What is the Best Social Media Channel for Customer Service?
Social customer care may not be the most popular channel to deal with customer issues for most businesses, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. More and more customers are turning to social media to get help. More on why in just a moment. For now, let’s address why companies aren’t using social channels.
When a company tells me they don’t want to participate in social media customer care, I ask why. They have explanations — notice I didn’t use the word excuses, but that is really what they are. The explanations are:
• We steer them to the phone, so we don’t need any other channels.
• We don’t have the staff to handle all the different social channels.
• We don’t have the budget to expand our customer support department.
• And more, but the excuses — I’m sorry, explanations — aren’t important.
Our annual customer service research shows that of all the ways customers reach out for customer support, social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others are at the bottom of the list, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored.
The phone has always been the most popular channel for support. Why? Because it’s always been there. But now, there are options such as email, chat, apps and more. Gen-Z and Millennials are the catalysts for digital customer support channels.
Rob Siefker, Zappos.com’s former senior director of customer loyalty, shared his take on social media channels in a recent Inc. article. When asked why Zappos uses social media, his answer was, “Zappos customers use it. All we do is decide if we want to be in that space.” He also said, “Customers call us, but we didn’t invent the phone.”
That last sentence says it all! “Customers call us, but we didn’t invent the phone.” None of us invented the social channels, either. His point is that just because we didn’t invent it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it, especially if our customers want us to.
Earlier, I promised to share the why — or the reason customers are turning to social media. While more and more are using social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, it’s not always their first choice. Unfortunately, it’s where customers go because the company didn’t make it easy to call or didn’t respond to their emails or text messages. So, they “go social” and post on Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms. That’s a terrible reason! And by the way, the rest of the world can see these posts. And if you choose not to respond, your customers might notice.
Yet, despite that terrible reason, you should still be on social. If you haven’t already noticed, you will start to see more and more customers commenting, asking questions, and complaining on social channels. And you need to respond to them. Watch where your customers are and be there for them.
What are the best social media channels for customer service? The ones your customers are using.
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