Checklist: How to Ensure A Personalized Social Customer Service Experience

By: Sofie De Beule

April 29, 2016

Companies often get too caught up in making sure customers get a timely reply to their questions or complaints. As a result, they provide generic, templated responses and customers feel like they are talking to a robot that doesn’t truly understand their needs. Fortunately, companies no longer need to worry about disappointing their customers.

A checklist is the perfect means way to ensure a flawless personalized social customer service experience on social. The checklist below will make sure you have all the best practices in place so that your agents can hit the ground running. The list will also help ensure you are ready to face any social media engagement, whether it is an external crisis, internal problem, or volume peaks during specific time periods.

1. Address each customer with their name. Start each tweet by addressing the person’s name. If you don’t, tweets will easily feel impersonal and distant. It’s just a small action to take into account, but makes a huge impact on the way you communicate with your customers.

2. Add your initials after each tweet. Use the agent’s initials after each tweet so customers know there’s a human behind the brand who’s replying to customer queries and complaints. In addition, if you reply with a private message or direct message, you can easily add your signature.

3. Show empathy with every reply. Make sure you sympathize when talking to customers (yes, even with customers who drive you up the wall) and always acknowledge and apologize for the issue, or thank the customer for reaching out. While most companies are already doing a great job of showing empathy with every first, initial response, it’s essential to continue to show empathy throughout the conversation. Bear in mind that the customer is always right (even if they’re not); treat your customer like they’re the priority and sympathize with every issue, however small or large that it might be.

4. Stay away from canned responses. Companies are often tempted to turn to canned responses in crisis situations or when the volume of mentions is going through the roof. No matter which situation you find yourself in, using canned responses is an unacceptable way of giving customers a timely response. Customers will easily tune out automated messages.

5. Drill down in the context of each conversation. To ensure a personalized service, you need to understand the context of each conversation and the type of customer you’re dealing with to better meet their needs. Try answer the following questions by looking at the history of a conversation:

  • Did the customer already interact with you in the past?
  • If so, how frequently have they interacted with you in the past?
  • Were they happy or unhappy about your product or service?
  • What tone of voice do they use?

Dive into the history of a conversation and the different interactions you’ve had with that customer in the past. Also, don’t forget to add a note to a conversation to add relevant, contextual information that is visible for any agent.

6. Maintain the right tone of voice. A personalized experience done right depends a lot on getting the basics of social customer service right from the start. When kicking off your social media team, or as soon as you onboard new team members, make sure you explain the tone of voice they should use. As a team leader, it’s important to coach as you go and adjust when necessary. For example, millennials like a witty, edgy tone of voice,whereas non-digital natives prefer a more formal tone of voice.

7. Instantly save relevant customer information. Once you receive valuable information from a customer (e.g. email address, phone number, etc.), make it a habit to immediately save that information. If you notice your agents keep asking customers for their loyalty card number, add this field to your customer detail sheet.

8. Circle back with your customers. Just handled an issue that requires follow-up with a customer? If you really want to stand out from your competitors, make sure you circle back with your customers and reach out proactively to let them know the issue is fixed– and thank them for their patience. For example, one of our customers in the telecom industry archives all customers who have complained about their mobile payment system. Once the issue is fixed or there’s an update for the mobile app available, they reach out to them again to update them on the progress.

To learn more about how to personalize your social media interactions, download our eBook: Social Media Etiquette: Your Guide to Engaging Like A Person, Not A Logo.