Contact centers that utilize social media channels to deliver customer service may think that all channels are alike. In reality, every social media site has its own characteristics which companies must consider to attain exceptional customer service.
Facebook maintains great popularity as a social customer service channel. Unlike Twitter, which tends to be conversational and move fast with limited characters, or other sites such as Instagram, which tend to focus on photo sharing, Facebook combines both visual and textual elements that make it easy to engage with customers in different ways with no limits to how much text can be written.
Here are some of the ways your business may optimize Facebook use for excellent social customer service.
Always acknowledge the customer's message. As on any channel, it's critical to respond promptly to customers' messages both on the public wall and through private messages or chat. If contacted via chat, agents may already feel inclined to respond quickly, but other forms of messaging on Facebook should not be ignored. If an agent needs more time to find an answer to a customer's question, at least acknowledge that the message was received and that the solution is being sought. Even if the message is a simple compliment to the company, take the time to acknowledge that, too. Show your customers that you are paying attention and you care about what they think.
Show your customers that the problem was solved. If a customer concern posted publicly on the Facebook wall is eventually moved to private conversation when being resolved, other customers may wonder if the problem was ever addressed. Simply put, it can be confusing and cause doubt among customers if issues appear to be left hanging. Once the issue is resolved, be sure to post a thank you to the customer on the wall where the concern was originally posted, further stating that the company was happy to solve the problem. Customers will understand that your company takes the time to address each case individually and close the case in a professional manner. Lastly, it might be tempting to delete negative comments, but keep in mind that leaving them in public view and showing customers your willingness to address concerns is a professional, sincere way of demonstrating your brand's faith in its own value and respect for customers' opinions.
Use the platform as a knowledge base.This idea also falls under marketing, but do remember that Facebook allows a wealth of opportunities for establishing your brand and providing information to customers. The page should feature all relevant information about the company—a mission statement, product information, photographs and videos of products and services, and additional contact information with links to the company website are all a must. But also take the time to educate your customers proactively by providing answers to frequently asked questions on a separate page or tab, posting all press releases or articles about the company featured in the media (such as new products or services), posting blog articles written by the company, and addressing upfront any issues the company may be having with products or services that might later provoke customer concerns. Customers will appreciate finding quick answers, and this can only enhance a brand's reputation with fewer negative comments and more positive ones. Facebook is also an excellent platform for mentioning sales and any customer rewards—as well as for delivering them directly to your customers.
Don't forget the hashtags, and use them to schedule alerts. Like Twitter, Facebook allows you to use hashtags to tag any content you create on your page, making it easy for such content to show up in Facebook searches. It's important to use them each time you mention your brand's name in a post, and you may also tag FAQ pages and responses to customer questions with appropriate tags such as "customer service" or the name of the product/service being discussed. In addition, Facebook allows you to set up alerts to know when other Facebook users are tagging you. For example, setting up alerts for the tags such as "customer service" or a product name, or even customers' feelings ("happy," "frustrated") will enable your agents to better monitor which issues need to be addressed and which customers should be approached for additional support.
Like other social media sites, Facebook offers a wealth of tools for providing optimal social customer service, yet it also bears unique features which should be used strategically to deliver the best results. To learn more about contact center solutions optimized for social customer service, please visit www.vocalcom.com.