Social customer service is a critical component of every business. To help highlight why, Jay Baer, the owner of Convince & Convert, a digital media and consulting company, offers his insights with Shweiki Media Printing Company, a printing services company in San Antonio, Texas.
Our magazine publishing and magazine printing pros dive deep with Jay Baer and get valuable tips on why social customer service matters, and how to integrate it properly.
Jay Baer has provided his services to some of the biggest brands in the world, including The United Nations, Allstate, Cabela’s, and more. His blog was named the top blog by Content Marketing Institute, and his podcast was named the 2015 Best Marketing Podcast by Content Marketing Awards.
No One is Perfect at Customer Service
An important item that Baer points out right out of the gate is that most people do not improve customer service because they assume that they are good at customer service.
When a person dives into their customer service skills, and the outcomes, they may quickly find out that they are not as keen as they thought. Also, many companies neglect the idea of customer service through social media.
Why is Customer Service Important in Social Media?
Businesses have typically handled all customer complaints and interactions in a private environment.
However, with the launch and popularity of social media, complaints and issues are taken to social media pages, where companies have little control over what is said.
Consumer interactions are taking place everywhere today, including rating and review websites, online forums, communities, and social media. Now, when a customer is negative, the world will know. Tens to hundreds of thousands of people can gather insight into a single company with one quick glance online.
Also, those who complain on social media do not expect that they will hear back or get an answer to their complaint. However, answering a consumer complaint on social media may not fix the problem, but it will increase advocacy. It shows that a company cares about their customers, including those who were not satisfied.
This is critical, especially with more consumers doing research online to find companies.
Baer also points out that sometimes the most valuable customers are ones that a company has fixed an issue with in the past. When a company shows that they care and that a client is not just a number, they are more likely to work with that company again in the future despite a bad experience the first go around.
Essentials for Improving Customer Service on Social Media
1. Invest Money
Baer cited research from Adobe that found in the business-to-business sector, companies received 40 percent of their revenue from current customers. However, those same companies only spend two percent of their budget on customer service.
Therefore, they are spending two percent to (hopefully) earn that 40 percent in revenue.
A company that is more willing to invest money into their customer service, and ensure they are good at social media customer service, may notice bigger returns and repeat customers.
He highlights how Discover Card invested heavily in social media customer service. They hired more representatives and ensured that every channel was answered within 20 minutes. This approach saved their company because they marketed themselves as the card company that did customer service better than anyone.
2. Perform a Social Customer Service Audit
To see where a company must improve, they must first do an audit. That means seeing how they are performing with customer service, how quickly they respond, and the number of customer questions being asked on social media and ignored.
3. Train Customer Service Representatives to be More “Human”
Robotic customer service scripts will not help customer service ratings. Instead, a business must lead with humanity and train representatives to answer questions with empathy and over-the-top enthusiasm.
4. Do Not Channel Shift
If a customer complains on social media, such as Facebook, they are often told to reach out via email or call a customer service line. While this would seem logical, asking a customer to shift channels in the first reply is not good customer service, per Baer.
Instead, a representative should show their empathy and notify the customer that they will investigate it. If the client must call in, they can send them to the phone channel after the initial reply.
5. Follow the “HOURS” Rule
Baer created a system known as “HOURS,” which helps companies better remember how to improve customer service.
Components of HOURS
- H: Offer human interaction and limit digital answering services.
- O: One channel for interactions.
- U: Unify customer service data.
- R: Resolve the issue.
- S: Speedy replies are better, and never make a consumer wait longer than necessary.