Fundamental Dos & Don’ts of Social Customer Service

By: Sofie De Beule

October 7, 2016

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social approval processes
social customer service etiquette
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Social media clearly it isn’t the new kid on the block anymore. However, companies still miss the boat with basic social customer service etiquette. If you want to create a winning social customer service program, you need to have an engagement strategy in place that goes into the nitty-gritty and covers every single detail.

You need to be aware of what your customers need and want, and be vigilant for the common pitfalls that can potentially ruin your customers’ experience. Let’s have a look at 2 key dos and 2 don’ts to help you engage like a pro with your customers or to avoid you from falling into a common pitfall.

#1 Do: Keep conversations short & simple. Customers don’t just want to be helped out in a timely manner with a quality response. In addition, their overall experience should be short and hassle-free. Continuously circling back with your customers for additional questions is easily perceived as annoying and often deemed unprofessional.

Typically, a conversation should be resolved in just two customer interactions. First, you need to acknowledge the issue (yes, words of apologies are appropriate here!) and ask for any additional questions. Secondly, you need to come back to your customer with a resolution and a quality response.

#2 Don’t: Start a argument with a customer. Customer service agents have such an important responsibility representing the voice of a brand which is often neglected. Conversations on social can get quite unpleasant, and unfortunately, it’s not always easy to keep your cool and stay polite. Because of the public nature of social, it’s for everyone to see.

Agents need to be careful not to step on a customer’s toes. Work with approval processes to give them, whenever necessary, the possibility to double-check with your social customer service team leader. When in doubt, workflows can help resolve any issues and prevent potential slip-ups from causing serious cracks in your reputation.

#3 Do: If necessary, make conversations private. Because of social’s public nature, customers can be worried about their privacy. As a business, it’s your responsibility to educate your customers and respect their concerns. Inform your customers on what they can or cannot share. Troubleshooting privacy issues goes both ways. First, if you need confidential information, always move a conversation to DM or PM. Secondly, alert customers in case they share private information.

In addition, move a conversation private if you want to elaborate more on a certain topic of conversation. For example, when you want to get more details about a certain situation. Generally speaking in most cases you should just let your common sense guide you.

#4 Don’t: Let customer feedback go to waste. Unlike any other customer service channel, customers voice their struggles and pains with your products and services over social. All of that feedback about your company is free. While many companies listen to what their customers are saying, they don’t necessarily act on it too. Data is meaningless if you don’t do anything with it. Social feedback has the tremendous potential to help improve your service, offering, and improve your business.

Implementing customer feedback is a matter of setting up an internal feedback management process allowing you to:

  • Collect, structure and categorize data so that you make sense of it
  • (Automatically) pass it on to the right department for them to follow up on it
  • Make sure you follow through and, if necessary, reevaluate your processes

There’s a lot more to social customer service than what you (might) think. Learn more, crucial best practices and dos and don’ts in our Social Customer Service Etiquette eBook to enhance your social customer experience.

Sofie De Beule is Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. She helps establish Clarabridge as a thought leader for Social Customer Service and Customer Experience. Sofie’s an Engagor expert, Clarabridge’s best-in-class social customer service solution, inspiring brands on how to manage and get their social customer service program off the ground. Sofie holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & International Marketing from Artevelde University College Ghent. Read more from Sofie on Twitter @sofiedbeule.