As a social seller, customer service is critical. You want to make sure that you provide the best possible experience for your customers and that you are always available to help them out.
Whether you're a freelance digital marketer engaging on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tik Tok, or you're trying to grow a network marketing business by harnessing your personal connections online, customer service is a central pillar for your social selling efforts.
Positive customer interactions lead to more sales and revenue, but they also help create a positive reputation for your business. And according to a recent study, 97% of customers who have had a positive customer service experience will tell others about that experience.
That means nearly all of the positive interactions with individuals online could result in more customers and more sales. In turn, that means better revenue and a growing business.
At Shout, we believe in passing it forward. So in this blog post, we decided to discuss some of the best customer service tactics social sellers can use to truly excel.
We'll cover everything from responding to customer inquiries quickly to dealing with negative feedback and more. Follow these tips, and you'll be providing top-notch customer service while boosting your reputation in no time.
Why Is Customer Service for Social Sellers So Important?
Before we get into the essence of this article, it's a good idea to pause and consider why social sellers should focus a great deal of their efforts on customer service.
After all, isn't lead generation, conversions, and sales a lot more important? Seriously, you can't run a successful business if there's no cash flow, and you don't have to worry about customer service if you have no customers.
Now, that line of thinking is reasonable, and we're not suggesting that you focus on customer service to the exclusion of all other business growth activities.
However, you need to think about the fact that small business owners and marketers of all stripes, including social sellers, are under more pressure than ever to win over customers and build strong relationships with them.
Today's truth is that customer service has become the heart of building these business relationships.
Even after a purchase is made, businesses must continue to work to keep the customer happy. By doing so, they increase the chances of repeat business and create loyalty and goodwill.
With the above in mind, keep reading to discover the 12 biggest things you can do to make your customer service efforts rock the house.
Find Out Where Your Customers Are by Running an Audit
Social media and mobile SMS platforms are constantly changing, making it challenging to keep up with your customers.
The first step to creating a social selling customer service strategy is to figure out exactly where potential customers might reach out to you — and in what context.
This will help you choose the best way to address their concerns.
Are they asking for product recommendations on Twitter? Complaining about a recent purchase on Facebook? Or sharing positive experiences on Instagram? Are they reaching out for help in team channels in Shout?
Once you know where your buyers are, you can develop a customer service strategy to address their needs.
To do that, you should run a thorough audit of every channel on every platform your brand is associated with to determine how customers are making contact with you. Take note of how many messages you get on each platform, and how frequently. From there, you can evaluate your strategy and where you need to focus your efforts.
Monitor Customer Comments Across Channels
In order to ensure that you're providing the best possible service, you need to have a plan for how you'll connect with customers on social media and how you'll respond to their inquiries on time.
When it comes to customer service, we recommend keeping tabs on the following:
When connecting with customers and clients, it's essential to be responsive when someone sends you a message. That's especially true when they have questions.
Unfortunately, social media platforms don't always make it easy to stay on top of that sort of thing. It can be hard to tell when someone has sent you a message and even harder to keep track of conversations across groups. That's why it's crucial to establish a monitoring system so you can easily see when people across channels contact you.
Blog Posts and Web Content
If you have a blog or you share content regularly, your social followers might engage with you about what you're writing and share it on social media.
If they do, you or someone on your team should be responsible for acknowledging their activity and then engaging with them to keep the conversation going.
By doing so, you can create a sense of community and build relationships with potential customers. In addition, this engagement can give you valuable insights into what people are interested in and what they might want to see more of from your brand.
Systematize Your Monitoring
The most important part of creating exceptional social selling customer service is setting up a consistent monitoring system. This means checking different tags, groups, and inboxes where people connect with your brand on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis.
By doing this, you'll be prepared to resolve any problems that come up in a timely manner. Not only will this produce a better experience for your customers, it will also show them that you value their business.
Have a System to Respond Quickly
When setting up a system to find questions, comments, and customer complaints on social media, it is essential to figure out how you will respond to them.
One way to do this is to have a dedicated bot set up that is responsible for replying to customer service messages. Another way is to create tags according to which social network a contact reached out to you on.
Whichever system you decide upon, it is important that messages are replied to or investigated quickly. This will help ensure that customers are satisfied with your response time and the resolution of their issues.
Think About Creating a Dedicated Support Channel
If you notice that you're spending a lot of time responding to customer questions and complaints on social media, it might be a good idea to create a social media channel or Shout group chat that's specifically dedicated to customer support.
