“Went to Taco Bell and it took 30 minutes to get my food. Never going back again.”
Customers tweet like this about companies every day. Luckily, through the use of social media, we are able to catch these complaints and make them right. So, what is the best way to deal with customers through social media accounts? Are there any tricks to becoming the next big social media company, or is it all by luck? Companies all have to deal with this, so we here at GrandPR decided to share some tips and tricks for customer service on social media.
One of the first big rules of customer service on social media is to show consumers that you actually care. Taco Bell wouldn’t being doing a good job if they let the aforementioned tweet go unnoticed. As a company, fixing a problem with a customer will most likely cost very little, and yet its impact can be huge. A simple apology message on Twitter and the offer of a free gift card would most likely bring back this customer that you could have easily lost. Helping out customers in need and apologizing for your wrongdoings is made extremely easy over social media, so you need to utilize that. If you aren’t doing a good job with this, then customers will let you know. They will also tell you if you are doing a good job, which is some of the glory of social media.
Some companies become too ambitious about customer service on their social media platforms, and that will end up costing them followers. Running a social media account for a company means that you have to determine the number of customers to whom you will respond. So, how do you reply to everyone you need to, while still not replying to so many people that it’s not special anymore? Well, just like every other aspect of social, there has to be a proper balance and this should be factored into your content calendar. If the past three posts that your company has made were just replies to customers, then the next should be a call to action post, or something other than just responding to others. You must be able to find posts from customers that are able to be fixed and do so, but don’t flaunt the fact that you are. People will notice if you are doing a good job and just like they will criticize your company, they will also start complimenting it.
While setting up social media, make sure that helpful tools are available and easy to find for consumers so they don’t have to go out of their way to get information. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have sections in bios to add in your company’s website, so utilize simple things like that. You must make sure that your account is not only set up to the best it can be, but that your posts are as well. Unless a post is extremely important, it needs to be short to keep the attention of the reader. Also, try to include posts with graphics as often as possible, because this helps show the customer what you’re talking about. If you make the interface of your social media accounts easy to navigate and learn from, then that will help customers before they even realize they need it.
One of the most important parts of social media is to have one specific message that your company would like to portray. This is typically something that has been thought up before and used in your advertising, so it isn’t too difficult to figure out what it is you want to be your “main thing.” On social media, when a business tries to portray one specific message on all of their posts, they are more likely to be remembered or followed by interested customers. People want interesting content; it’s why they are on social media, so you need to make sure that is what you are giving them. Remember that social media isn’t just a way to inform, it’s a way to interact.
The biggest thing to keep in mind while dealing with customers on social media is that you are in the same position as they are. There are probably many companies that you have noticed to have good social media accounts, and others who you wished did better. Customers are all looking for some help and whether they are behind a computer screen or not shouldn’t change that. So, treat customers how you would want a business to treat you, and they will truly appreciate it.
Hunter Burin is a junior at Grand Valley majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and minoring in Business and Digital Studies. He is the Podcast Director for GVSU’s PRSSA chapter where he hosts the PR Hangover podcast and talk show. In his free time, Hunter likes to adventure out to new coffee shops or add to his ever-growing record collection.