, questions, and complaints, and do so as quickly as you can. Don’t ignore any. It is especially important to respond to negative comments because if you ignore these it can look like you have no way of dealing with or helping customers whose experience was less than positive, which reflects poorly on your company. Responding to a negative comment gives you a chance to turn that customer’s experience with your brand around and also shows your other followers that you will at least try to address problems instead of pretending they don’t exist.
Try not to ever delete comments, even negative ones. People will notice and it looks like you’re trying to hide something. The only time when you should delete a comment is when it contains something harmful, like spam links or hate speech.
Asking questions in your social media posts is a great way to open up a conversation with your followers and create more engagement. You can get people talking, learn their opinions, and build a relationship with this simple tactic.
Here are some examples of question posts you can share on social media:
- on a holiday, say how your brand is celebrating and ask how followers are spending their day.
- Show 2-4 different styles of the same type of thing (this could be anything from spring bouquets to motorcycle helmets) and ask your followers which is their favourite.
- Post something that’s trending in your industry and ask your followers if they love it or hate it.
Comment on Other Social Accounts
Don’t just engage with followers who comment on your posts or include you in a mention (@), make sure you are also engaging with influencers in your industry by commenting on their posts and tagging them when relevant. It is also a good idea to regularly search keywords and hashtags related to your company so you can interact with people who are posting about your industry but not specifically about your company.
Share Something of Value
People aren’t going to care about your social media presence if you’re not posting things that are actually valuable to them. Post stuff your followers can use. This can include helpful tips, offers and freebies, useful information, funny videos or memes, DIYs, recipes, and more. Think about what your followers want to get out of the accounts they follow and give it to them. Don’t just post for the sake of posting.
Update Your Profile
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses out there don’t have their updated information posted to their social media profiles. Make sure that you have information that customers need like contact info, store hours, and location and be sure to update it promptly if anything changes.
Search Your Brand Regularly
Just because you don’t get tagged in a post doesn’t mean people aren’t mentioning your brand. Search your company name regularly to see if people are posting about you without tagging you and give them a response. You will impress people by addressing their comment when they aren’t expecting it and providing customer service even when the customer was not actively seeking it out.
Personalize Your Responses
You are trying to create a sense of connection and community by engaging with customers on social media, so the tone of your responses needs to reflect that. Don’t sound too stiff and formal and make sure your responses don’t seem automated. You want it to be clear that you are a real person. Do this by using the commenter’s name, mentioning something specific about what they said in their original comment, and using emojis where appropriate. It is also a good idea to end your response with your name or initials—this shows that you are a person and not a bot and also promotes transparency because customers know exactly who they are communicating with.
Know When to Take it Private
If you need to get personal information from a customer or to discuss something in-depth, reply to their public comment with an invitation to chat in a direct message. It’s great when you’re able to show off how wonderful your customer service is publicly, but sometimes it’s essential to communicate with the customer privately.
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