7 Best Practices That Your Social Media Customer Service Strategy Needs to Follow

Getting social media customer service right takes hard work, the best strategy is a pretty simple one: just follow these seven tips.

1) Pick the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

The problem with taking advice from someone else about the “best” platform to be on is that, well, they may very well be wrong.

The best platform for one business could be completely useless for yours.

What’s most important here is where your customers are.

And if you don’t know the answer to that, it’s a great idea to ask. A simple one-question survey, sent via email using a free service like Typeform or Google Forms, can point you in the right direction.

By going to where your customers actually are, you can deliver a support experience that’s native to their preferred network.

2) Monitor Social Media Mentions

You don’t actually have to stare at your social media feed all day (as tempting as that may be) to know when your customers need help.

There are some very useful tools now that will alert you when you get mentioned.

They range from free search tools like Social Mention… These tools can help you stay on top of when and where your product gets mentioned so that you can respond to your customers. They’re great for marketing, but just as important for customer support.

3) Look for Mentions That Might Not Be Obvious

Don’t assume that customers know your Twitter handle.

In fact, research shows that only 3% of brand mentions actually use a Twitter handle, instead opting for the company or product name.

Similarly, don’t assume that customers are spelling your company or product’s name right.

4) Speed Matters in Social Support

While speed may not be most important factor for great support in email, phone, or in-person service, in social media, speed trumps all.

The fast-paced nature of social media⁠—built around live feeds⁠—creates expectations that are different from platforms like email, where a 24-hour response time is a bit more acceptable.

But for social, make an effort to respond as quickly as you can.

5) Use the Right Tone of Voice

Your tone of voice is massively important in customer support.

This can pose a bit of a challenge in social media, where some platforms, like Twitter, limit you to short messages which make it a lot more difficult to get tone and nuance right.

The right tone depends on your customer, and the best way to get tone right is to adjust your tone to match the customer.

There are a few easy cues you can practice spotting in any social media message:

  • Does the customer use emoticons, exclamation points and slang? (This is a green light for you to reciprocate.)
  • Does the customer sound like they might not be totally fluent in your language? (In this case, you need to be much more careful with nuances like slang.)
  • Does the customer sound frustrated? (Turn up the empathy and use tone that’s understanding, apologetic and reassuring.)

6) Take Things Offline When Necessary… The Right Way

As important as it is to listen and respond to your customers on social media, not every issue can be resolved via social.

Sometimes, the medium doesn’t allow you to write as long of a reply as you need to.

Sometimes, you need sensitive customer information that you (or they) wouldn’t be comfortable exchanging online.

In these cases, it’s okay to transfer the issue to another channel like email or phone.

But it’s important to do this right.

7) Use Your Knowledge Base to Make Things Easy

Using a knowledge base for customer service has a lot of benefits. It can help you cut down on support tickets, deliver faster customer service and make your customers happier.

By linking to knowledge base articles, you can save time for yourself and make life easier for your customers. Rather than having to explain multi-step processes over social media, you can provide them with easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides built to help.

Social Media Customer Service Can HelpGrow Your Business

By delivering great support on the social platforms that your customers already frequent, you can build stronger relationships with them and in turn, create more loyal customers.