How to Handle Customer Service on Social Media

Customer service on social media is not for everyone. There are pros and cons that each company must actively weigh before making the decision.

Pros

  • It’s public facing, so good customer support will be rewarded, acting almost like marketing
  • It’s where many customers want customer service, so you’d be catering to them

Cons

  • It’s public facing, so bad customer support will be visible for the whole world to see
  • It requires a slightly unique skill set to that of a more traditional phone-based or email service rep
  • It is one more channel to keep track of and monitor, if you’re using social media in addition to phone support, email, live chat on your website, in store service, etc.

The world, in many ways, is much more complicated than it used to be for businesses. Customers will air your dirty laundry on social media regardless of whether or not you choose to actively engage with them there. So most companies see the need to take care of certain customer service issues publicly.

The ones that do it well are rewarded with higher customer service ratings and more positive reviews. But if your company makes that decision, you have to do it with 100% confidence that your team has the tools and skills necessary to do it right.

A half-hearted effort at customer service, when done in such a public forum, will have negative effects. It will be worse than just letting customers complain without a response. Because when you have unhappy customers, and you can’t give them the answers or solutions they need, all you will do is compound the problem and look incompetent in front of thousands or millions of potential customers.

If you do choose to handle customer service on social media, aim to:

  • Delight
  • Excite
  • Offer compassion
  • Turn negative experiences into positive ones
  • Make customer service a key component in your branding efforts
  • Train the very best customer service reps and give them the freedom to make decisions that keep customers happy