Essential Items For Your 2016 Social Customer Service Policy

By: Sofie De Beule

January 12, 2016

Social customer care is no longer a competitive advantage– it’s become a necessity. As more and more companies take on a social customer care program, you must keep your social customer service policy up to standard to get ahead of the game.

Which essential elements should you include in your social customer service policy in 2016?

1. Identify The Agent Who Is Handling

Even if Twitter’s character limit expands beyond 140, every word (and even every punctuation mark) will still count. Make it part of your social customer service policy to have your agents “sign” their replies with their name. This way, your customers will know who they’re talking to. Responses are more personalized when agents add their names or initials at the end of each tweet.

Some other items you can include to make your conversations more personalized:

  • Address every customer with their name (if possible) and greet them with a simple “Hi!” with every first interaction.
  • How are customers talking to you? Try to use the words and expressions that would resonate with that specific customers while still remaining true to your brand.

2. If Possible, Move Conversations to A Private Room

This won’t really come to a surprise: customers value their privacy– a lot. The huge uprise and continued success of messaging apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger that marked recent years prove that customers value one-on-one conversations without the whole world to see. Especially when it comes to sharing private information! Customers really love to chat one-on-one and the same goes for having a conversation with a business. So if possible, move conversations to Direct or Private Messages. Especially on Twitter, DMs allow conversations to flow smoothly and openly. You can bet on it– your customers will really appreciate your efforts in understanding what they really need.

3. Set SLAs For The Number of Replies

In 2016, it will be even more important to value your customers’ time. Try to limit the number of replies to only two per customer case. First, acknowledge the complaint or question. Second, come back to that customer and resolve concerns. Don’t feel bad when you fail to meet your SLA. Setting SLAs for the number of replies will serve as a framework to help you quickly problem-solve complaints. Your agents are only human and some questions are more complex than others, requiring you to do more legwork than normally.

Bear in mind that, although your customers are multi-channel, it’s unacceptable to redirect your customers to another customer care channel (e.g. chat, email, phone, etc.) while you’re in a conversation. Customers don’t care how you handle complaints behind-the-scenes and involve multiple departments to resolve a case. They only care about being helped out with a personalized, high-quality service. If a customer reaches out through social first, directing him to email is a definite no-go!

4. Rethink Your Rules of Engagement

There are many situations where you need to apply your rules of engagement in a strict manner. Several Engagor customers filter out profanity (e.g. swear words) and trolls because it’s part of their rules of engagement not to respond to those kind of conversations. Don’t let profanity or trolls clutter up your inbox, nor invest your time and energy in responding to them.

Keep in mind that data that includes profanity or trolls can be valuable to report on. For example, in the case of trolls, you still need to keep track of that data if you want to take legal steps.

Conclusion

If your business wants to truly reap the benefits of a social customer program, make sure you understand your customers’ needs and wants. Change or add elements to your social customer service policy as you go. Make it your mission for this year to strive towards excellence. As many brands have taken on a social customer care program, it will be the small details that make you stand out.