I’ve recommended using social media for customer service before, but that doesn’t mean it’s a cure-all. Cynthia Boris brings up some good points.
Let’s tackle some of these:
- It’s time consuming – No doubt. Having someone monitor your Facebook page or Twitter account continuously can be time consuming. But what if you posted customer service hours for your social media accounts? For instance, you publish on your website and your social media bios that you will take customer service queries only between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s just a thought.
- The time lag – If it takes several hours or a day or two for a company to get back to you when you post a customer service complaint on social media, then it’s likely because they aren’t monitoring the account that closely. Or it could be that the problem is bigger than can be handled through social media. In the case of a widespread problem, it would be good customer service to simply tweet, “Yes, we know there’s a problem; we’re working on it.” Then, invite your customers to handle their individual complaints through private channels.
- “We’ll look into it” – So do it. If that’s the only way to respond to a problem, then say that – and then look into it. But don’t keep the customer waiting too long. Customers generally just want you to communicate with them.
- Communication between marketing and customer support – If you only use social media for marketing and not customer support, then you should state that on your website somewhere. Maybe even in your social media bios. Set up customer expectations early. Let them know every step of the way how they can reach you if they need support. If it isn’t social media, make sure they know that.
Using social media for customer service won’t work for every company, but you owe it to your customers to see if it will work for you. If it won’t, communicate that to them in as many ways as possible.