As your social media following continues to grow, your various platforms will begin to generate leads. All of the rich and wonderful content that is shared online will start to peak their interest and they will seek to learn more about your products and/or services. Social Media communication differs from oral communication, as you are unable to gauge the client’s emotion through their voice. It also differs from email communication, as it typically more formal and not as direct. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when engaging with customers either publicly or privately on social media:
Using the Proper Tone:
The age-old saying, “the customer is always right” has never been truer than it is in the digital era. All it takes is a viral screenshot of an unsatisfactory Direct Message(DM) to tarnish a company’s reputation. Once something is posted online, it is nearly impossible to completely remove it. Even if you delete a post, you have no idea how many people took screenshots of it, copied/pasted it, and plan to use it against you in the future. Keep the social media interaction brief and do your best to move conversations away from social media as quickly as possible once they begin.
Listed below are a small handful of helpful Do’s and Dont’s as it relates to social media engagement best practices.
|Always follow up with your customer to ensure you have successfully replied to their communication. This shows that you take an interest in keeping them as a customer and care about their concerns. This also shows that you are interested in interacting with them.||Never ignore the customer, especially if they have repeatedly reached out. This will only give them more incentive to post negative reviews about your business and deter potential clients. If multiple customers find themselves in similar situations and band together, it could spell disaster for your online presence.|
|Have a template ready for multiple scenarios. A formulated response for predictable issues (items arriving late, items arriving damaged, wrong product shipped, etc.) can help increase response time while the issue is further investigated. This way, the customer has been acknowledged and you are given more time to find a solution.||Don’t get emotional or prideful. In some cases, the customer CAN be misinformed, even wrong. However, without happy customers, a business cannot flourish and all it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch. Putting aside your pride or anger and trying to alleviate a customer’s frustrations can show great effort on your part, especially if the conversation is happening outside of the direct messages.|
|Provide empathy. We’ve all been victims of poor service before and it is important to remember how a customer may feel. When customer’s come to complain, they more than often come with a complete backstory of the importance of the product they were ordering and how its tardiness/defectiveness has affected them. If you find yourself dealing with a customer like this, try to imagine if you were in their shoes and what you would want to hear to make you feel better about the situation.||Avoid telling customers they are wrong or engaging with a customer in back and forth banter via online forums such as social media. The brand never wins. Even if you are right, the audience still tends to side with the client especially if another client has had a similar experience. Mistakes happen; it’s a natural part of life. Sometimes customers will accuse you of actions that are out of your control. This is why it is important to keep records and paper trails to present to your customers in the case that they are wrong. With this documentation, if a customer looks to tarnish your reputation, you can go pubic with the facts to show the world your business is honest and truthful. An angry customer may fight with you all day, but they will lose a fight against logic.|