Spending hours on hold subject to the monotonous tones of an obscure Nineties playlist are a thing of the past – social media has revolutionized customer support.
A tweet, an Instagram comment, a Facebook post; the oh-so-public realm of social media has completely changed the interactions customers have when looking for support. Customers expect immediacy on social – effective answers to their queries beyond the 9-5 opening hours, on a channel of their preference – and if they don’t get it, they can go public in showing their displeasure. But fundamentally, as an online business, such platforms have brought about an abundance of new capabilities and omni-channel opportunities designed to drive customer engagement.
A recent social media customer support statistic shows that ‘63% of customers expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand of business.’ Customer support on social media is no longer an add-on service in a business’ customer support function, but rather an integral part of its entire offering.
Customer support interactions are now public
Customers now want to share their problems publicly on online platforms – especially social media. They recognize the importance that a helpful response to a complaint on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram now plays on a brand’s image, and how solving their problem publicly gives businesses an opportunity to demonstrate how helpful and highly responsive it really is. Social media customer support statistics reveal that ‘not answering a complaint on social media decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%’ and ‘46% of consumers have called out a brand on social media.’
Communicate with customers fast and effectively using social media
42% of consumers expect a customer service response on social media within 60 minutes, so having the right tools in place to most efficiently respond to social media customers is vital in providing your customers with the service they’re expecting.
Users of xSellco’s eDesk can now reply to Instagram comments directly from their mailbox thanks to its new native customer support integration with the platform. eDesk centralizes all customer interactions regardless of their source, and matches them with order information. This enhances the speed at which support agents are able to deliver a response on the platform by eliminating the need to log in to different programs to resolve customer support issues. “We wanted to leverage our platform to make sure sellers could support at scale, rather than having to use the clunky process that existed natively within Instagram,” says xSellco CEO, Ray Nolan, of the landmark integration.
Being in the direct eye line of your customer – a platform that they naturally spend a lot of time on – holds a number of other benefits when it comes to communicating key parts of your business. Aside from the obvious branding opportunities, Instagram is an invaluable place to post solutions to common queries and to highlight positive features of the products you sell.
Build brand personality into your customer support on social media
Reputation management has become a core part of customer service on social media and business have quickly caught on to leveraging their brand image through delivering online customer support that’s authentic, personable and often funny. In fact, a recent social media customer support statistic showed that ‘72% of people said that they are more likely to purchase from a brand if their social media image is humorous.’ Studies have shown that positive, personable customer service interactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram boost customer morale, improve brand reputation and, fundamentally, influence purchase decisions.
Deliver 24/7 customer support using social media
Social media doesn’t solely function between the hours of 9 and 5 – and your customers know it. The always-on expectation is real if a customer is contacting a business via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Trust us – it pays to be totally transparent with them on the hours in which your customer support via social media is available and when exactly then can expect a response from you on each platform – this will help in managing expectations and in avoiding an agitated (very public) complaint. Pioneering customer service software like xSellco’s eDesk provides support agents with the tools to efficiently respond to customer queries across all social media platforms at any given time, with its centralized shared dashboard, its countless native integrations and A.I. features that enable lightning fast responses.
The future of customer support on social media
Social media has been one of the most rapidly growing forms of technology over the last 30 years, and ensuring your social media customer support services are well-versed for future advances will keep you one step ahead of the game in an ever-more competitive eCommerce marketplace. Focus on ways to ensure your customer support team’s work is as straightforward as possible, remember that AI technology can provide excellent support to your customer support team, and that data, as is the case now, will play an ever more vital role in customer support.