Effective Ways to Offer a Top-notch Proactive Customer Service Over Social
Social media channels remain an essential cog in the wheel of customer engagement. Learn how your brand can improve customer success for the long haul with proactive support over social in this blog!
Last Updated:  July 14, 2021
Believe it or not, the quality of customer service directly impacts a company’s bottom line. Good client support translates into more sales revenue, and satisfied users tend to stay longer. And from a business perspective, a loyal customer base proves to be a competitive edge in the marketplace.
The digital landscape has unlatched diverse opportunities for creating such customer value. There are several ways of communicating with your target audience other than traditional methods like phone and email. Many companies use social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to provide short, quick, and personalized responses to their clientele. This social customer service typically involves:
Issuing refunds, etc.
Customer support activities can be classified as reactive and proactive. Reactive support is when your end-users find your business on their own and contact your agents via a web page, phone call, or any other communication channel. Proactive customer service goes above and beyond this approach. It involves anticipating customer concerns and issues and addressing them beforehand. Social media surveys, knowledge base articles, and instructional videos are all examples of such methods.
It makes sense why modern businesses are increasingly going the proactive way in recent years.
Forrester Research has described customer service as more of a brand differentiator than a cost center. Other research in this area highlights the significance of staying technologically relevant and supporting consumers on their terms. So, social networking sites with millions of active users are a breeding ground for proactive brand interactions.
Now, let’s get into how you can deliver top-notch customer experiences over social.
Effective ways to deliver proactive social customer service
1. Get to know your audience
It’s a good idea to start a one-to-one dialogue with your audience to address issues before they escalate further.
Let’s look at an example of this kind of anticipatory support.
Autopilot, a leading marketing software company, has kickstarted proactive customer service using social media. They find out who’s visiting their online knowledge base and then reach out to those customers personally. These follow-ups serve a twin purpose.
One, Autopilot can ensure that clients were successful in getting answers. If not, it can open up other lines of communication to help them out. Second, the company can understand where the existing knowledge base resources are lacking.
You can also share helpful content on your social pages to keep customers informed and updated.
2. Seek feedback about customer experience
Effective customer service doesn’t end upon making the sale. Nor does it wait for the end-users to have a poor brand experience.
Proactive support entails a series of communication activities that ensure and improve consumer satisfaction.
Take, for instance, how Brooks Brothers connect with recent buyers on Twitter. The clothing brand checks in with customers with a simple message like “Thanks for visiting. Did you like shopping with us? What can we do to serve you better?” It then uses the feedback to refine the in-store experience.
Following this proactive customer support strategy can bring potential issues to your notice and give your customers a direct line to seek help.
3. Hire competent support staff
Social networking platforms can serve as digital billboards for your brand. If your support team can keep customers satisfied, there’s no better way to gain word-of-mouth publicity than social media.
To attain high customer confidence levels in the market, you first need to hire qualified and experienced customer service agents. Every social brand interaction is visible to the public.
So, select candidates with decent writing ability and some background in business communications.
Don’t forget to highlight your achievements and milestones to spread the word about your exceptional social customer service
4. Offer convenience to the end-user
An analysis by Bain & Company found that social media engagements can result in 20-40% increase in business earnings. On the other hand, poor customer service can prove detrimental to your brand image. That’s why many companies usually create a dedicated support page on social platforms.
It would help if you choose the right channels to provide timely and personalized customer care. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular options. You can use them to ask questions, host chats, respond to follower content, conduct polls, etc.
Still, if your customers encounter any issues, you must have an escalation process in place.
You can redirect complex problems to human agents or the concerned departments. Your social media responses would go something like this:
Find a way to record your social customer care cases in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. It’s best to integrate your sales, marketing, and support programs into one system to allow convenient information access within your organization. You can also add social profiles to consumer records, getting better insights into your audience’s interests.
Two-way sync between your social customer service and sales operations will make it easier to adjust your business strategy as per market trends. You can use tracking tools to engage in ‘social listening,’ keeping a pulse on your social media conversations.
With sentiment analysis, you can also stay on top of your product mentions, competitor activity, and industry trends. Keep an eye on the metrics and discover what your target audience is saying about you.
Be sure to flag negative reviews and issues before customers proceed to contact you. Take the initiative in providing customer support and try your best to prevent incoming tickets!
6. Deploy automation tools for quick resolutions
We recommend that you invest in helpdesk software, so your support department can handle social channels from a suitable location. Moreover, customer queries from Facebook and Twitter will be automatically converted into tickets, allowing your service reps to act quickly.
Go for a solution that has AI-powered features. These intelligent capabilities can scan through your social feed, filter out the noise, and present the most relevant brand mentions and questions.
In case you want to preempt incoming requests, you can automate responses with chatbot integration features of your helpdesk system.
7. Call out delays and mistakes
Let your customers know in advance if you’re running behind schedule on order delivery, refunds, and complaints. Most e-commerce websites today follow this practice.
They typically send out email updates to acknowledge cancellations, errors, and delays. Sometimes, they offer a discount coupon for the inconvenience caused. When it comes to using social media for such preemptive service, airline companies are excellent examples.
The idea is to keep customers informed and avoid any future possibilities of friction and brand dissatisfaction.
Proactive support over social: The next-gen customer service
The above actionable steps highlight the most integral components of proactive customer service over social channels. In a nutshell, forward-looking social media usage can reap the following benefits for your business:
Understanding targets through personal and conversational commerce
Retaining customers with continued responsive support
Avoiding issue escalation by integrating technology in the management of customer support functions
Creating brand patrons and advocates through trust-based customer relationships
It’s safe to say that social media channels will remain an essential cog in the wheel of customer engagement. We hope that the above tips on proactive social customer service will help you adjust your strategy and achieve customer success for the long haul!