Why Social Media Matters More Than You Think

customer service in social media

The rise of social media has fundamentally changed the customer service landscape. While brands can leverage these platforms to build awareness and connect with audiences, a single disgruntled customer’s voice can quickly erupt into a PR nightmare. 

There’s a noticeable increase in angry customers venting their frustrations on social media platforms. Speaking to a vast audience, keen on knowing the performance and quality of a business or brand, these customers feel heard.

Imagine Sarah, a loyal fan of a popular athletic brand, excitedly purchases new running shoes.  Disaster strikes on her morning jog when the sole detaches.  Furious and wanting to make her voice heard, Sarah bypasses customer support and takes to Twitter.  She posts a picture of the broken shoe, tags the brand, and unleashes a scathing review about the poor quality. 

This single tweet, visible to all her followers and anyone searching for the brand online, ignites a firestorm.  The power of social media is undeniable; Sarah’s experience quickly gains traction, potentially impacting the brand’s image and sales.

This scenario highlights the importance of customer support in social media. A thriving social media strategy is no longer optional – it’s essential for business growth. It’s a platform where brands can win or lose customer loyalty through their responses to online complaints.

“One survey found that when consumers have a bad experience, half will complain publicly on social media. And if they don’t receive an answer at all, 81 percent won’t recommend that company to their friends.”


The Limelight on Customer Support in Social Media

Social media’s power can be a double-edged sword for customer support. A negative experience can snowball into a major customer service crisis, but a strong presence can be a game-changer. Publicly addressing issues demonstrates transparency and a commitment to solutions, building trust. 

The real-time nature of social media allows proactive engagement: anticipating concerns, answering questions quickly, and providing instant support – all in a public forum that fosters trust.

This translates into tangible benefits.  Quick resolutions lead to happier customers who become brand advocates, singing your praises and recommending you online.  Addressing concerns publicly showcases a commitment to customer care, building trust and loyalty, and improving brand reputation. 

Social media, when used effectively, fosters positive interactions, happy customers, and ultimately, a thriving brand.

The Solution: Embrace Social Media Customer Support

“Customers also spend 20 to 40 percent more with companies that respond to customer service requests on social media. And companies that don’t respond to customers on social channels are losing customers year after year, with a 15 percent higher churn rate versus businesses that do respond.”


Here’s how brands can transform social media from a potential PR nightmare into a valuable customer service tool:

1. Omnichannel Platform

Customers now expect consistent and seamless service across all communication channels. Having an integrated platform allows brands to manage inquiries from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms in one central location, ensuring a smoother experience for the customer and faster response times.

In the case of Sarah, an integrated platform allows the brand to see Sarah’s tweet alongside any emails or phone calls she might make. This ensures a smoother experience for Sarah, who won’t have to repeat her story across different channels.

2. Leverage Customer Service KPIs

Speed is key in social media customer service. Setting clear turnaround time (TAT) goals and measuring performance helps ensure timely responses and keeps customer frustration at bay.

With clear turnaround time (TAT) goals, the brand can swiftly respond to Sarah’s tweet before frustration sets in

“One recent study found that 40 percent of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour, and 79 percent expect a response in the first 24 hours.”


3. Specialized Training

Training support agents will equip them to handle the unique challenges of online interactions, such as navigating public conversations, managing emotional responses, and effectively utilizing social media platforms to resolve issues efficiently and professionally.

A customer service team that is trained to handle online inquiries can professionally address Sarah’s concerns.

4. Transparent Communication

Honesty is the best policy, even when addressing negative feedback. Being transparent about any mistakes or limitations builds trust with customers and shows a willingness to learn and improve.

The brand can respond to Sarah’s tweet with a sincere apology, acknowledging the poor quality of the shoe.

5. Positive Tone

Even when dealing with frustrated customers, maintaining a positive and professional tone goes a long way. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns, apologize sincerely, and focus on finding a solution that leaves them feeling valued.

By acknowledging Sarah’s concerns, offering a solution, like a replacement or refund, and thanking her for bringing the issue to their attention, they can potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Opt for a Social-Savvy Approach

Customer support revolves around providing exceptional service. In a world where social-media holds the power to make or break a deal, making your presence felt is non-negotiable. Being available to your customers across platforms and across timelines is how you can stand-out.  

Customers are now vocal online storytellers, and social media is the new battleground for customer support. Ignoring complaints can lead to apathy and a disconnect between your brand and your customers, while proactive engagement fosters loyalty.

The solution is simple: embrace social media customer support.  By offering swift responses across platforms, prioritizing transparency, and maintaining a positive tone, you can turn frustrations into positive brand experiences.  The benefits are undeniable – reduced costs, enhanced brand image, and valuable customer insights.  Don’t let silence speak volumes.

Make social media your platform for exceptional customer support and build a community of loyal fans.

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