33 social customer service tips that you won’t want to miss


Want to improve your service on social media?  Here is a range of tips from our readers that could help you.

1. Do it in hours, not days

Respond to a tweet within one and two hours – no shorter and no longer as the message will move on.

Thanks to Will

2. Social media is two way

Remember social media is ‘social’, i.e. 2 way and not robotic.

3. Use consistent hashtags

If you are using Twitter for marketing make sure you develop and use consistent #tags.

Thanks to Steve

4. Have a handover book

Have a team who interact well with each other.  We also have a ‘handover’ book for highlighting anything that needs attention, so it isn’t missed.

5. Encourage interaction

Encourage interaction with customers. They love it.

Thanks to Christine

6. Your customers watch you

Remember your followers follow you for what you say; they don’t want to see all positive comments retweeted!

7. Ignore the nonsense

If a comment from a social media user is nonsense, ignore it. If it’s legitimate, take it offline.

8. Take the rough with the smooth

Don’t just retweet all positive comments.

Thanks to Caroline

9. Expand awareness

If housed within the contact centre, why does it have to be agents that respond?  To expand awareness, arrange for it to be part of a person’s induction to spend some time within the centre to answer issues.

10. Publish tweets widely

Publish tweets etc. and responses in internal and external publications and also on the web.  ‘You said, we did’.

Thanks to Graham Jones

11. Start listening

Many businesses and individuals are using Twitter daily.  It’s all very well tweeting outbound messages, but are you listening?
The bigger the brand you are, the more likely it is to spread and be picked up by both potential and current customers and your competitors, too, who may decide to build a case to use it against you.

12. Apologise quickly

If you are quick to apologise and resolve the situation, a negative tweet has very high chance of being turned into a positive. Remember, bad news travels faster than good, so be quick to respond and dilute.

Victoria Atherstone, Marketing Director, Response Data Communications

13. Ask for positive feedback

Once you have resolved a customer issue (especially in private) – ASK for the positive feedback. Many customers are willing to give it!   For example, you could have an agent signature with ‘If you were happy with your service today, please consider tweeting about it’.

Thanks to Jason Taylor

14. Admit you are wrong

Always admit poor service and say how you’ll improve it going forward.

15. Add social to your email signatures

Put buttons at the bottom of emails linking customers to Facebook or Twitter or whichever channel you use.

Thanks to Anne

16. Create a one-stop shop

Set up a multichannel contact centre where agents who are not on calls have real-time access to social media traffic and can address issues in real time, or call back the client with resolutions and follow-ups.

Thanks to Kinesh

17. Honesty is the best policy

Don’t be afraid of negative comments – be honest so others can see that you operate openly and honestly.

Thanks to Jenny

18.  Be transparent

Being transparent is the key. Your customers want to see your human side.

Thanks to Shereen

19. You don’t need sign-off for every tweet

Dedicated staff need to be responsible, in a very direct way, for the company’s corporate identity. This is not going to work if there are layers of sign-off for every tweet.

20. Work quickly

The collaborative, cumulative nature of social media means that friends and followers will see the response and the resolution, showing the company to be proactive and positive. But the key for contact centres is to remember that time is of the essence. Social networking happens fast: get it right and a company can build brand loyalty, get it wrong – or act too slowly – and customers can turn away.

21. Don’t ignore it – respond

When someone tweets about a negative or positive, it is not directed at one person but broadcast to a large number of people. It can be read by a variety of influential people, including potential customers and competitors, and it can be searched. Ignoring the threads will just allow a negative brand image to develop.

Dave Paulding, Interactive Intelligence (www.inin.com)

22. Have a unified view

Have a unified view of the customer that includes calls, emails, etc.

Thanks to Sean McIver

23. Use those that are already social

Put a team of agents together who are already familiar with, and passionate about, social media. Then make them the ‘face’ of the company so customers are interacting with “Jon” or “Lynne”, the social media agent – include their pictures on Twitter, for example.

Thanks to Kate

24. Encourage ‘crowdsourcing’

Encourage peer-to-peer communication where customers can answer other customers’ questions for you.

Thanks to Catherine

25. What channels do your staff use?

Find out what channels your staff already use; this may be the best place to start using social media.

Thanks to Steve

26. Promote all areas your company is involved in

Promote not only customer service but other areas the company is involved in – charity events and environmental work.

27. Keep it positive

Always remain positive, and deal with each customer as an individual.

Retweet any positive tweets you receive back.

A smile costs nothing, e.g. 🙂

Thanks to Richard

28. Get an integrated technology platform

We all know that social media will be required in the contact centre, but we have also seen in the news how dangerous it can be.  The main thing is to get it under control with an integrated technology platform that listens a lot and tweets a little.

Jon Meredith, Contact Centre Practice, mplsystems (www.mplsystems.co.uk)

29. The customer is always right

The customer is always right and so are their followers. No question is too small – keep in touch with everyone.

30. Communicate in a timely manner

Keep in contact with your customer in real time and be open and honest.

Thanks to Nick

31. Select the right agents

Use selection and recruitment carefully when looking for social media agents – look for a strong work ethic and the ability and desire for job autonomy.

Thanks to Joanne

32. Join it all up

Link up the customer service desk, website and Facebook so that you only have to post things once.

Thanks to Denise

33. Use the highlights function in Facebook

Use the ‘highlights’ function to display images boldly on the timeline. Customers respond positively to imagery and will bear the FB page in mind when they have a need to contact you.

Thanks to Emma

Do you have any other tips that you would like to share?

 

Published On: 12th Sep 2012 - Last modified: 9th May 2018
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, Hints and Tips, , , ,


3 Comments
  1. Great tips!
    Thansk for sharing. Will use them instantly!

    c 17 Sep at 10:06 am
  2. Proactive info to your customer

    Share information frequently that could help customer in troubleshooting or update any info related with your company product or service. You need it, we share it!

    Rima Mulyati

    Rima Mulyati 27 Sep at 5:35 am
  3. Regarding #24, ‘crowdsourcing’, I wouldn’t suggest doing as a major telecommunications company did recently and advising me to try crowdsourcing for support because they didn’t know the answer to my question. It just looked to me like they were passing the buck.

    David 18 Feb at 5:41 am
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