Social Media Customer Service Triage - The First 24 Hours


More and more, consumers are using social media as a way to communicate with businesses, and they’re finding it to be a very effective tool. Social media posts are public, and they can be viewed by anyone, which means they can draw a lot of attention, and customers are learning how to take advantage of that. 

There’s no way around taking customer service directly to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Because word can spread so quickly online, you also need to work fast. 
Here’s how to handle a customer service need properly.

Identify the Customer Service Need
Obviously you can’t fix a customer service issue if you don’t know that the issue exists, and that’s why you need at least one person to be constantly monitoring your social media accounts. It’s absolutely essential that you find out about a customer service need as close to immediately as possible. 

The more time that passes between it being posted and it being discovered, the harder it will be to limit the potential negative impact of it.

You need someone to read every single post and analyze it carefully. The thing about social media posting is that there’s no formula for making a complaint. Not everyone will ask an obvious question or give an explicit request. You need to read each message individually and extrapolate whether or not it contains a customer service concern that needs to be addressed or not.

Contact the Customer
Customer service needs to be personal, because your customers want to feel like they matter to you on an individual basis. They’ll be impressed if you quickly and directly reply to their comments or questions, and you should do so both publically on the post itself, as well as privately if possible, through email or direct messaging. On the post, you can encourage the customer to send their comment to a specific email address. Once they do, you need to respond immediately in order to help resolve their issues.

Fix the Problem Promptly
It’s preferable if you can also fix the customer service issue within the first 24 hours of it being posted on your social media profile. When you fix the problem quickly, it shows your customers a few things. It shows them that social media is an effective way to get in touch with you, and it shows them that you’re fully committed to customer service. It also shows them that you’re willing to do what it takes to satisfy your customers, which may also show them that you’re worthy of their repeat business.

Give a Follow-Up Comment
Finally, throw in a follow-up comment to the original post so that other customers who read your social media page will know that the problem was resolved or at least addressed. Also, publically and privately thank the customer for their business and for coming to you and giving you the opportunity to address their concerns.

If you can do all of this within 24 hours, it will have a positive impact. If you wait too long to address customer service issues that are broached on social media, you’ll miss the opportunity to correct the problem for not only the customer, but everyone who read their post, too.

Garrett Payne is a professional reviews tracker and avid writer.  He is currently teaching others how to properly track review alerts.

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