Clientbook Blog
July 3, 2023

How to use social media as a customer service tool

More and more, social media platforms are becoming an integral channel in any retail company's marketing, sales, and customer service strategy. It's often more likely that a customer will contact a business through social media than through the company's website.

In fact, Sprout Social cites: from 2021 to 2022, the volume of consumers who preferred using social messaging for customer service jumped 110%.

Many consumers want to resolve questions or customer issues through the social media channels they're already using—like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This is possible and even encouraged for your customer support teams to get on board with. Begin improving your customer interactions and hop on the social media customer support bandwagon.

In this article, we’ll explore why you should implement social media customer support in your retail business and how you can take this practice a step further with Clientbook's retail tech software.

What is social media customer service?

Social media customer service involves using various social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to address customer inquiries, customer complaints, and customer requests; resolve issues; and engage with customers in real-time. It allows businesses to provide personalized assistance, showcase their commitment to customer satisfaction, and build strong customer relations with their audience.

Why should you implement social media customer service in your retail business?

Social media users want a way to engage with their favorite brands on a personal level through their preferred social channels. Not only will it encourage them to remain loyal to your brand, it will also boost your engagement rates and improve your customer service interactions.

Below are a few reasons why investing in social customer service as a business owner will benefit your business and your customer base.

Establish a presence

Before you can begin engaging with your customers on social media, you first need to establish a presence on the channels they’re on.

By having an active presence on social media channels, you can connect with a vast audience, including potential customers. Creating dedicated profiles for your business ensures that customers can easily find and interact with your brand, increasing your accessibility and visibility.

Plus, making yourself accessible to customers at all times through social networks will increase the likelihood that they will share their excellent customer service experiences and write positive customer reviews, which are invaluable to a retail business.

Maintain brand image

Next, social media customer support provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce your brand's values and persona. By delivering exceptional customer experiences and promptly addressing customer concerns, you can enhance your brand's reputation and create a positive image in the minds of your customers.

Saves money

Compared to traditional channels for customer service, such as call centers or email support, the social media customer service strategy is often more cost-effective. It allows you to resolve multiple customer inquiries simultaneously and significantly reduces the need for additional staffing and infrastructure on your customer service team.

According to Qualtrics, the average call into a contact center costs an organization around $6 while a social media customer service interaction averages $1.

Also, Twitter completed a study that found that customers who received support through the Twitter app were 44% more likely to share their experiences—both online as well as offline—30% more likely to recommend the brand, and they also gave much higher customer satisfaction reviews.

It's undeniable that quick responses on social media posts from a customer service rep brings in a significant amount of business for any retail company.

Monitor activity and engage with customers

Social media platforms also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. By actively monitoring social media mentions, comments, and direct messages, you can gain real-time feedback, identify trends, and proactively engage with customers. This direct interaction fosters a sense of trust and loyalty, leading to increased customer satisfaction and advocacy.

Respond to negative comments and reviews from customers

One critical part of social media customer service is efficiently managing negative comments, social media complaints, and negative reviews. Promptly addressing negative feedback shows that you value customer opinions and are committed to resolving any customer issues.

Responding publicly—in a professional and helpful tone of voice—and offering solutions to public comments demonstrates transparency and can help turn dissatisfied customers who've had negative experiences into amazing customers who will advocate for your brand. Social media interactions have the ability to make or break your brand image, so choose your words carefully.

Track metrics

Finally, to gauge the effectiveness of your social media customer support efforts, it’s crucial to track relevant metrics using a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite or Nexalogy. Monitoring response time, customer request resolution rates, customer satisfaction scores, and consumer sentiment analysis can provide valuable insights into how well your strategies are working.

These metrics enable you to refine your approach, identify areas for improvement, and measure the impact on customer loyalty and brand reputation.

Example of great social media customer service

A prime example of excellent social media customer care is Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer. Zappos actively engages with customers on social media platforms, responding promptly and personally to customer queries, concerns, and even playful social media comments.

Their commitment to effective customer service and customer satisfaction is evident through their friendly and empathetic interactions, which often go above and beyond customer expectations.

By leveraging social media as a customer service tool, Zappos has fostered a strong community of loyal customers and built a stellar reputation for their exceptional service.

Take things a step further with retail tech like Clientbook

Clientbook is a retail software with a friendly user interface that facilitates long-term communications with your retail customers. One notable feature of the Clientbook platform is the chat software which allows for customer conversations to happen outside of social media.

Take your social media strategy and customer service plan one step further by investing in retail technology that gives traditional customer service performance a whole new meaning.

Customers can send a private message to their sales associate through Clientbook at any time and can expect timely responses to their customer service questions. Rather than posting on Facebook or Instagram and waiting for a response that may never come, frustrated customers can send a direct message and receive a personalized response to help them on their customer journey.

What’s more, Clientbook's analytics tool allows for platform integrations, analyzes types of engagement with the business, and offers a custom AI chatbot to kickstart customer conversations.

While social media websites are one way to communicate with your customers outside of the store, you can be doing even more with Clientbook. Clientbook allows you to get to know your customers in and outside of the store and develop long-term relationships with them.

Conclusion

Social media customer service offers a valuable opportunity for retail businesses to connect with customers, establish their social media presence, and improve their social customer care.

In your efforts to field customer service requests and improve customer experience through social strategy, your customer conversations are extremely important. To ensure that you're meeting consumer expectations, invest in effective engagement tools like Clientbook to provide another platform for your customers to give feedback, interact with your business, and get the support that they need.

Book a demo today to see how Clientbook can level up your social media customer service efforts.

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