“If you had one shot, one opportunity . . . one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?”
This line came from the great philosopher (errr rapper), Eminem. But, it may be some of the best advice for anyone working in the social customer service space.
Traditional customer service – by itself- in person, on the phone, by email or you know with two tin cans can be tricky to master. The best customer service reps have mastered a wide array of skills. These include, but are not limited to:
- Great communication skills (verbal and written)
- Even Better Listener
The list goes on and on. Customer service on social media is the new kid on the block. It puts a giant spotlight onto your customer service efforts and puts you front and center, exposed for all the world to see and critique.
Eminem says it best, “You have one shot, one opportunity” to handle a situation in public.
Every time you interact with a customer online, it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand and how you treat your customers. When the customer is upset, you have “one shot” to publicly diffuse the situation and create a better experience for the customer.
There are no real second chances on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever platform you are taking to your customers on. There’s no CTRL +ALT+ DELETE button that you can hide your mistakes behind. If you screw up, there’s a good chance many other folks have already seen it and likely have the screenshots to prove it. Just ask Chapstick, United Airlines, and Bank of America, and countless more brands.
Now that I have sufficiently freaked out everyone who is still reading this (Thanks for hanging in there with me!). There are a few things that you can do to make social customer service a bit easier.
1. Listen first, type second.
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
The best thing you can do when you are first evaluating the whole social customer service sphere is to spend a ton of time actively listening to what is being said about your brand online already. Pay attention to the overall volume, what they are talking about and the overall brand sentiment.
2. Invest in people first.
This is not the job for the “brand new social media intern.” Or, your mom’s best friend’s second cousin’s teenage daughter who is really good at “the Facebook.”
This should be handled by someone who knows the brand and how to best interact (and preferably can emphasize) with your customer base. Oh, and someone who can stay calm under pressure.
3. Identify your core goals and then seek metrics to track it.
You cannot manage anything if you cannot measure it. Identify and start tracking your core metrics at the beginning. For the love of all things holy, please track actionable metrics (ASAs, time to resolution, overall volume) instead of pure vanity metrics (such as fan counts, followers, impressions, etc). Trust me, you will thank me later.