These days, having satisfied customers is not enough anymore. You need to have electric fans. This is why customer service is everything. It doesn’t matter how great your marketing is or how awesome your product is if your customer service falls to the wayside.
Not only do satisfied customers come back for more, but they’re the ones who are most willing to share your new products, promote you on social media, and buy everything you do. Creating long-term clients who spread the word is everything.
This is part of the reason why people hate dealing with cable and cell phone providers. They don’t really care about customer service. If they did, they wouldn’t provide better offers to newcomers than they do for current customers.
Across the board, about 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your customers.
This little fact is where, Wired Founder, Kevin Kelly’s description of 1,000 true fans came from. No matter where you are in your business, somewhere out there, 1,000 people (or many more) are waiting to buy everything you build.
You just need to find them.
So, how do you create the best customer service responses? Let’s look at the best social media customer service. Across the board, it’s all about the theme, the voice, the language, and the images. It’s crucial to have social media support and social media customer care.
If your message can come across as helpful, educational, fast, funny, and human, you’re way ahead of the game. Now let’s look at some great examples of social media customer service.
Best Website Live Chat Customer Service
The accounting, organization experts over at Quickbooks understand customer service, and their Live Chat focuses on speed. When you scroll on their website to check “Plans & Pricing” or “How It Works,” you’ll get an immediate response from someone like Gelle.
In our test run for this article, we got a response about our question in less than a minute. Plus, it didn’t feel overly robotic. “Oh, Alright,” responded the live agent. Then, just to make sure we’re on the same page, the follow-up asked if I already had a QuickBooks account.
The second question does a few things. It makes sure the web visitor is knowledgeable of the product, has an account, and is in the right place. Presumably, this could lead to either help or a link to buy the product.
Another example is SoundStripe, a royalty-free production music service for video. On the home page, users see a skateboarder in frame with an audio file underneath. If you’ve ever made a short movie or YouTube explainer video, you know how boring it can be not to have music or how most free music sounds the same.
While you’re choosing between “Browse Music,” “Pricing,” “Blog,” and “Login,” a Live Chat option appears in the lower right corner of the screen. “Questions? Chat with me!” pops up, but the subtext says it all: “Support is online.” This immediately adds the human feature. It also says the Agent’s name, includes a social media-like profile picture, and has a link to the Helpdesk.
Next, there’s Template Monster. Not only do they have a quick and friendly Live Chat, but they actually provide a few options to choose from. The design site includes “Pre-Sales,” “Support,” and “Billing,” which helps customers and techs filter questions to quicker find corresponding answers.
Best Twitter Customer Service
While customer support on the website is win-win, customer support on Twitter also helps answer questions while putting out small public fires and bringing attention to your company or service. By acknowledging the problem in an open platform, you can help and promote.
Adobe’s Customer Care, for example, responded to a complaint about poor customer care, but an Adobe representative on Twitter reached out within an hour of the complaint to provide help. The public response (“So sorry for the trouble”) acknowledged the issue, then she took the conversation to the DMs to provide additional help.
Likewise, at Hootsuite, a customer posted a “Loading…” screenshot and asked about help with ongoing Analytics issues. Quickly, the Hootsuite Helpers swooped in with a few options meant to help out the customer. This is another great example of great social media support.
Again, it’s generally a good idea to acknowledge the problem and then move out of the public arena. This has to do with privacy issues, but also to limit public complaint interactions.
Best Facebook Customer Support
A lot of people are using Facebook groups for social media customer care, but Facebook groups are basically user forums. Not only do they help build a community of like-minded individuals, but they also allow for quick help to the masses.
Facebook Chat Automations, such as the one at American Express helps 7.9 million users learn common problems and their estimated repair times or quick fixes. When customers see “Typically Replies Instantly,” they know if they ever do have a question not in the “forum,” they’ll get a quick answer.
For massive companies like American Express, there’s also the added benefit of announcing an issue in the group so they can address the problem one time rather than hundreds or thousands of times. Companies like Apple do this all the time with bugs and tweaks.
Best Instagram Customer Service
Instagram is somewhat new to the Customer Service scene, but Nike’s Instagram account does a great job of addressing problems in the photo platform. One customer said their new $150 pair of shoes were “uncomfortable” and a waste of money.
Nike quickly responded, “We’re sorry to hear that you were unsatisfied with your pair.” Not only did they show sympathy for the complaint, but they then offered a few exchange and return options, along with their phone number and operating hours.
A lot of brands miss this opportunity, likely because there’s no universal way to manage comments and inboxes. This complaint was on Nike’s actual page, but more people likely just tag Nike (or whoever) when they complain to friends on social.
Personal brands can also use this feature to make people feel heard. For example, The Rock will often pull a question or message from his thousands of comments and directly answer it in the feed so others can see he’s a real person.
To increase customer service on Instagram, it’s a good idea to respond to all comments, but also to check incoming messages through Stories. Instagram’s video option invites frequent messages, but the Instagram operator has to “Decline” or “Allow” the message in order to respond to it.
If you’re new to Instagram or haven’t received much customer feedback, creating Polls, Surveys, or Question Stickers is another way to get quick feedback from customers, as long as your Question is interesting and something people want to engage with. Sephora, for example posts “Choose this-or-that” Surveys to see which products customers prefer.
Best Email Customer Service
While the new social media chats and website options are great for many customers, an equal amount will stick with the tried-and-true email response or complaint.
When it comes to email complaints, it’s generally a good idea to provide professional customer service responses, even if the first message is automated.
At the same time, if your product or service or more playful in nature, why not send back a playful response? As you start to gather more information, you’ll be able to better answer questions to please more customers.
Likewise, if you haven’t already created a Frequently Asked Questions, many emails can likely pull from a list of FAQs as its possible new customers will have the same types of questions. A playful FAQ link and response could save some time answering every individual email.
But, poorly written customer response auto-emails will cause more headaches, so it’s crucial to have a second set of eyes vet the emails just to make sure the wording is clear and to the point, but this is only step one. You’ll need a template or script for round-the-clock customer service.
Other Customer Service Examples & Platforms
While we’ve covered the most common examples of necessary customer service, it really all depends on your users. If your product doesn’t hit a specific Facebook audience, there could be other forums out there where your customers are waiting.
Reddit, for example, is one of the largest forum sites in the world. Like-minded individuals meet online to discuss products, so it’s a good idea to have an account to answer their burning questions. Otherwise, complaints and poor reviews could take over.
Likewise, some influencers also use Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” feature to answer fans’ burning questions. Another site that does something similar is Quora. On Quora, users post questions and other users answer these questions, where answers are ranked.
Even if you don’t personally respond on Quora or Reddit, if your company comes up, you can see in real time what real users are saying about your product or service. And, perhaps more importantly, you can see how your customers interact with each other.
Responding to Customers the Wrong Way
Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Whether or not Bill Gates learned anything from the many complaints Microsoft has received over the years is debatable, but the quote is powerful nonetheless.
Basically, there’s a right way and a wrong way to respond to customers and their reviews. On Facebook, make sure to respond to the issue and present a way to fix the problem. Don’t push the issue off on someone else or make a public stand against the person.
If your company receives a poor review on Google, acknowledge or rebut the issue, but don’t simply ignore the problem. And, of course, if you’re a bar named Unbarlievable that one user called “Barely a circus, a bar, or a pun,” don’t point out that his name “rhymes with wiener.”