Traditionally, it’s seen that customers will contact you through email or phone call, or even face to face in some businesses. However, nowadays, customer have varying ways of contacting you - one of the most popular being social media.
Social media is such a huge part of people’s daily activities, making it near to imperative that businesses integrate social media into their marketing strategy
Social media channels harbour such a large, wide audience that, without it, you could be missing out on a multitude of potential customers. Having social media allows for all types of relevant communication; giving you more possibilities of conversations and discussions with your customers or potential customers. This, essentially, means that you have chances of dealing with customer service issues or inquiries through social media.
All businesses are going to have different strategies when it comes to dealing with inquiries or issues. However, there are a few key generic rules to remember...
Always Respond, As Quickly As Possible
This may seem like one of the most obvious ones, but you must respond to every interaction you get. Whether it be an inquiry, a question, a passing comment or something else; you need to be quick to respond to it.
When a business doesn’t respond, it’s a response in itself
No response indicates that a business doesn’t really care; they’re not bothered about your issues or problems. This also goes for businesses that take ages to respond. It’s within human nature to feel negatively towards people, and businesses, that do not respond straight away. People will feel that you, again, don’t care or have not got the time for them. This is the complete opposite to what you want your customers or potential customers to feel. You need everyone who communicates with you to have a positive experience with you and to feel that you care about them.
When it comes to inquiries and comments or interactions, you must always respond. Even if it’s just a small comment (i.e. someone saying they love your business) - respond! It shows you’re active and friendly, which makes you even more approachable. People will see that you take part in conversations and discussions and really focus on your audience.
Official Responses for Major Concerns
Your business may not be one to have to deal with major concerns on a regular basis, but if you are this part is important. It’s important to compile some official responses.
These responses need to answer the concerns in a professional, friendly manner that gives all necessary information to help solve the concerns
As an example of this, say you’re a website hosting company and your server goes down. People may take to social media to complain or voice their concerns - and the easiest solution in this situation is to have an official response that can be sent out to everyone that gives the same explanation and possible solution, if applicable. An official response to certain situations ensures you know what to do when everyone takes to social media to raise their concerns. It allows you to quickly and efficiently respond to people in the correct way.
Monitor What People Are Saying
A brilliant feature to social media is how easy and efficient it is to find new people and discussions. It’s as easy as typing in keywords and phrases, searching and you’ll immediately find the content you need, or want, to see.
It can be extremely beneficial to monitor and understand what your audience are saying about you
Through these keyword searches you may also find more potential audience members or people interested in your business. Finding these people enables you to spark up conversations and discussions, engaging and interacting with them. Through these conversations you can begin to build connections and relationships, hopefully building people’s trust and interest in you.
Monitoring what people are saying about you also gives you a true insight into what people think of you. It gives you chance to see what people really think of you, which in turn allows you to improve anything your audience negatively speak about. It enables you to improve your quality and become better at what you do.
One of the most important things to remember is to be as friendly as possible. You need to be human, personable and approachable. Being friendly is an absolute essential; it’s necessary as part of your social media strategy let alone as part of your customer service strategy.
To be friendly means to make interactions much more personal and personable, it’s about speaking directly to whoever’s contacted you and making them feel special
You need to remember to be professional about assisting and helping people as much as you can, but then you must make sure to personalise your messages and make them as friendly as possible. This way, people will feel much more connected to your business and, in turn, feel positively about your brand and who you are.
If you’re responding to a multitude of inquiries or comments on social media, you need to be sure to remain consistent in what you’re saying. If customers, or potential customers, are seeing different answers to the same inquiries or comments, it’s going to immediately affect your reputation.
People are going to question your inconsistency and their trust in you is going to decline
To be consistent you need to make sure you track and monitor responses, as well as ensuring everyone in the team responsible for responding understands what they need to say and what the “universal” response to a certain inquiry or comment is. This is where having that official response comes in useful, to make sure that all comments or concerns of the same nature get the same, consistent response. To be inconsistent, as mentioned, means people’s trust in you will decline and you will be seen as unreliable.
Effectively, to respond to inquiries on social media is about responding quickly and efficiently. It’s a matter of ensuring every interaction you acquire is responded to, in a timely and friendly manner. The quicker and friendlier you respond to something, the better.
People will often take to social media to inquire or contact you about something simply because it is easier and much more direct
It’s one of the quickest and surefire ways of getting a response, as almost everyone expects a response on social media. So… what if you don’t respond? As said before, no response is a response. Having no response from a business will only result in people feeling negatively towards them; feeling that the particular business makes no time to respond to customers or potential customers. The more people feel like this, the more inclined they are to look elsewhere - simply put, turning towards your competitors for validation.
When you acquire any sort of communication or interaction through social media, whether it be an inquiry, a concern, praise, etc., you must respond in a timely, friendly manner that it personalised as well as professional, with a consistent message and voice.