In the digital world, customers are reaching out to brands via social media more than more traditional forms of communication. In fact, brands now realize they need to have dedicated customer service social media staff to handle this. In some cases, customer service and regular social media staff are separate. The following article aims to provide social media customer service tips for brands.

1. Don’t wait for a complaint before you interact.

Think about whether you want your customer service efforts to come across as proactive or reactive. If the only time you communicate with your customers is when they complain, it doesn’t look good. In fact, they may avoid complaining in the first place if you have a reputation for knowing your customers’ needs and responding via social media.

Therefore, you should always consider opportunities that will allow you to interact. For example, you should continuously be monitoring what users are saying about your brand on social media. Remember you can respond to positive as well as negative feedback. Finally, within the social media content itself you can encourage interaction by asking questions and using polls.

2. Consider the human touch.

Of course, it can be challenging to manage all comments and complaints from customers. The problem is that can lead to an over-reliance on automation. There is always a use for this when it comes to automatic replies to emails or voicemail.

However, a different approach may be required at times when it comes to social media customer service. As a customer, it can be incredibly frustrating to receive an automated response that doesn’t address their query. Remember to strike the right balance between responding quickly and also providing useful information. Frustration from current customers could see them purchasing from your closest competitor instead.

3. Ensure information is accurate and follow up.

Sometimes a customer may have a problem that they will do some work on to rectify. Reaching out to customer service maybe that last resort action. Therefore, ensure your staff are well trained enough to provide a solution rather than merely repeating what the customer may already know. In addition, have a mechanism to follow up later to find out whether a solution has been found or not. Your aim is not just to respond to customers but also solve the problem.

4. Do your homework to know your customer

In a recent blog post for Forbes on how to know your customer, Matthew Sweezey writes the following:

“The stark difference between what consumers want and what brands are delivering is staggering. Even though 84% of consumers say the experience a brand creates is just as important as the product or service it sells, only 30% of brands use customer data to create more relevant experiences, according to our data.

Social media is an ideal channel through which to gather customer data by having simply having honest and direct interactions with them.

The way that customers interact with brands is undoubtedly changing. It’s vital you adapt to this change and ensure you are getting your customer service approach right on social media. Hopefully, this article has provided some useful pointers.