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source:  John LeMasney

source: John LeMasney

Whether or not you intend for your social media accounts to field customer service issues, your customers will contact you on these platforms to seek your assistance.  Avoid the quagmire that customer service via social media can become by avoiding these three complaints that 8 out of 10 Americans cited when surveyed by American Express:


One of the most often cited reasons for dissatisfaction over social media customer service is a poor response time.  Nearly 75% of customers expect a response from you within 30 minutes to an hour.  If customers are contacting you on Twitter, their expectations are even faster.  Despite this fact, the average response time of businesses is closer to 24 hours on Facebook and nearly 12 hours on Twitter.  Don’t start off an interaction from a disadvantage because of a lack of urgency in response time.  If you cannot provide an immediate answer, reach out and let the customer know you are working on it (and provide periodic updates if it becomes a prolonged effort).  Customers aren’t unreasonable, they just want to feel that they are not being ignored.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (or lack thereof)

It’s one of the most obvious tenants of customer service, but it can also be elusive (according to poll after poll of customers), but being treated kindly and with grace remains one of the most sought after but under-delivered experiences in social media customer service.  Extra care should always be taken when a response is put in to writing to ensure that it does not come off as cold or uncaring.  Or worse yet, sarcastic.  One easy way to make the customer feel heard and respected is to remember to apologize and take ownership.

“When they don’t apologize for a problem or your inconvenience. Sometimes even if it isn’t their fault…. It’s nice to have an apology or expression of sympathy for your inconvenience or frustration.” — Molly M.

The Shuffle

When a customer approaches you via social media, they expect a response in kind.  Being instructed to call an 800-number or email a general inbox can feel secretive or evasive when the customer has chosen not to pursue resolution through one of those channels (or has tried them already but failed to reach a satisfactory resolution).  It is the technological equivalent of being transferred to another representative or another department and was cited by over 25% of respondents.  Do your best to begin to address their issue via the method they’ve reached out, then take it offline if necessary, and follow up via the original platform to confirm the issue has been resolved.  Your customers will appreciate your responsiveness, and the positive experience will be on your page for potential customers to reference.

Customers who reach out via social media for customer service go on to tell three times as many people about their experience as those who use traditional service channels.  Give them the time and attention they need so that the stories shared about you are glowing.  Do you have any great tips for managing your social media platforms?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]