4 top tips for nailing customer service on social media

4 top tips for nailing customer service on social media

View profile for Laura Morris
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I’m ashamed to say that one of the first things I do when I receive bad service or a faulty product is to go on Twitter and tweet about it, tagging the offending business in hope of a response. But then, it appears I’m not the only one.

According to Sprout Social, 45% of consumers will go to social media first if they have any questions or issues and 21% of consumers would rather message a brand on social media instead of calling a customer service line. Considering that 21% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that they can reach on social media and, according to Hootsuite, 24% of consumers will discuss bad customer service experience on social media, can you really ignore your clients on social?

Here are some top tips to great customer service on social media:

  1. Don’t ignore it!

Rule number one - NEVER ignore a complaint on social media. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or any other channel, that post lives on like a great big purple elephant in the room that no one is talking about, but everyone can see. The longer you leave it, the bigger it gets and the harder it is to address.

Responding to complaints on social media shows that you care about your clients and you want to help resolve their problem. Not only will the client in question feel looked after, but potential clients can see how you handled the situation, and this will help build your firm’s reputation. Never underestimate the power of a tweet – they have a knack of coming back to haunt you…

  1. Respond quickly

In an ideal world, it is good practice to have a set person or team that are tasked with monitoring your social feeds for any mentions or queries. You may be shocked to hear that 42% of consumers complaining on social media expect a response within 60 minutes! Facebook now displays an average response rate on business pages so that people can have an idea how long it will take to get a reply. The faster you reply, the better your response rate will be. You should aim for a 90% response rate as this will turn on the ‘very responsive to messages’ green badge on your page.

Obviously, responding this fast is not always possible, so if you don’t have someone on hand to monitor your feeds, make it a rule to always check your social media accounts at the same time every day and aim to get back to any queries within 24 hours.

There are many tools out there that can take the time and effort out of social listening such as; Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck, Gnatta and Conversocial to name a few. If you haven’t got one in place already, creating a social media emergency response plan can put your mind at ease and help prepare you for any potential PR disasters!

  1. Never ask the client to delete their comment

Unless a client has exposed any personal details online which may put their data at risk, you should never ask a client to take down a complaint on social media. EasyJet learned this the hard way recently, when a passenger tweeted a photo, supposedly showing people sat in a row of backless seats on one of their aircraft that was about to take off. Their response to the photo resulted in the company trending on Twitter – and not for a good reason! Regardless of whether the customer is right or not, asking them to remove a comment is likely to result in bad publicity and for things to get out of hand!


  1. Don’t argue!

Arguing online is like a broken pencil – pointless. Not only is it likely to result in a breakdown in communication, but also it can really damage your firm’s reputation. If a client contacts you on social media with a bad review or a negative comment, it is really important that you respond quickly and in a polite manner.

Apologise and offer to contact them privately so you can look into their complaint properly. Most of the time this will be enough to satisfy the person who has made the complaint and they will usually contact you privately. If the situation escalates even after you have publicly offered to resolve the situation and contact them privately, then there is not much more you can do. You shouldn’t worry about the comment being visible, so long as you have responded politely.

If you need help managing your social media presence, our lovely, responsive team at Conscious are on hand! Call us on 0117 325 0200 or drop us a line at sales@conscious.co.uk.