The jig is up.
Forget about work and making calls – you’re spending 2 of every 10 minutes at your computer on social networks, and 3 of every 10 minutes on your phone.
It’s not just you.
It’s your customers.
Together, we spend 121.8 billion minutes on social, every month. That’s a lot of time!
What does that mean for your small business?
This is where people want you to help them. This is where they want customer service. And it’s one of the biggest and easiest opportunities for you to capitalize on.
And no, you don’t need a huge team or budget to do it. In fact, we’re going to look at the 2 biggest things you can do to delight your customers and deliver remarkable experiences, in less than 5 minutes a day.
Alright, it’s time to learn how to hack customer service on social media.
Customer Service On Social: It’s Here
This means your customers are already familiar with using social media to solve their problems with other companies. In fact, 9% do it on a daily basis.
We know this is where clients want to talk to you. What surprised me is that they want this to be their primary option – 1 in 3 of your customers prefer to have support on social media than the phone.
And it’s not just youth. If your customers are 18-35 years, they’re even more likely to use social to solve their business related problems (36%). Even 20% of people above 55 years prefer to use social media for customer service.
According to the Social Customer Service Performance Report in June 2013, customers now see social media as one of the most important points of contact when dealing with businesses.
It’s easier to provide remarkable service on social than you think. You can capture the hearts of your customers by doing 2 things:
- Know where they’re reaching out (and optimize that process)
- Respond fast (within 24 hours)
1) Know Where They Go For Help
This will help you optimize your social inbound funnel and make it easy for people to chat with you. The typical customer will reach out to your business on social media following this process:
1. Your Facebook Company Page
Or your personal page if you use that for business.
Even if you don’t use Facebook to promote your business, by doing something as simple as having a page that prominently gives your phone number, Twitter handle and other places to contact you, you’re more likely to capture customers who need help, and get new leadse.
2. Your Blog
To make it easy for customers to contact you for support requests and to capture more leads, follow the 3 tips in this post.
Your customers search your personal account first, then your company account. If you have both, put your company Twitter handle in your personal Twitter bio. And check both daily – you don’t want to miss an opportunity because you forget to check your non-business account.
Once again, even if you don’t use Twitter to promote your business, by having a Twitter account that does nothing but invite a customer to contact you on the social networks you do use (through links in the bio or as a few intro tweets), you’re more likely to capture customers who need help.
At all stages, make it easy for someone to contact you.
American Express released a study that showed 25% of people switch companies because they got tossed around and found it too hard to get someone to listen and answer their questions – being available is a huge step in the right direction.
Once you have all of your contact info prominently showcased on these 3 touch points, here’s how you can hack the appearance of being available 24 hours a day, in 5 minutes or less.
2) Respond Within 24 Hours
What’s the one criteria that will make your customer service on social media a success?
The Social Habit discovered that two-thirds of us expect a response from a brand within 24 hours. That’s reasonable, especially considering the speed of the social web.
The key is to not get distracted. Check for new social mentions (including alternate spellings of your business name) and then respond, or leave.
If you have new messages, answer quickly and thoroughly.
If you can solve the issue 100% through social, your customers are more likely to stay with you and feel like you gave them great service. If you have to move it to an alternative platform – like the phone or email – give them a choice and try to solve their issue in the next touch point.
If there are no messages, leave.
The danger in being proactive about customer service on social media is getting sucked into your home feed and drowning in content you haven’t read. Or (and this still happens to me) feeling that because you have no messages, you should be proactive by reaching out through your social networks to drum up business.
The goal here is to provide fantastic customer service to those who are reaching out. You already schedule time to create and share great content – this is about monitoring your social channels and making sure no one falls through the cracks.
Why will this work?
The top 100 brands on social are responding to 50-100 customer service requests a day. For you, it’s more like 5-10.
They struggle with getting back to everyone. It takes them an average of 11 hours and 15 minutes, and even then, 30% of people never get an answer.
You can do better.
As a small business owner, raise the bar and deliver fantastic service by optimizing your social funnel and taking a 5 minutes a day to answer any questions that come your way.
This simple action will set you apart from your competitors and bigger companies.
Final Thoughts: Customer Service On Social Media
By 2014, Gartner predicts that any business that refuses to communicate with their customer using social media will, “find themselves facing a wrath of angry customers.”
Responding to customers on social media is becoming the new minimum level of response expected, similar to the way that phone calls and emails were previously a basic expectation.
Since it only takes a few minutes every day to be proactive with customer service on social media, you’d be crazy not to do it.
So, what do tricks do you use to keep your customers happy on social media?