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Improving customer service on Facebook

Last updated: April 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Delivering prompt and efficient customer service should be a top priority for any business and while many businesses and companies have systems in place to deal with any comments, questions and issues from their customers, not that many focus on providing equally excellent service on Facebook. Yet, responding to customers’ concerns via social media has become absolutely essential as more and more people turn to the web and social networks such as Facebook for help. In fact, research has shown that 27% of US consumers sought customer service support online. So what can businesses do to improve their customer service on Facebook? In this article we’ll point out some key factors that contribute to providing your brand’s Facebook community with proper customer support.

Consider hiring the professionals

One of the most important things brands need to understand is that being active and supportive on Facebook truly is a serious and often full time job. Pages need to be monitored and managed on a daily basis and responses should be swift and handled with professionalism. This is sometimes a tall order for most companies that don’t have a dedicated team who are responsible for social media. And when companies dump the responsibility on the shoulders of other employees within the company who already have a lot on their plate, they run the risk of having their social media either being neglected or run incorrectly.

These are all reasons why it is a good idea to have a digital agency manage your brand’s social media presence.

However, if your brand has the resources to manage your own Facebook page, these are some of the rules:

  • Respond to any queries, comments (positive or negative) as promptly as possible.
  • Never delete negative comments – engage with the user and try to determine the facts surrounding the incident and what you can do to help.
  • Say thank you and continually show appreciation for any support your brand receives from happy customers
  • Stay active on your page – a stagnant page with old content tells people that interaction with your community is not a priority for your brand.

Humanise

They may seem obvious, but many brands fail at making their brands seem more like people rather than faceless corporations. People relate to brands that are able to keep it genial and mostly informal, while still acting responsible as a company.

Seeming approachable on Facebook is very important, as this will stimulate conversations and build trust between your brand and the consumer.

Customer service on Facebook

Some of the things your brand can do to seem more human and less imposing is to use social media to crowd source – allow your community of fans to take part and share their personal experiences, designs and ideas. This not only helps your brand to trace great content and ideas, but also fosters a sense of unity between the brand and its fans.

However, the most important thing your brand can do when it comes to humanising your brand in the context of customer service is to admit when you’re wrong. A few mistakes here and there are inevitable, but admitting when you are at fault allows people and fans to forgive and move on. Denial on the other hand will only serve to exasperate an already unpleasant situation.

Timeline for brands

Facebook recently launched Timeline for brands and the new look and feel of these pages are already helping brands with customer service.

One of the best new features of the Timeline is that people can now send direct private messages to brands. This is helpful as brands can respond to people in a personal manner as opposed to leaving a comment that might get lost in a long thread of status updates.

Timeline also allows brands to “pin” certain posts to the top of their page. This is helpful in circumstances when brands receive an influx of similar questions that can be answered by that particular post.

As social media expands to one of the most used tools on the web, brands will have to make sure that they are able to deliver the same quality of customer service on their social media pages as they do from their company base.

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