Social media offers more than just marketing opportunities for small businesses. It provides a great opportunity to reach out to your customers, answer questions, and resolve problems. However, there are definitely ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to use your social networks for customer service.
Here are some general tips:
What to do
- Respond to questions in a timely fashion. If it takes you days to reply, your customers will feel ignored and your response will likely be too late, potentially costing you business.
- Regularly monitor all of your social networks. This allows you to catch complaints early and respond, or remove them when the comments are inappropriate.
- Be professional, courteous, and helpful in all of your posts, comments, and replies. Remember, everything you post reflects on your business.
- When responding to unhappy customers, take the time to develop a well-crafted response. Consider having a second person review your reply to make sure your message comes across correctly.
- Address your customers’ criticism of your business honestly. Mention what you are doing to avoid similar problems in the future.
What NOT to do
- Don’t have a knee-jerk reaction that will make the situation worse.
- Don’t attack your customers.
- Don’t use all capitals in your posts. It comes across as yelling.
- Do not, under any circumstances, use inappropriate language in your posts and responses.
Remember that traditional customer service rules apply to your social networks, so treat your social audience with the same courtesy as any other customer.