How-to Guide

5 Tips to Delivering Better Social Customer Service

Good social media customer care can improve customer satisfaction rate by 26.6%.1
-Online Marketing Institute

Social is no longer the future of customer service; it’s the here and now. Studies have shown that one in three social users prefer to reach out to a brand on social for customer service, whereas preference for phone support is less than 16%.2 Reaching clients on their channel of choice not only makes them happy, it also makes good business sense. Did you know that it costs 1/6 of a call center interaction to solve a customer issue on social media?3 With these five steps, you can start delivering better social customer service today.

It’s easy for customers to walk away from brands that speak in corporate jargon. It’s much harder for them to walk away from a brand they could equate to a less-than-perfect friend.

1. Have Fun, but Take Care of Urgent Problems First

Successful brands on social manage to build an emotional connection with customers by showing a bit of personality when they provide customer care. They’re human and authentic, and yes, they sometimes have a little fun. It’s easy for customers to walk away from brands that speak in corporate jargon. It’s much harder for them to walk away from a brand they could equate to a less-than-perfect friend. However, before you can start building (or rebuilding) a relationship with your clients, it’s critical to ensure that their urgent issues don’t slip through the digital cracks.

It’s nearly impossible to manually find clients in need of attention, much less respond to them all at the same time. The solution is to arm yourself with a social media response tool with automatic prioritizing. By putting keywords and relevant topic filters in place, you can flag complaints easily and elevate them to the top of the queue for team members to respond to first.


2. Respond Quickly and Privately (When Appropriate)

How quickly are you responding to your customers on social? The next day? Within a few hours? Would it surprise you to know that 53% of Twitter users expect a brand to respond to their Tweet in less than an hour—and that figure jumps to 72% when it’s a complaint? Track your team’s response times, and set goals to get them under the industry average. You’ll be rewarded with a leg up on the competition and more loyal customers.

When you do respond quickly, be conscious about respecting privacy, especially if you’re in an industry with sensitive data.4 When appropriate, take the conversation on Twitter from the public timeline to a private Direct Message and reply to public comments with a private message on Facebook.


3. Effectively Deliver Great Customer Service, Even in Times of Crisis

While you can’t anticipate every crisis, you can have a comprehensive management plan in place when one occurs. Here are four tactics that will help stop complaints from escalating out of your control.

  • Planning a big product launch or event? Ramp up staffing to cover potential volume spikes.
  • Continually monitor activity across all social channels with a social media response tool that finds problems quickly and manages responses at scale.
  • Don’t be afraid to engage angry customers, acknowledge their issues head-on, and take responsibility.5
  • Make every effort to do what’s right by the customer, but know when to move on when you’ve done everything you can.

4. Service Customers on the Channel of their Choice

To provide better social customer service, it’s essential to have a consistent CX across all social channels. Consistency includes meeting your customers where they are and fixing their issues in-channel. For example, if they tweet about an issue, don’t respond with a customer service phone number. Instead, solve the problem directly on Twitter from beginning to end.


5. Exceed Expectations with Unforgettable Customer Engagement

Whether it’s offering a helpful tip about your favorite pizza spot to a traveler or reordering out of stock shoes for a future bride, everyone wins when you keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to brighten a customer’s day. With active social listening and an empowered customer care team, everyday support interactions are made extraordinary and unforgettable.


Learn firsthand how StubHub’s Customer Service and Social Media leader Mary Hill overcomes the challenges of keeping hyper-connected customers happy by watching the on-demand webcast Inspire More Fans with Awesome Customer Experiences.


1 Online Marketing Institute - 4 Reasons Social Media is The Future of Customer Care [Infographic]

2 Online Marketing Institute - 4 Reasons Social Media is The Future of Customer Care [Infographic]

3 Online Marketing Institute - 4 Reasons Social Media is The Future of Customer Care [Infographic]

4 Econsultancy - 15 essential best practice tips for social customer service

5 Econsultancy - 15 essential best practice tips for social customer service

Get Lithium insights and best practices delivered to you.

Thank you for signing up!

Keep your eye on your inbox for insights and best practices from us.

Don’t miss out on key insights and best practices.