Why Social Media Is the Next Customer Service Tool
When you think of customer service, you’re probably picturing phone operators, website chatbots or customer service emails that leave you waiting 3-5 working days for a response.
In fact, times are changing, and social media is set to become one of the biggest customer service tools.
Whether it’s direct messages, service updates or collecting customer feedback, social media offers many opportunities for users to connect with brands and receive the information they’re looking for. And compared to more traditional service tools, social media offers fast and efficient support to customers.
If you’re not already making the most of social media as a customer service tool, we’re here to tell you why you should be and how it could work for you.
Social Media Customer Service: The Stats
With customers expecting a fast response to their query before they continue their purchase journey, it’s no wonder that social media has become the customer service tool of choice.
Here are some pretty staggering stats about the trends in user behaviour:
- 53% of respondents in a Facebook IQ survey reported that they’re more likely to buy from a company that offers customer service via chat (such as WhatsApp)
- People and businesses exchange 20 billion messages a month on Facebook Messenger alone
- 40% of consumers expect brands to solve their problems in the channels of their choice (e.g., Instagram Messenger)
- Messaging channels reduce the cost of customer interaction by 60%
- Live Chat is the preferred digital communication tool for 43% of customers
- 50% of consumers say that a timely response to their customer-service questions influences their decision to make a purchase
The main benefit of using social media as a customer service tool is resolving customer queries quickly. For example, Instagram has a feature that enables business accounts to create saved responses for routine queries.
For example, if you have a skincare brand and you are regularly asked by customers how they can create their own routine, you can create a saved response that points customers in the right direction. You might also have a saved response for when customers ask for a delivery update that directs users to a tracking page. These responses will save you a lot of time and will ensure you can resolve customer questions quickly and easily.
Whether you manage your direct messaging yourself or work with an external customer service team, social media customer service provides customers with a space to get the answers they need to have a positive customer journey.
There are two types of customer interaction on social media: proactive and reactive. While a lot of social media customer service is reactive (i.e. responding to queries), you can also be proactive with your customer service.
Community monitoring is a way in which brands can proactively engage with their customers, creating a supportive community where customers feel heard. This might involve responding to customer comments or asking for feedback on your product/service. However you choose to engage with your community, giving customers a voice and creating a conversation between the brand and the user is a great way to level up your customer service.
Social listening is also a great way to inform the development of your business. After all, who knows what would sell better than your customers? Social channels have tools such as polls and answer boxes that allow you to pose questions and receive all the responses in one place. You can then turn these insights into new content or business developments that show your audience you really do listen.
Social media is also a useful way for brands to get news to their customers. Whether it’s letting them know that there will be delays to product deliveries or announcing a new product, social media allows brands to inform customers about relevant information instantly.
Announcements can also cover ‘back in stock’ to encourage previous website visitors to purchase items that were previously unavailable. Customer service announcements can be shared across multiple social channels, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. The more this is done, the more customers will get used to checking your social media to find customer information.
Yes, automated responses are very helpful. But for a customer, this can feel like you’re trying to have a conversation with a robot (which you basically are). Taking the time to have a human-to-human conversation is a powerful way to enrich your customer service. Whether it’s using their name, your name or showing empathy for any challenges they’re experiencing as a customer, you can turn a customer service interaction into a key touchpoint for developing customer relationships.
Most businesses already use social media for building brand awareness and engaging with customers, but not many have fully utilised social media as a customer service tool.
With a little creative thinking, you can begin to offer a more valuable and efficient type of customer service that drives customer loyalty and prevents potential customers from aborting their purchase journey. And if you want to go a step further, you can seek out customers talking about your business and actively resolve their complaints. Now that’s what we call impressive customer service.