There are over 2.8 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and counting. Chances are high that some of these users are your customers, and whether you’re aware of it or not, those customers are actively seeking support via social media. The numbers back this up – 63% of customers expect companies to offer customer service via social media, and 90% of social media users have already used the channel to communicate with a business.
When approaching customer service on Facebook, it’s important to keep in mind why your customer is using that channel in the first place, and how they use it. Customers may be hopping on Facebook as a simple preference – it’s easy to use and very accessible. But other times, they air their grievances on Facebook because they want to discuss something your company did (or didn’t do!) publicly.
How your agents respond can be the difference between long-term retention and immediate churn. To help you on your journey, here are the 4 key goals you need to achieve to deliver excellent customer service via Facebook, with best practices for each.
Objective 1: Speed, speed, speed
Social media is a channel that was designed for communication between friends, families, and social groups. When customers invite brands into their social spheres, they do so wanting the same quick response times that they would get (or hope for!) from their friends. In fact, 32% of consumers expect a response on social media channels within 30 minutes.
Speed is not only critical to good customer service via Facebook – it’s also key to establishing and maintaining a brand image that is centered around attentiveness and care.
The solution: A truly unified platform
A big pain-point that companies have with social media is that it isn’t just one channel: it’s multiple platforms that behave very differently. Not only does juggling platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger create internal friction that slows down customer service – it’s also easy for incoming queries to fall through the cracks. To nail quick responses on social media, the first thing you need is a unified platform for managing social conversations.
A unified social media platform like Comm100 keeps all incoming customer queries in one place so you don’t need to toggle between social media accounts. Agents can seamlessly tackle requests no matter which social channel the customer is engaging from, increasing efficiency and bringing about faster resolution. This is particularly important for DMs and customer service via Facebook Messenger where the customer expects even more speed.
On top of this, Comm100’s platform provides speed with simple but helpful workflow management. When a new social media request comes in, a ticket is created and can be flagged with tags to indicate its priority. Agents can then filter through tickets and see which incoming messages need to be addressed first – keeping response times fast and your team on top of social media requests.
Objective 2: Maintain and protect your public-facing image
If there’s one problem that companies have with social media, it’s that social media is truly the wild west of customer communication. Not every message for or about your company will arrive neatly – or quietly – in your inbox. Unlike channels that are tied to your own website or servers like live chat or email, customers can complain about – or praise – your company without your knowledge. Having a proactive social media strategy is vital to catching those unexpected requests and controlling the narrative about your brand.
The solution: Social media chatbot
Customers don’t just want fast responses on social media: they want around-the-clock support. 57% of consumers expect the same response time at night and on weekends as they would during normal business hours. If no one is online to lend customers the hand they need, it can be easy to opt for a scathing, public post instead of a private DM – especially if they believe that’s more likely to get them help.
Social media chatbots like Comm100’s can help you provide quick and immediate customer service on Facebook at all hours of the day – as well as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and WhatsApp for Business. Comm100 Chatbot can help users book appointments, pay invoices, find relevant media, and more, giving frustrated customers an immediate way to remedy their concerns.
This speed has another benefit too – the social media giant grants businesses a “Very responsive to messages” badge if they maintain a 90% response rate and a response time of 15 minutes – easily achieved with a chatbot. This public recognition of attentiveness is not only good for your brand – it also funnels more users to your chatbot. This reduces incoming queries and frees up your agents to tackle more complex or important customer issues.
Recommended reading: How Social Media Chatbots Can Help Businesses Target and Generate Leads
Objective 3: Keep brand voice consistent
Keeping communications branded is especially important on Facebook where interactions can occur publicly, and screen captures of interactions are shared freely. According to research by Sprout Social, 41% of customers will share a bad social media experience they had with their network. And make no mistake, inconsistent and confusing tones make for bad customer experiences. Accenture research found that 65% of customers felt frustrated over inconsistent experiences or information presented across channels.
The solution: Canned messaging
While social media nightmares are unfortunately not uncommon, there is a very simple but effective way that your brand can offer customers a consistent, positive experience on Facebook – with canned messages.
Canned messages allow agents to create pre-defined canned responses for common answers. This can include greetings, FAQs, and chat sign-offs. As well as saving them the effort of repetitive typing, it makes sure that messaging is on-brand, and typos and spelling errors are avoided – keeping tone consistent no matter the channel. Agents can locate canned messages easily within the Comm100 platform, and even create their own private canned responses (as well as shared ones).
Recommended reading: 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Canned Messages
Objective 4: Know when to move it to DM
There are two ways that a customer can reach out on Facebook: on the public feed, or in a DM (direct message). Both can be successful arenas of customer service, with the exception of two caveats. Firstly, there are some limitations to addressing inquiries in the public sphere, and secondly, channel switching is a delicate matter.
It’s important to define which incidents should trigger a channel swap and actively monitor them. For example, you should ask customers to contact you through your direct messages if supporting the customer requires the exchange of their private info. You should also switch to direct messages if a customer has an issue that will require significant back and forth, or that needs very specific support from a department or agent.
Solution: A truly unified platform (again!)
A unified platform like Comm100’s is not just useful for answering queries quickly – it also helps make channel switching smooth and fast for both the agent and customer. If a customer posts a message on your public feed that will be better resolved on Facebook Messenger, for example, the agent can seamlessly transfer the conversation across. The full conversation history will follow the ticket, making it easy to switch to a more private setting without forcing the customer to start over and re-contact the company.
On some occasions, the issue may be better resolved on a completely different channel, such as live chat or email. Comm100’s platform has omnichannel functionality, which means it connects all your lines of digital customer communication together – social media, live chat, email, and SMS. If a customer messages you on one channel, the agent can easily switch to a more appropriate channel with a click of a button.
Better yet, Comm100’s omnichannel platform helps to avoid channel switching altogether by integrating with your CRM to give agents 360-degree visibility into your customer’s entire cross-channel history, as well as valuable account data.
If your customer has corresponded privately with your company in the past, you already have access to information that would have required you to switch channels under other circumstances. For instance, let’s say a customer posts publicly on your Facebook page complaining that they are locked out of their account. You could ask them to switch to DMs and inundate them with follow-up questions. Or, you could proactively look into your customer’s contact history, find their email address, and send them a private email to reset their password.
Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp, social media brings brands into customers’ personal spheres and lets customers engage with companies publicly or privately. One-to-many public customer interactions on this channel are important for managing public opinion of your brand and building brand affinity. DMs are important for responding to direct, private inquiries. With Comm100’s free social media customer service platform, agents can handle all types of social media queries directly from the agent console, just as they would any other channel.
Manage all your customer inquiries from email, social media, and SMS on one robust and easy-to-use platform. You’ll wonder why you never did it this way before.Learn more