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What is Social Customer Service Today

Customer service white paper

When your cell phone breaks – it’s a major headache. We’ve all been there at one point or another: you accidentally drop your phone on the ground and it breaks, invariably becoming a $600 paperweight. Enjoy your new cracked-berry!

After this happens, what do you do?

For most people, you vent. But before you call a support line about your warranty, you probably take your grousing to an easier, faster, real-time forum: social media.

In this 3 part series we are going to break down our white paper ‘Customer Service Evolved‘ and delve deeper into how to give the best social customer service possible. But first, what is social customer service, and do you need it in your business?

More and more people are taking their frustrations, concerns, and problems to social media platforms. As a business, this can be a benefit or detriment depending on your social media customer service strategy.

If you don’t have a way of addressing your customers or prospects, upset about your product or service, then you are at risk of hurting your brand. Negative feedback could snowball; resulting in a PR crisis or even worse. Customers could churn causing your business to lose money.

If you’re proactive, you catch these detractors on Twitter or Facebook in real time to offer a solution. This action accomplishes two things: A) It saves the headache of calling a customer support line along with the countless minutes pressing ‘1’ and trying to explain the minutia of their problems to a service rep. B) It can result in a satisfied consumer- someone who can speak about the positive experiences your business provides to others: increasing brand loyalty.


So what exactly is modern customer service through social media?

A simple answer is, anything you want it to be. The smart answer depends highly on where you want to spend your money and how easy you want to make it for consumers.

You can be like many businesses, handling customer service on social the old fashion way. Treating someone who comes to your storefront the same way online: having a conversation and providing step-by-step feedback. This of course, can come at a cost of excessive time and manpower.

Or you can use a smarter method. Meaning you dont simply copy-paste your customer service practices onto social – far from it. If you implement an advanced method of collecting and responding to these concerns, you can more effectively control the conversations about your brand as well as give each one of these customers the best care possible. This is the method we will illustrate.

Ultimately, no matter which method you use, the goal is the same. To handle these detractors with concern and care, the same way you would on any other customer service platform, is key to customer service success.


Does my business need it?

In short, yes. Every concern on social media is available for the public to view, meaning if one person has a gripe and you treat them poorly, it could be amplified and cause a much bigger problem: a PR disaster (but we will get into that later).

Aside from covering your own butt, having an effective way of seeing and addressing this audience can give you better insight into your own product and how to improve it. Think about it – what’s a better way to find a problem with your product than to have dozens of customers yell it at you? Nothing.

That being said, you don’t need to put together a new department just to take on the influx of online criticism. Social media customer service can actually be very inexpensive with the right social media monitoring tools. It’s all about how you want to use it.

Overall, the one thing you should do is assess how you want to deal with these consumers. Knowing the correct protocol to easily handle upset customers can mean a huge difference. Luckily, advice on how to go about this will be the subject of our next installment of this three part series on social media customer service. See you then!


If you don’t want to wait, you can always download our free white paper “Customer Service Evolved” to learn more.


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