How important is customer service via social media? J.D. Power in his article has found that 67% consumers used and accessed a company’s social media for customer service. Additionally, Jay Bear also report that 42% of the consumers expect a quick response, within 60 minutes timeline.
These are strong indicators that tell you, as a business owner to invest seriously further in delivering great customer service on your company’s social media platforms. Here’s a list of 4 ways you can achieve that:
- Have scripted responses ready.
- Give rewards to customers for the trouble.
- Do not let customers wait too long for a reply
- Be Apologetic/Nice.
- My First Two Cent
1. Scripted Responses
It always pays to be prepared. Get yourself prepared with responses whenever having conversations with customers. Despite of providing all the training for your employees dealing with customers, there will always be some things said that could upset customers which will affect the rate of customer retention. Avoid any confrontation with customers by anticipating for any possible conversations.
Preparing scripts is an easy approach in which some critics believe the idea would leave your customer service somewhat ‘dead’ or ‘sound robotic’. This is not true, especially if your front-liners are well-equipped and rehearsed. Sometimes, I do admit it may sound repetitive to customers being the told the same thing again and again. However, this can avoided if you simply get the scripts updated every month or 3 months.
What’s important here is to ensure the customer complaints (especially difficult ones) do not escalate to something we would regret. High tensions and pressure may lead to aggressiveness in which unwanted words might flare out leaving the customers not only in a terrible mood but also in an unresolved position. At this point, you can forget about your customer retention programs.
Now, having scripted responses, customer service will simply refer to it in any event enabling them to be more composed in handling difficult customers. Simply let the customers know that your business will look into it and will contact him/her once the issue is resolved. Everybody is happy.
2. Give Rewards to Customers For The Trouble
No matter how prepared your business can be, always expect some customer complaint due to product/services fault. You’d like to think that you have the best product in the market, but that may not be the case with your customers.
Using the scripted responses, get your customer service to get to the bottom of the problem and let them know how and when exactly they will contact the customers. In return, get your front-liners to also present with voucher, discount code or whatever promo you could think of before wishing goodbyes.
Main reason for this is to let the customers know that you are truly sincere in helping resolving the issue, despite of the setback which caused the inconvenience for them. Customers tend to like it when they are appreciated even after all the problems they went through. It makes them more likely to return as customers – which is what you should continuously pursuing.
3. Do Not Let Customers Wait Too Long For Reply
This is a no-brainer. Nobody likes an unreliable services. Your contact details are there for in case customers wish to enquire about your products or services. If you take your own time to reply to texts or mentions, there’s a possibility your customers might lose interest and will take their business elsewhere – preferably to a reliable business.
However, in case of an event in which your business is genuinely unable to reply or during closing hours, use the prepared script that suggests your company will look into it and will contact them once figured out. Although it is not ideal, at least you are not leaving the customer hanging or unwanted.
4. Be Apologetic
I will always remember a story from one of my travels. There was a business discussion sitting next to my table at this one cafe. While I was enjoying my morning coffee, I overheard their conversations about becoming front-liners – which at the time I’m guessing they are former working colleagues.
What I’ll remember from the conversation is when the old man in the group interrupted. He said something I will always remember till this day. He said “Be as nice as the Canadians. The key to great customer service is to become Canadian.”
I was mind-blown when he said that. For some, that may sound a little harsh or stereotypical. But from a business perspective, it’s true. You can never hold grudge against the apologetic Canadians. They are polite and always calm, not to forget always apologizing even when they are not at fault.
Customers are not always right. But they’d like to be to. You may disagree with it, but I personally feel it is the truth. My evidence? Take a look at Steve Jobs – who created something which no consumer ever thought needed, the smartphone iPhone. If customers were always right, there is no way the smartphone’s bubble might have been discovered – maybe much later. Anyway, in our particular case, get your customer service to be apologetic even when it is not their fault – it helps to defuse the high tension. Customers will also feel they are being appreciated which give further boost to their confidence that their problem will be resolved.
5. My Final Two Cents
I just want to point out that it always pays to be honest and sincere dealing with customers. The more excuses we make, the more likely customers will be able to ‘smell problem from miles away’. They simply know it, so best to avoid being defensive or what not. Be kind, honest and sincere to help out. Always keep this in mind.