Resolving customer service issues on social media can be tricky and intimidating. But companies that aren’t afraid to respond to customer queries online are perceived as more honest and transparent.

“When your company provides great social customer service, you build a relationship not only with a customer, but also with everyone else who sees that interaction online.” – Social Media Examiner

So here are 5 things you should consider when handling customer service through social media.  

1. Plan For It!

Social media is a customer service channel whether you like it or not – so embrace it!

Everyone has a smartphone and a Twitter account these days, and if you don’t control the story about your company, your followers will. Since it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive when dealing with customer issues online, plan out how you’re going to address any issues that may arise.

Check out these 11 steps to handling customer complaints on social media.

2. Choose The Right Person(s)

Choose the right person or team of people to handle customer service online.

Customers don’t like to feel like they’re talking to a robot or someone who doesn’t care about their issue. So make sure your social media rep has patience and tact and can deal with the more tedious aspects of the job.

Since social media never sleeps, you’re likely to have multiple reps working in shifts. So, work with your social media customer service reps to carve out a voice and identity that aligns with your company’s values. This way, you’ll never miss a beat!

3. Respond ASAP!

Responding as soon as you can to customer queries online is in your best interest.

Call centres are expensive. So the more you can encourage customers to go to social media with their questions the better. Facebook will even show your followers a quick response badge if you are quick to respond to your messages.

If you can resolve customer issues speedily and on a social media platform, you will save lots of time and prevent your call centres from being bombarded with questions that can easily be solved with a tweet.

4. Use Canned Responses… Sparingly

Depending on your industry, you will begin to notice some of the same questions and comments. This means you can start to craft canned responses that are ready to fire off at a moment’s notice. These can be useful when dealing with volume and generic questions.

However, customers don’t like to feel like they are being brushed off, or that their thoughts and questions don’t matter. So make sure you’re still interacting like a human online, and be sincere even when using canned responses!

5. Know Which Issues Should Be Resolved In Private

But if you think an issue is too complex or sensitive to resolve on a public forum, do your best to move it to a private one.

There’s only so much you can do about trolls. “You already know you can’t please everyone, so prepare for the inevitable negative comment or complaint.

Create a process to provide clear direction on handling customer service through social media for your business.

Guidelines are important to document and follow, as consistency can only strengthen your overall brand building.” – Fresh Sparks

Customer service is not just about mitigating viral disasters online, it’s also about delighting your customers and providing them with real value. At the end of the day, customers just want to be heard. So be respectful and follow these tips – you’ll be off to a great start!

Need help handling customer service on social media? Let us help! Contact us today to set up a free discovery session with our team.