Most recently, I have been assigned the task of responding to customer service complaints via social media. Now, in all honesty, I have been doing this for 5 years via phone, letters and email but there is a learning curve when it comes to providing customer service via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
For one, the customer that reaches out to a company via social media is not as willing to wait a week or so for a response. Given the immediacy of the internet, most customers expect a response within 24 hours if not sooner.
Secondly, there is no time for elaborate, formal responses when responding via social media channels; the tone is, typically, less formal and authenticity is especially valued by the social media savvy consumer.
Last, but certainly not least, you must take action to solve the customer’s issue and do so quickly. This is not the medium to make promises you do not intend to keep as the very nature of the internet makes it easy for any mishandled issues to go ‘viral’ taking your company’s hard-won reputation down with it.
If you would like to learn more about providing customer service via social media channels, I suggest the following post from the Social Media Examiner that has some tips for providing great customer service via social media.