Across social channels, 7 in 8 messages to brands go unanswered within 72 hours. This is a giant missed opportunity for businesses to respond to customer inquiries, solve challenges and develop long-term relationships.
To provide noteworthy 24/7 customer service, brands need to offer world-class assistance on multiple social channels, not just one. Customer care across networks will help generate awareness and increase social media engagement—concurrently supporting your existing marketing and PR efforts.
Start adapting an overarching approach to social customer service by understanding where to invest and what tools each network offers.
Where Is Your Audience?
Your social customer care efforts are only beneficial if your team is present on the channels where your audience is most active. Demographics play a large role in understanding where your audience is most engaged. Before investing, consult existing data to determine where your efforts will have the most impact.
Use social listening to understand what types of conversations are happening on each network. Examine your website analytics to see which social platforms are driving the most traffic to your web properties. Analyze the networks that are bringing the most engaged traffic by noting page visits and time on site.
Inform Your Audience
Most consumers recognize Twitter and Facebook as hubs for social customer service. This is why brands have invested heavily in both platforms, with many companies creating dedicated Twitter support handles. Stand out among competitors by replying to customer messages wherever those messages are.
Inform your audience that you will be using a specific network to field social customer service messages by announcing this change in the bio of your account. Post information on how customers can connect and when they can expect a response.
Take Advantage of Network Features
It is important to understand the features on each social network that lend themselves to facilitating customer care. Sure, answering a sensitive complaint on Instagram with a comment that leads people to a company email works—but did you know that the network allows brands to discuss in-depth issues via private message?
Identify the features on each channel that can assist with lengthier discussions between consumers and your customer service team.
The Instagram Direct feature allows a customer and brand to communicate through text paired with an image or video. Users can send private messages to one another with or without following each other. Once the recipient accepts the message, the Instagram users can communicate with each other freely by using text, photos or videos.
This feature is similar to messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Your brand should use Instagram Direct as a more personal communication channel. Create custom photos for Instagram Direct, and use them as templates to answer frequently asked questions.
As with any other network, your brand should always be monitoring and responding to comments on Instagram posts. Rebdolls, an online fashion retailer, posts its latest arrivals on the social network. The brand uses the channel to respond to inquiries and seamlessly direct shoppers to its website.
Taking the time out to respond to followers on Instagram increases brand engagement and encourages others to ask questions and comment on posts. Responding with a strong, distinct brand voice helps Rebdolls stand out among competitors and remain top of mind for consumers.
Video is a powerful medium to deliver social customer care. Since the majority of questions asked on social media are repetitive, video can help scale the process. Save time by leveraging members of your customer service team to produce videos that address frequently asked questions.
Putting your employees in front of your YouTube audience will add depth to your brand and increase engagement. Since 2012, Warby Parker has been creating YouTube video responses to common questions and then sharing these videos on Twitter.
Many of Warby Parker’s videos mention a specific customer by name and are conversational, helpful and concise. Other videos are more highly produced and geared toward a more general, customer audience.
While Snapchat isn’t commonly used as a customer service tool, it has the potential to be one. The network’s recent extension of its chat feature, known as Story Replies, is an untapped opportunity for brands to directly connect with followers and privately answer customer service questions.
To use Story Replies, a user swipes up on a brand’s Story and initiates a private chat. The brand receives a notification of a new chat along with the Snap the chat is referencing. Brands who are willing to enable Story Replies can benefit from a direct dialogue with followers and begin using Snapchat as a customer service tool.
A multichannel approach to customer service on social can help your enterprise stand out for all of the right reasons. Spearhead your approach on the channels where your audience is most active by using feature sets that aren’t commonly explored but have immense potential.
This post How to Implement Social Customer Care Across Networks originally appeared on Sprout Social.
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