Simplify Customer Service with an Effective Social Media Plan

Marketer's use social media to simplify customer service on computer

Customer service directly impacts your bottom line. Great customer service retains clients and attracts new business. In contrast, bad customer service creates a loss of reputation, sales, and revenue.

Customers want help quickly and easily through their preferred communication channel.

Do you ever feel there is simply not enough time in the day to resolve every customer issue and still meet high expectations?

Social media is regularly praised for its marketing usefulness. However, having an effective social media customer service plan can help you save valuable time each and every day.

Social media keeps minor issues from turning into major time-consuming problems.

Nielson’s report from 2012 shows that 47% of customers seek out help on social media channels, and that number continues to grow. Responding to initial interactions online allows you to route complex issues directly to the staff member who can assist.

Customers look to social media accounts for news and updates, yet businesses often hesitate to admit service issues on these channels. However, social customer care costs an estimated $1 per interaction, while phone support costs at least $6 (NM Incite).

When a customer looks to your social media to help them solve a problem, it is an opportunity to manage the problem quickly before it escalates to a situation requiring significantly more time to resolve.

Not spending time on social media can mean money lost.

The old adage “time is money” certainly applies to customer service.

Nielson reports that 33% of users prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. Yet 5 out of 6 tweets go unanswered. Studies also show that engaging with customers’ requests for assistance over social media can result in 20%-40% more spending with the company.

Still, ignoring complaints on social media? 88% of surveyed consumers said that they were unlikely to buy from you. And you may be losing existing customers too. Failure to respond through social channels can lead to a 15% increase in churn.

Social media can save time managing your business reputation.

You may not be on social media yet, but your customers are. Do you know what they are saying about you? You need to. They are defining your reputation right now.

Whether social media is part of your marketing strategy or not, utilizing it for social listening can stop a public relations crisis before it begins. It only takes one comment to destroy a brand’s reputation. By monitoring conversations and watching for your customer’s pain points, you can engage with their conversation and control your messaging.

So the question is, can you afford to NOT spend time on social media customer service?