Why You Should Embrace Customer Feedback On Social Channels
Aug 31 2021
With so much business being conducted online, having a social media presence is a must for brands of all sizes. While social media has become an essential way for businesses to promote themselves, its ability to let brands connect directly with customers makes it an important part of a brand’s online customer service.
Interacting directly with their customer base allows brands to answer questions or respond to complaints and criticisms in real time. Next to a phone call, social media is considered the second most effective channel for addressing a problem. In fact, 63% of customers expect companies to offer customer support through their social media platforms. A failure to do so can have serious consequences for customer relations, loyalty, and brand perception.
That’s because today’s customers demand near-immediate responses from the brands they engage with online. According to a recent study by social media software producer Sprout Social, 40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours. They can be unforgiving, too, as 44% of customers will unfollow a brand because of poor customer service.
Why Responding to Social Media Comments is So Important
In today’s 24/7 online culture, a failure to communicate with your audience in real time can be disastrous, so it’s imperative that brands be present and active on the social media channels their customers frequent the most. Here are a few reasons brands absolutely must respond to their customers on social media.
It Shows That You Care: Brands that don’t shy away from responding to negative comments or reviews show customers that they care and want to make things right. It also demonstrates they are willing to take time to build positive customer relationships. These interactions can actually help earn more loyal customers and even attract new ones. 45% of customers will post about that positive experience on social media, 37% will share it with friends on other online platforms, and 37% will buy from that brand again.
Turns Jeers to Cheers: Social media has become the strongest medium to manage customer perception. A simple response to a customer complaint can turn perceptions of a brand from negative to positive in an instant. And since people are all about sharing their experiences on social media channels, they are often more than happy to spread their goodwill with their friends and followers. In fact, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.
It Gives Brands A Competitive Edge: According to the Sprout report, 44% of consumers say customer service distinguishes a brand from its peers. Poor customer service costs businesses up to $75 billion in the United States alone. This presents an excellent opportunity for companies who can meet or exceed social media response expectations and connect to customers faster. Having a reputation for a fast social media response time will keep customers from switching to the competition.
How To Reduce Your Social Media Response Time
You know that your brand needs to be responding to customers on social media, but how can you make sure you’re doing it efficiently? Here are 5 effective and easy-to-implement techniques that will help you reduce your response time.
Consolidate your social communication into a single platform
Juggling multiple platforms and messages can be unwieldy and time consuming, particularly when customer comments come in across multiple channels. It also greatly increases the chance that something will slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s a good idea to consolidate your social communications into a single platform. You can monitor your message history in one place and respond to customers in real-time across all social channels. You’ll also be able to see which platforms are receiving the most engagement and you can adjust your social strategy accordingly to meet your customers where they are spending the most time.
Automate answers to common questions
Brands frequently receive similar and repeatedly-asked questions. To expedite the process, use saved and suggested replies. Having these on hand allows you to quickly send an appropriate pre-written answer to common questions. This also ensures accurate brand voice, messaging, and correct product information. Automatically inserting the customer’s name into your reply by using “%name%” will turn a standard reply into something personal.
Make use of social media chatbots
Chatbots have quickly become a ubiquitous part of a brand’s customer service. Why? Because they work. A chatbot can greatly speed up response time by letting you engage your customers mere seconds after they ask a question. More than just answering frequently-asked questions, a chatbot can also educate your customers about your products, showcase your knowledge base, and send customers to the right communication channels like email or live chat. Chatbots are increasingly being used in social media marketing for their immediacy, their ability to progressively know your followers and their shopping habits, and for providing a straightforward, seamless, and completely intuitive customer experience.
Use social media listening tools
Social listening is the best way to monitor what people are saying about your brand, product, website, competitors, branded hashtags – in short, anything your audience may be interested in as it relates to your products or services. Social media monitoring tools offer br
ands an excellent opportunity to track, gather, and analyze social media conversations. This insight can help you create content that resonates with customers, enact new ideas based on shifting customer demands, improve the customer experience by interacting directly with customers, and revise social marketing strategies to fit current trends.
Never forget that social media is not just about replying to negative comments. It’s also about proactively engaging with your audience. Social media is a two-way street and today’s audiences expect you to participate. Besides replying and talking to your audience, here are a few action items that can help minimize customer inquiries or complaints and improve the overall customer experience.
Use in-app notifications, emails, and regular social media updates to inform your audience about changes, issues with your product or service, or news that affects them in any way. Communicate these early and often to minimize complaints or confusion.
Create content resources like guides, infographics, and blog posts you can direct people to.
Check your customer service chat logs and emails for the most frequently-asked questions and house an FAQ in a place that’s easy to find on your site.
Tell customers where they can get help fastest. If you’re going to give your customers the speediest response on social media, they need to know how to contact you and when. Use your social media bio to define the hours you’re available or set expectations by giving them an idea of when you will reply.
No Matter What, Replying to Social Media Comments Is Crucial
Responding to comments and reviews, both good and bad, shows customers that you read their comments and care about what they have to say. This is crucial in social media management if you hope to retain or increase follower engagement, boost SEO and customer loyalty, and create brand advocates. But the bottom line is, you absolutely must respond to your customers and followers, and the faster, the better.