5 pillars of excellent customer service on social media

Person monitoring social media engagement on Instagram app

We all know how crucial social media is for businesses today. It's a core marketing channel for reaching your target audience, generating leads and nurturing them to become customers. But social media is also an essential customer service channel.

Customers want support on the channels they habitually use and monitor, which increasingly means social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. That means your company needs to be present and ready to provide support, track interactions and ensure consistency with every touchpoint.

To enable social media to be an asset to your customer service team rather than a source of stress and headaches, let's dig into how you can deliver excellent customer service on social media every time.


Five pillars of excellent customer service

 

1. Meet your customers where they are

According to Zendesk's Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, half of customers say they prefer contacting support over the channels they use with family and friends.

For different customers, this can mean different platforms and types of messages: from emails to Instagram direct messages and Facebook post comments.

With this range of channels to stay on top of, it’s near impossible to monitor all your company's social channels separately and keep tabs open for each one. There are too many messages and conversations, and even interactions with the same customer can span several platforms.

To solve this, you need omnichannel customer support software. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Intercom – Conversational support, engagement and marketing software with a popular business messenger tool plus self-serve and proactive support features.
  • Zendesk – Integrated support, sales and customer engagement software to deliver high-quality experiences at every interaction.
  • Acquire – Customer engagement software to unify your customer interactions in one place, plus live chat and cobrowsing features.
  • Freshdesk – Popular software from the Freshworks product family for a unified view of all of your customer support channels.

 

2. Maintain one person of contact when possible

Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than having to repeat their story over and over again. Wherever possible, maintain a single point of contact when solving customer support tickets.

Many popular customer support platforms simplify this by automatically assigning the best-matched rep according to geography, time zone, skillset and availability.

 

3. Build a 360-degree view

If you do need to transfer tickets to a colleague – and even if you don't – increase consistency by maintaining a full data trail in your customer support software and integrating data from your CRM and other apps for context.

To build a 360-degree view of your customers, integrate relevant data from your other apps into the platforms that your front-line reps use most. This means syncing data to your customer support software for your service reps, or your CRM for your sales team. How can you give every member of your team the best insights to help them do their job?

 

4. Maintain a unified view of the customer between teams

Even if your customers don't repeat themselves to your service reps, they might already have shared the same data with your sales team or accounting department.

While you're building up more insights about your customers, make sure they're accessible in all of your departments' key apps. This includes your CRM and customer support software, but the data can also be relevant for your accounting app, email marketing software, or other platforms.

With reliable and up-to-date customer information in every app, everyone in your business can see the full picture, make the best decisions and draw the right conclusions.

Integrating your business data can also help you be GDPR-compliant, as one of the best ways to be responsible with data is to know how and where everything is stored in your systems and apps.

 

5. Provide your customer with a timeframe

A problem doesn’t always require immediate fixing. But your customers need to have an idea about what’s going to happen and when. This means responding quickly to questions and delivering an accurate estimate of when a solution can be provided. The resolve time for an airline will be a lot shorter than a company that sells kitchen appliances, for example. But both need to quickly reach out to their customers to keep them in the loop.

According to data from Zendesk, although customers don't expect as fast a response on social media compared to platforms such as phone and live chat, many still want an answer within an hour:

Customer expectations for a response by channel data


How will you use these best practices to enhance your customer service on social media? Remember the fundamentals: develop a comprehensive view of your customers, integrate that data between relevant apps, and keep your customer in the loop on the channels they prefer to use.

To optimize the data at your fingertips in marketing, sales and service, use PieSync to sync data between your apps and enrich your insights everywhere.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.