This could be a powerful way to segment customer service requests from your coworkers' social media marketing efforts. Just make sure your social profiles point clientele in need of assistance to the support profile for faster assistance.
Creating a dedicated customer support channel can help you resolve customer issues more quickly and efficiently, leading to happier customers.
Don't Feed the Trolls
Social media and SMS platforms are powerful tools for connecting with customers and building relationships in today's world. However, it's important to remember that not all interactions are positive.
Sometimes, people will reach out to complain or troll your company. It's crucial to have a strategy in place for how to deal with negative posts and messages.
For example, trolls are the people who deliberately try to stir up trouble. They make inflammatory or offensive remarks about hot-button topics like pop culture or politics. In the case of business, they may deliberately slam you, your company, your products, or your services without actually wanting a positive resolution to a problem.
Our advice is to steer clear, and make sure your team is on the same page about how to respond.
By employing a bit of foresight, you can help protect your company's reputation and avoid potential problems down the road.
Best Ways To Respond in Social Selling Customer Service
When you respond to customer inquiries on social media, we recommend a few best practices to help solve problems. The following ideas are quick and efficient and cultivate positive brand sentiment among your buyers.
After all, you're not just fixing your customers' problems. You're trying to delight them and get them to recommend you (and your stellar support) to their friends and colleagues.
As a social seller, it's important to watch social media for customer complaints. While some of these complaints will be easy to fix, others might not be so simple.
You don't need to have all the answers for each and every customer. Still, you should be transparent about the timeline for fixing their issues.
Whether you need to create a ticket with your product team or you're unsure how long it will take to resolve an issue with a product, honesty is always the best policy.
Your customers will appreciate knowing where they stand, and they'll be more likely to stick with you during tough times. So next time you're faced with a customer complaint on social media, don't hesitate to be upfront and honest about the situation.
When you're responding to customers during your customer service efforts, it's essential to keep things light and positive. Sarcasm and humor can be easily misconstrued, so it's best to avoid them until the problem is solved.
Instead, focus on showing your personality. Customers will appreciate the effort, and once the issue is resolved, it's okay to use emojis or GIFs to lighten the mood.
In the meantime, remember to stay patient and friendly. There's no need to rush when addressing customer concerns. Taking the time to resolve problems effectively will build the kind of trust and loyalty you want in your customer base.
Understand When You Should Take the Conversation Offline
Let's consider a quick scenario.
For instance, say you're managing a customer service Twitter account. You'll quickly learn that you can solve some customer interactions with a quick give-and-take.
But sometimes, you'll want to take the conversation offline to solve a customer problem more effectively.
If a customer needs to share their personal information for you to help them, or if the conversation is getting tense, invite them to send you a direct message in Shout.
That will minimize the external visibility of the conversation and possibly solve the issue faster than waiting for a customer or client to tweet back at you.
And while it may seem like taking the conversation offline will slow things down, in reality, it can help you resolve customer problems more quickly and efficiently.
Measure and Report Your Social Selling Customer Service Efforts
Qualitative feedback is vital to keep up with how many discussions you're having, the topics, and, ideally, the sentiment analysis.
Keep results of qualitative feedback on hand by tracking both positive and negative conversations.
You should also try to quantify your social selling customer service efforts as much as possible. For example, you could send customer satisfaction surveys to customers via Shout bot.
In that survey, you would ask if your customers were happy with their service. You could then collect that data to see where you might need to allocate more resources to offer a higher level of assistance.
By collecting both qualitative and quantitative feedback data, you'll have a well-rounded understanding of how your social selling customer service presence is performing. You'll also get a good idea about where you can make improvements.
Use Customer Service in Social Selling to Grow Your Business
Customer service is one of the most critical aspects of running a successful business, and that's true regardless of how big, or small your organization happens to be.
You can run a social selling microbusiness where it's just you or have an organization with hundreds or thousands of team members and be flush with cash. It doesn't matter.
With the right customer service strategy in place, you can use social selling to attract new customers, delight existing ones, and help your business grow.
One of the central elements of a successful social selling strategy is responsive customer service. This means being quick to respond to questions, complaints, and concerns that are raised on your social profile or sent through a messenger or SMS texts.
By responding quickly and efficiently, you'll create a seamless customer experience that will keep people coming back.
Another critical element of a successful social media customer service strategy is proactive customer outreach. This means actively reaching out to customers on social media rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Consider these two strategies if you're looking to take your social media customer service to the next level. With the right strategy, you can create a customer experience that's second to none.
More importantly, your business has a better chance of growing faster than ever before as a social seller.