Gartner reports that failure to respond to customer service requests on social media may result in a 15% churn rate, which can mean millions lost.
If your customers come to you via social media seeking support, not responding in a timely manner can greatly impact your bottom line. The hard part is that social media never sleeps.
When customer service phone lines aren’t operating, consumers with problems may message brands on networks such as Facebook or Twitter in hopes of reaching a representative. Social media provides a stellar opportunity for brands to wow their customers with round-the-clock service, seeing as 67 percent of consumers have used social media sites for service, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
Since more than 70 percent of consumers say the most important thing businesses can do to provide them with good service is to value their time, according to a 2013 report by Forrester, brands can display their respect by providing support on social media. Here are some ways to always be there for your customers via social media:
Have Reliable Technology
It’s important to equip anyone touching your social channels with a smartphone, so they are alerted when someone interacts with the brand. Fast, user-friendly mobile devices like the iPhone enable social media managers to get instant notifications when someone messages the brand through Facebook with a problem or tweets the brand with a question. Promptly receiving messages is not only reason why reliable tools are so important. Smartphones also allow users to communicate with company experts who can get accurate solutions for customers.
It’s also vital for social media managers to disseminate important messages on social media regarding brand updates. If there’s a website outage for your online retailer, for example, a social media manager should be able to instantaneously notify followers of the issue. This saves time and frustration because instead of having to answer multiple questions about the same issue, you can present a cohesive message across all channels.
Have Well-Equipped Staff
If most of your business employees operate on a set work schedule, hire contractors to work off-hours to monitor your channels. These could be part-time employees who live in your area or in other countries and can answer questions about your business or at least let them know their problem has been heard and is being worked on.
For your normal business hours, strategize and designate who is responsible for responding to messages, so customers do not get confused by receiving multiple responses. Even if social media managers are not able to offer immediate help, offering an immediate receipt of the message is meaningful to consumers. The Harvard Business Review reports that 33 percent of social media users will recommend a brand that offers a quick but ineffective response, compared to 17 percent of respondents who would recommend a brand delivering a slow but effective solution. Simply letting customers know you’re listening and care about helping may make the difference between turning them into loyal brand advocates and them never returning.