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Handling Customer Service for Your Online Business Through Social Media

In earlier blogs, we’ve discussed how social media plays a role in the future of eCommerce as it evolves into social commerce. Now let’s explore how social media can also help with customer service by giving you the opportunity to engage quickly and professionally with your customers.

Receiving a customer complaint publicly can be intimidating. However, with some basic tips on how to handle negative engagement – as well as positive feedback – you’ll find social media to be a productive outlet for both parties.

Acknowledge and work to resolve the issue
The worst thing you can do is ignore negative feedback; it will be perceived as being disinterested or unconcerned. Immediately acknowledge the feedback by apologizing for any inconvenience and telling the customer that your team is looking into the problem. Then, if the issue is urgent, take the conversation offline through a private message. If you need any additional information from the customer, you can collect it through the private message and begin working to resolve the problem.

Train the team on social media etiquette
Just like all other forms of communication, social media etiquette also matters, especially when dealing with customer issues. While it’s important to maintain your brand voice, it is even more important for the community manager to be sympathetic in less than ideal circumstances. Regardless of how unprofessional or harsh the complaint may be, always respond with the utmost respect and professionalism.

Provide multiple levels of support
Depending on your organization and staff knowledge, some issues may need to be addressed by experts in the field. In such situations, your staff must be capable of providing the first level of support and communicate to the customer when a different team or specialist needs to take over the issue for final resolution.

Include social media provisions in your SLAs
As a B2B business, you most likely have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place to address certain issues your customers might face. Therefore, it’s important that SLAs make provisions for issues shared through social media as well. Since social media complaints are real-time and can be seen by everyone, the response time should be quicker than that of your other support channels.

Be thankful for positive feedback
As important as it is to respond to customer issues and complaints online, acknowledging praise is just as crucial. Thank your customers for posting positive comments about your product, team, or performance and stress how much it means to hear their feedback.

Consider using social media as another outlet to manage your company’s customer service. Engaging with your customers in a timely manner will likely cultivate more positive feedback, as well as customer trust and appreciation.

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