Customer service has evolved over the years, going from face-to-face to postal mail to telephone to email to live chat, and now into the realm of Social Media. Good customer service is about providing a positive, helpful experience. Giving your customers excellent service, whether they have questions, concerns, complaints, or even praise for your products and services, is very important and pays off in customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty.

Many of the traditional forms of customer service are still used, but more and more, customers are reaching out on company Social Media sites, whether it’s to complain, ask questions or give kudos. This makes it necessary for companies to include customer service as part of their Social Media strategy.

Here are four tips you can use to ensure quality customer service on social media:

1. Have a dedicated page on your website for customer service. 

It’s a good plan to have clear indications on your website and Social Media sites directing customers to an online customer service page. Otherwise, customers will post questions and complaints on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and you may not see them soon enough or miss them altogether. Having a specific place to give them help with their problems and questions will help you respond quickly and provide greater customer satisfaction. Many Twitter profiles now direct followers to a specific site for any questions or concerns.

2. Have a consistent voice on your customer service page. 

Anyone who is responsible for helping customers needs to speak with the company’s voice. Each company has a specific tone and manner in the way it responds to customers. Be sure everyone in the department understands how to speak that language. Consistency will build familiarity and trust with your followers.

3. Define what your responses will be to customer concerns.

You should have clear guidelines as to how you will respond to customers’ questions and concerns, as well as their positive and negative feedback. It’s important to be consistent in how you deal with issues. Customers want and demand a quick response. They have come to expect immediate gratification on Social Media, and look for the same thing when seeking help from a company.

4. Respond to your customers in a respectful and helpful manner.

Your customers are the backbone of your business. Treat them as an important part of your company. When they compliment you, reward them with gratitude and possibly even a discount or promotion code. When they have questions or complaints, deal with them respectfully and with a determination to resolve any issues they may have. Treat them as valuable  – because that’s exactly what they are!

In this age of immediate connection, customers don’t want to call a number, only to be put on hold for 10 minutes or more, passed around from department to department, often ending up frustrated and dissatisfied with their experience. Make sure you have a good customer service strategy in place. Providing a quick and respectful response, a solution where needed, and a good resolution will earn your customers’ loyalty, respect, trust and continued business.

What has been your experience with social media customer service? Tell us about any good or bad experiences you’ve had. How do you think a bad experience could have been handled better?

For more social media customer service tips, be sure to read the following posts: