Effectively using social media can make or break a business – particularly those that are just starting out. While brands often use Twitter and Instagram to deliver online customer service, Facebook is often overlooked.
This article will teach you how to effectively use the platform to engage with and look after your customers. If you’re like most brands working on the platform you know that good online customer service will lead you to:
- Grow an audience of loyal customers
- Keep customers happy and help you achieve sales goals
- Retain your consumer base long-term
So why Facebook? Well, even as the popularity of other social media channels grows, Facebook continues to be the leading social platform, reaching 60.6 percent of internet users worldwide.
Plus these users are accessing the platform multiple times each day (spending an average of 58.5 minutes).
So, if a customer wants to contact you about a worry or concern, they’ll often reach out on the platform. If they do, it’s imperative you have the strategy in place that addresses their concerns, leaving them feeling positive towards you and your business.
Take the following steps and you’ll be well on your way to delivering the kind of customer service that will land you customers for life.
1 Make your response speedy
There’s nothing worse than messaging a company or posting on their Facebook wall only to have them ignore you – or take days to reply.
To make sure that you keep customers content, reply to their queries and concerns in a timely manner.
We know that you can’t be online 24/7 but try and check in on your messages frequently so that nothing passes under your radar.
If you’re really having trouble keeping on top of questions you could try using an online tool such as Agora Pulse or Help Scout. Alternatively, you could consider hiring someone to take on this role full-time.
Make a note in your ‘about’ section that any questions will be answered between a certain time of day – this way if you are unable to answer, you have made it clear when you’ll be in touch.
If you’re unable to answer their query straight away, be sure to drop them a message explaining that you are looking into their question and you will get the answer to them straight away.
2 Keep your customers in the loop
Offering new products or deals? Have any additional information that customers should know? Facebook is the perfect place to reach them.
Use the platform to explain exactly how to use a product or service before a customer has the chance to ask. Anticipate the questions that you think they may have and you could save a lot of time in personal messages.
Likewise, if your site will be going down or if you’re a small business that will stop briefly while you take a break, let your customers know about it online.
3 Make things personal
Facebook is quite literally the face of your business. When you are responding to customer’s queries and complaints, be sure to keep the company’s tone of voice in mind.
If your company has multiple staff members, perhaps you could let the customer know who they are speaking with. This can apply to Facebook comments as well as personal messages.
This also means adding a personal touch in your interactions. Use a customer’s name to address them. This will help build trust and can lead to better conversations. Customer engagement is a huge asset to any online brand.
You can also add a personal touch in the posts that you share on the platform. Personalising your account in this way can have a huge impact on the success and authority of your brand. Small business with a staff changeover? Share the news on Facebook. Having a venue transformation? Share it on Facebook? Holding an event. Share it!
4 Address product/service issues FIRST
Before your customers have a chance to start spamming your Facebook page with the troubles they are having with a faulty product or service, come forward and admit to it first.
This way you are able to apologise and lead the conversation. When you demonstrate a willingness to own up to any mistakes, your customers will value you for it.
Of course, the comment section will be your businesses only special version of hell. But it’s a much better course of action than ignoring the issue and letting the consumers drive the discussion.
5 Be open with customers and encourage feedback
52 percent of people around the world believe that companies should take action on the feedback given to them by customers.
Make the most of this and use Facebook to build a genuine relationship with your customers. Encourage feedback on your products and services. Your business will improve as a result and those buying into your business will appreciate your openness.
Discuss any failures with customers and involve them in decision making. Stuck on a product design decision? Draw in your customers. Use tools such as Facebook polls to get to the bottom of your customer’s views on your brand.
6 Be generous (especially when you’re in the wrong)
It’s important to reward loyal customers – and to compensate buyers that are unsatisfied with your products or services.
Offer vouchers and exclusive deals and make them feel as though they gain something by following you on the platform and contacting you with any questions.
Offer rewards for the best customer comments or even feature the best messages and comments as customer testimonials. You could even offer to promote any business or website links they may have as a reward for this.
Ultimately, good customer service on Facebook is the same as it is in real life. Speak to your customers nicely, reply quickly and make them feel looked after.
Building a trustworthy reputation and a loyal following won’t happen overnight. But if you consistently engage with customers and act on the above advice, you will improve customer satisfaction, which in turn will drive traffic and sales.