customer service on social media

Social Media Becoming an Expected Source for Customer Service

I’ve noticed lately that people expect (demand, really) customer service from brands on social media. Is your social media monitoring and management plan up to the challenge?

Research Shows Expectations

First, some data. Sprout Social’s latest “Index Report” finds a disconnect between consumer expectations of brands on social and how brands prioritize their channels. Consumers increasingly expect great customer service on social, according to the report, which surveyed over 1,000 consumers and 1,000 marketers for the study. Social media is the most-preferred channel for consumers to share feedback about a product or service (31%) and raise customer service issues or questions (33%), with nearly half (47%) saying strong customer service is the top trait that makes a brand best-in-class on social.


First Hand Proof

Like many people, I’m still dealing with the fallout of canceled travel plans in 2020. I recently got a notice that credit for one airline was expiring. Since air travel is still iffy these days, I wanted to ask for an extension. Tried to email, no response. Tried to call, hours later, no resolution. Tweeted about the issue and, voila! expiration extended.

Wow again.

Customer Service on Social

You likely aren’t as large as the airline in my story, but their customer service response on Twitter is making me and other consumers look at social media as a platform for getting help from brands.

Moving away from social is as risky for brands as not having a customer service strategy on the platforms. The Sprout Social data also found that nine out of 10 consumers will buy from brands they follow on social, and 86% will choose that brand over a competitor, while 85% will buy from that brand more often. If you are not on social, all of these opportunities fall to 0%.

It’s time to look at how to provide customer service on your brands social channels. What can you offer? What response time can you provide? What resources will you apply to the effort? These and other questions need to be asked and answered.

Just as you have an online marketing strategy, define your online customer service strategy. Map out what you will do and commit to following the plan. Then, let your social audience know how they can engage with you for customer service. Often, setting the right expectations is the key to success.