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?