Three Best Practices for Social Media Customer Support

Posted by Rodney Kuhn

1/28/16 1:30 PM

Best_practice.jpgSocial media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are no longer used only by marketers and advertisers to promote their brands. Today, more and more companies are discovering that social media needs to become a channel in which consumers request and receive customer service.

When people are upset, or when they need answers to their questions, they want an immediate response, and a phone call or email is not always the customer’s preferred mode of contact. Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to communicate with brands. Here are three best practices to help contact center managers more effectively handle social media customer interactions:

Don’t overreact: When an irate customer assaults a company with insults on a social platform, an agent’s first impulse may be to defend the brand by striking back. However, this would only further escalate the problem and draw more negative attention to your company. Ignoring the message isn’t a solution either, since that would only further enrage an already dissatisfied customer and most likely prompt more scathing Tweets or posts.

Instead, train agents to rationally assess each issue by making sure that they have the necessary skills needed to diplomatically respond in a thoughtful and positive manner. Managers can improve agent performance with the use of e-coaching software that features customizable evaluations. This technology allows managers to analyze and identify agent interactions in real time, and then take immediate action to resolve any issues.

Continually engage with social customers: Not all of your customers will want to resolve their issues on social media, but those who do are generally the people who like to socialize. They most likely have active Twitter and Facebook accounts with hundreds of followers. So instruct your agents to consistently engage and take full advantage of your customers’ social tendencies. By providing them with timely and exceptional customer interactions, they’ll be more likely to share those experiences with their social network, thereby giving your company access to a plethora of potential new customers.

Take it offline when necessary: Social media is a powerful tool, but, as the saying goes, there’s a time and place for everything.  Disagreements with customers that occur over social media creates a greater risk for your company than traditional and more private interactions such as phone calls and emails. Though it’s never good practice to quarrel with a customer, doing so online will likely prove even more costly, because your conversation could be viewed by potential customers.  

While on social media, customer interactions are potentially reaching millions of people, they’re no longer just between the agent and customer.

Regardless of the method of communication, contact center agents must provide a positive experience every time. By incorporating social media, your company will be able to develop a more extensive, personal connection with your customers, while also increasing the visibility of your brand; just make sure to keep it positive!

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