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  • Mike Scott

Social Media: Dealing with Customer Service

Customer service, or handling inbound enquiries, is an key part of social media management. You open up a communication channel for your business and if you have the type of product that people ask questions about, complain about or generally want to discuss, you will end up with a number of customer service enquiries.

Whether you get 5 enquiries a week or 500, it's worth having a system in place to deal with them. This will allow you to scale up, should you require, and deal with the enquiries in a logical manner.

The system

When you begin to get regular enquiries, particularly if you have a presence across multiple social networks, you should consider a ticketing system, where every inbound query is recorded ready to be actioned. By doing this, you are able to keep track of each question, categorise or tag them and monitor its status, e.g. open, closed, awaiting info, etc.

In order to get this up and running, you might want to consider using an off-the-shelf ticketing system such as Zendesk or Freshdesk, although we would say that for a small number of enquiries (under 5 a day) this is probably overkill. For these, you might simply want to make use of social network specific features like Facebook Messenger or simply keep track of each enquiry via a spreadsheet. For busier brands that require multiple social media "officers", dedicated social media customer service tools like Conversocial can be very effective.

The importance of categorisation

Firstly, let us start off by saying that there is no right and wrong way to do this. You might want to operate a traffic light system to prioritise enquiries and set time limits against responding to them. You might also want to categorise your enquiries by internal department or product, it's ultimately up to you and depends on the nature of your business. The key thing is that you create a standardised approach to this early on. Why? Because it gives you a measurement by which you can improve the business. If you categorise by product or department, you can analyse month-on-month volumes and performance (such as response time), allowing you to identify weak spots in the business and make the appropriate changes before they get out of hand. It will also allow you to resource correctly. If there are patterns that emerge in the data such as certain busy days each month or certain times of the day where there is an influx of enquiries, you can add more resource for those periods, helping you keep initial response times down and reducing any negative sentiment that arises from people who are kept waiting.

Build up a knowledge-base

It might seem to be a trivial thing at the start but believe us when we say, you'll be grateful in the longrun. By recording the questions you get asked, the conversations that you have and the answers you provide, you are able to build up a picture of the concerns of your customers and the answers that you need to provide in your brand messaging. If you have to reach out to another team, department or third party to get information to answer a query, you and your team don't want to ask the same question again in a few weeks or months. Whether this allows you to change your brand or not, this history will also provide you with a go-to list for any FAQs. Depending on your brand's style and sector, you might choose to make your knowledgebase public to (try to) prevent repeat questions.

Who are we?

We Are Hydrogen, a new social media agency in Glasgow. We provide our clients with a full-suite of social media management services ranging from managing social media profiles through to developing one-off creative campaigns that can be activated on their existing channels. Whether you are just starting out on your business social media journey or have an established presence that you want to improve, get in touch and we'll discuss areas where we can help.

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