Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As companies have expanded their presence to social media, it is now easier to get one-on-one interactions with certain brands. With this accessibility comes the potential for customers to reach out to brands on social media for customer service. 

Before exploring the ways that social media accounts should respond to customers, it is important to understand what customer service really is. Customer service is all about providing customers with a personal experience throughout their shopping. This includes before, during and after a purchase. Any questions or inquiries related to a product purchased all revolves around customer service, and it is also a part of community management

While a lot of these brands have their own direct customer service line, it is now common to see brands replying directly to customers who post comments on their social media channels requesting customer service. Customers may also send direct messages, and with Instagram recently launching desktop direct messaging, it is now easier to respond to customers if you use Instagram to interact with customers.

As a business, it is important to prioritize the needs of the customer, because failing to do so can have serious repercussions. In a study conducted by Glance, it found that 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to poor customer service. In addition, 93% of customers are more likely to purchase again from companies who offer excellent customer service according to HubSpot Research

There is no doubt that customer service for brands is important in social media. Here are some of our best practices for providing customer service on these digital platforms.

Respond to all customers with empathy

When customers reach out to you on your social media, it is important to reply to them in a timely manner, but the manner in which you reply to customers is of the utmost importance. Customers may be feeling frustrated and may share their anger directly on your social media channels, and it is important to respond in a caring way. 

Customers appreciate it when they are being valued, but also when their time is being valued as well. Remember, how you interact with customers can also be seen by others viewing the comments, and all eyes are on your company with how you diffuse a customer service issue.

Use chatbots with caution

A lot of customer service issues can be easily mitigated with an automated response that provides information right away. But, companies should not rely on these services as customer service issues are not always a one size fits all scenario. Using chatbots is a great start by at least acknowledging that the customer’s issue will be looked at. 

However, you should certainly follow up and not ignore customers. These automated responses are best suited when customers send direct messages. It is important to include that you appreciate the customer reaching out in these messages, and that your company will reply back as soon as possible. 

Add a Service Level Agreement to your social pages

A service level agreement (SLA) is a guideline that your company follows when interacting with customers on social media. This agreement can outline specific things such as the expected response time, the type of issues that will be looked at, as well as setting the ground rules with how customers are to behave in the social media page. 

Having a SLA is important because it lets customers know about the terms and conditions in how your company will respond to customer inquiries. But most importantly, for individuals who choose to be reckless and disrespectful, it reserves the right for the company to delete disruptive comments on social media. 

If your company is considering implementing community management in your social media strategy, our team at Qode Social has years of proven experience to assist you. 

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.