Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 | 8 min read
Tech companies have it tough. When customers need service, they don’t just need to know when their package shipped or if they can get something in a specific color; they expect brands to be on-call for everything from device setups and installs to updates and troubleshooting.
Businesses used to be able to funnel these requests to a call center or in-store help desk. Now, however, customers can reach them on multiple social platforms at all hours of the day. And if brands can’t handle this influx of messages, they’ll get left behind. As eMarketer reported, 60% of consumers want easier access to support channels online, and 80% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service.
To stay ahead of the curve, consider these five stellar customer service strategies you can steal from tech companies.
Save your main social accounts for important updates, product announcements, and industry news. Create separate accounts just for answering customer service queries. This will give customers a place to go when they have questions, and it will help agents stay organized.
Adobe, for instance, has a central Twitter account (@Adobe) and a dedicated account for customer support (@AdobeCare). Under the bio for @AdobeCare, the brand makes it clear that representatives are available 24/7 through this channel.
Here’s an example of a recent tweet:
Brands can also sync these accounts with new Twitter tools for customer service. They can create welcome messages that greet customers when they start a Direct Message conversation. And they can enable quick replies, which let customers choose from a few different actions, such as checking the status of their order, talking to an agent, and asking about payments.
Just remember to tell your audience where to find your customer service handle. For instance, Adobe includes it in the bio of its main account. “Need help?” it reads. “Visit us at http://helpx.adobe.com/support.html or reach out to @AdobeCare.”
Don’t make your customers wait. They probably reached out to you on social media because they thought it would be quicker than calling or sending an email. Now you can prove them right.
Just look at T-Mobile. On Facebook, the brand responds to comments within minutes. That includes all customer service queries on any post. For example, this post was about a silly contest, but one customer used it as a place to ask a question about his account. Less than 15 minutes later, T-Mobile responded and offered to help.
Marketers would be wise to learn from T-Mobile’s approach. As Convince and Convert found, 42% of consumers expect a reply within an hour, and 32% expect a reply within a half-hour. T-Mobile’s rapid response times contribute to its success in customer satisfaction and overall service. In fact, The brand ranked #1 in customer service satisfaction among wireless service providers, according to Nielsen’s 2016 report.
Some agents are skilled at resolving issues over the phone; others understand the nuances of social networks. It’s helpful to separate the two and build your own team for customer service on social media.
Take the Xbox Twitter team. It allegedly holds the Guinness World Record for “most responsive Twitter feed,” and it even has its own team name: the “Elite Tweet Fleet.”
This video shows you how they work together as the “concierge service for Xbox Live” to provide tech support, service updates, and even giveaways.
That hard word pays off. The @XboxSupport Twitter account has almost 1 million followers, with responses firing almost every minute. They don’t just answer direct tweets, either. They scour the platform for people who make any mention of Xbox, and swoop in to help.
With a dedicated team like the Elite Tweet Fleet, you can ensure that your agents have the time and know-how to answer queries and deal with the ever-changing social landscape. It might even unseat Xbox for that Guinness World Record one day.
Customer service on social media is fast and efficient. It’s not, however, always private. Unless someone messages a brand one-on-one, their question is out there for all to see. That’s why, when you need to discuss personal information with a customer, you have to be ready to transition to a private channel.
Just look at how Spotify uses Twitter’s DM prompt feature. The brand can invite people to join a Direct Message with the click of a button, like this:
You don’t have to jump on the phone to have a private conversation. Just be prepared to help the customer meet you in a secure social thread—otherwise, they could get frustrated and give up on your conversation.
In 2012, Shane Bennett sent a message to Samsung Canada on Facebook. He asked for a free Galaxy S III, and attached a picture of a dragon that he drew for the brand. Despite the absurdity of the post, the brand replied.
“Your drawing of the dragon is epic,” Samsung Canada wrote. “So we’re returning the favour. Please find attached a drawing of a kangaroo on a unicycle.”
Amused by this response, Bennett posted a screenshot of his exchange to Reddit, where it received over 2500 upvotes and 270 comments.
Samsung was so appreciative of the recognition that it actually sent Bennett his free phone. And the coolest part was that they customized it with his dragon drawing. Samsung Canada wrote, “We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed watching the story of the Dragon and the Kangaroo go viral.”
Bennett’s picture of the gift received over 5.5 million views on Imgur, generating even more positive press for Samsung.
Instead of ignoring Bennett’s message, Samsung was able to have fun with it and play along. As a result, the company strengthened its relationship with a loyal fan and likely gained new customers in the process.
Each time a customer has a question or comment, your brand has an opportunity to build a new relationship. Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier to make those connections and start valuable conversations.
You just have to be prepared. Create a separate account for service inquiries so people know where to find you. Build a dedicated team to follow-up with quick and informative responses. And don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun. These tactics will put you on par with customer service all-stars and help you handle any request that comes your way.
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