How to Provide Customer Support on Social Media

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Sibel Hos
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Before social media entered our lives this much, the fastest and most effective method customers used to get help from brands was to connect to customer service by phone. But those days are gone. Customers now want immediate answers rather than waiting days to find solutions to their problems. That’s why social media has become the number one tool for customer support. Nowadays, 1 out of every 3 social media users prefer social media customer services instead of phone or e-mail.

So what exactly is social media customer service?

What is Social Media Customer Service?

Social media customer service is the provision of customer support services by brands through social media platforms. This type of customer support, preferred by many customers, allows customers to connect with any brand on social media in real time in a very short time. This is the new trend in customer service!

What is the Importance of Providing Customer Support in Social Media?

We live in an age where everybody lives and breathes smart-phones and checks their social media accounts over and over again during the day. That’s why customers are gradually moving away from traditional communication channels. They no longer want to write detailed e-mails explaining their brand-related issues or talking to a support representative they can reach after waiting minutes on the phone. They seek immediate response and a quick solution. This brings social media platforms to an important place in customer support. It offers customers the convenience of full-time responsiveness. So if you manage to build a social media presence as a brand, you can attract potential customers. Social media has become the main channel for the customer to communicate with a business or brand, and it is a place you can never afford to ignore.

What is the Difference Between Social Media Customer Service and Traditional Customer Service?

Support responses provided through traditional channels such as phone, email, and chat are personal and not made public. But social media responses are open to everyone. This means everyone can see how your company is handling solutions for customer problems. If you create a bad image as a brand, you can quickly go viral and get lynched by people on social media.

Also, when it comes to traditional channels such as phone and email, the return of the brand to the customer can be late. On social media, customers expect immediate response. When you don’t respond to a customer’s problem in a short time, you may encounter negative reactions and damage your brand image.

How to Develop Your Social Media Customer Service Strategy

You need to have a strategy to serve your customers better on social media. From being on the social media platforms where your customers are to responding to all feedback, questions and comments. Here’s what you can do to improve your social media customer service strategy.

1. Take care to be on the platforms where your customers are

Being on the platforms where your customers are is part of providing a great customer experience. This makes it easy for people to get support when and where they need it.

In short, you do not need to be active on every channel.

For example, if you have an e-commerce store that sells t-shirts to Gen-Z, you can spend all your time listening and responding to your customers on TikTok and Instagram as they are the top platforms used by Gen-Z.

2. Listen to what your customers are saying first, and then give them personalized answers

One of the biggest mistakes brands make on social media is that they don’t take the time to understand their customers’ problems and give them automatic responses.

Automatic replies make your customers think you don’t care about them. That’s why you should empathize with your customers and provide personalized responses to make them feel cared for.

3. Respond quickly

Customers expect an almost instant response via social media. That’s why you have to quickly answer and solve customers’ problems without referring them to other channels.

4. Be honest with your customers

Just because you respond instantly to your customers does not mean that you can solve all customer problems quickly. That’s why you should be honest with your customers by clearly stating how long it will take to resolve their problems.

5. Respond to all feedback, questions, and comments

You must respond to anyone who complains about your brand on social media. If you don’t respond, people can make bad comments about your brand. This makes your company look bad for potential new business. That’s why you should respond to all feedback, questions and comments on social media.

6. Evaluate and optimize comments

Social media reviews by customers, whether positive or negative, can be incredibly beneficial for your brand.

Negative reviews help you understand the problems you missed out and give you the opportunity to resolve them. Of course you can’t please everyone, but the important thing is how you respond to negative reviews.

Positive reviews are your best free ads. There is nothing more powerful than a happy customer who comments positively about your brand just because they love it.

So make sure to train your social media customer service team in analyzing and evaluating customer feedback and comments. That way, even if the reviews are negative, you can seize an opportunity for your business to thrive.

7. Know when to fix a problem offline

Just because a customer raises their problem online doesn’t mean you have to solve everything online.

If the solution to the problem requires the customer to share their personal information, you should move it to a DM, email, phone or live chat. After all, you don’t want a customer to share their credit card information or address with everyone on social media.

8. Take action fast

In a world where 40% of customers want a response from social media within an hour, you can’t keep them waiting 24 hours. Social media is moving so fast that if you don’t respond right away, this crisis can grow and you take risks for your brand.

9. Invest in your employees and training

Customer service on social media is more detailed and difficult than traditional customer service, it requires different skills. That’s why you need to train some of the employees in your customer support team on social media communications.

There are 3 basic types of skills that you should include in your training plan.

  • Product Knowledge

Customers can find basic information about products and services on their own. But your employees need to know not only the details of the products, but also how they meet the needs of different customers. Therefore, product knowledge is a critical element of the corporate training spectrum. Businesses need to train their team members with proven product knowledge to create lasting customer experiences.

  • Communication Skills

It is imperative for any customer service team to participate in programs that not only strengthen their technical skills but also improve their social skills, especially communication. The better teams communicate with the customer, the more satisfied the customer will be at the end of the process. Inclusion of social skills development programs in the educational curriculum demonstrates willingness to invest in providing excellent customer service.

Some general communication skills you should include in your education are as follows:

  • Active listening
  • Open communication
  • Positive language
  • Persuasion
  • Empathy

Ensuring every employee has the skills necessary to communicate effectively will greatly improve customer relationships on social media and help increase brand loyalty among your customers.

  • Company Mission and Values

Every employee should have a deep understanding of the company’s mission and values. It is important for a business to educate its employees about what it aims to achieve in the future. This not only gives direction to the mission, but also makes the workforce feel valued and encourages them to move forward with great passion in the given direction. The situation is no different in social media customer service teams. While creating the first level of interaction with customers, they need to embody the company’s mission and vision in their speech so that the same information can be reflected to your customers.

Each of these skills plays an important role in building an effective social media customer service training program. When done well, these skills can form the backbone of impressive customer services.

10. Create a social media customer service report

A comprehensive social media customer service report is an important factor in determining your goals, strategies and success. That’s why the metrics such as how many customers you have contacted, the matters that customers have complained or appreciated, which social networks you have received more feedback, how many minutes it has taken for you to return to your customers, how many customer problems you have solved or not solved must definitely be included in your report. It is also very important to follow up your customers’ sentiment analysis if possible.

In addition, you can send customer satisfaction surveys to customers via e-mail, ask them if they are satisfied with the service they receive via social media, and ask customers what you can do to provide more assistance on these platforms, and also add the metrics herein to your report.

What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Providing Social Media Customer Service?

Don’t delete negative comments

Avoid deleting any comment or post on social media. When people see only positive reviews about your brand, they will understand that you deleted the negative reviews.

Don’t put the blame on the other side

When your customers have any problems with your brand, avoid putting the blame on the customer. Instead, apologize for any disappointments you might have caused and do everything in your power to help them overcome their problems.

Don’t ignore the comments

Silence is the worst experience a customer can go through when making a complaint or reporting a problem via social media. Always be there to do whatever you can to make your customer happy and to regain his trust in your brand.

Don’t get into argument

There will be some customers who complain to defame your brand even though you have no fault. While there is little you can do to calm these people, make a sincere apology and try to assist them. Never get into arguments.

Why Juphy is Ideal For Social Media Customer Service?

Juphy enables businesses to speed up their customer support process by bringing all real-time social messages and emails into a single platform. Teams can easily collaborate and manage all social mentions, reviews, comments, and direct messages through Juphy’s dashboard, and measure their customer support performance with actionable, easy-to-read reports based on their customer interaction data.

This enables businesses to save time, collaborate, and never miss out on important public comments to protect their brand image.

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