Community Management 101: Customer Service

A laptop showing a conversation and various social media interaction icons

Community Management is all about liaising with clients and their customers to ensure that their customer service is upheld to excellent standards. There are quite a few key principles to good community management and common mistakes to avoid, so a few members of our Marketing Team have pulled together our insights into this new blog series. First up, we’ll be discussing customer service management.

The ultimate goal for any business is to ensure that their consumers receive the best experience possible. Therefore building and maintaining a strong customer-centric culture will be a significant step in avoiding the ire of angry customers.

Before we dive in to some top tips for improving your customer service, you should know that we have a QuickBuzz video covering the whole Community Management series if you prefer to learn by listening.

Make Use of the Technology Available

With the current technology we have access to today, there is really no reason for businesses not to have a strong customer service team. You can now easily integrate this technology with the human touch using several tools and software programs such as FreshDesk, ZenDesk, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Jira Service Desk, MailChimp and many more.

The use of ‘Live Chats’ may also produce a neutral ground wherever the support team and the customer can enter into in-depth interaction. Research has shown that 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

Respond in a Timely Manner 

When customers contact you, they have a real problem to address, and they expect it to be addressed quickly – a slow response will only make a customer angrier or put them off.

A nonchalant approach is not an option and without a timely solution, there’s a danger they will look elsewhere with rival companies waiting to pounce and steal them away.

To give you an idea, most customers think companies should respond to an e-mail within an hour. However, according to research of 1,000 companies, the average response time to respond to customer requests is 12 hours and 10 minutes.

Sound like a Genuine Human

Where possible, avoid automated responses. This can be difficult to do well, but if community management staff sound robotic or disingenuous you won’t achieve much in the way of a positive customer response. Something as simple as using the customer’s name on a live chat can create a more genuine connection. Research has shown that only 21% of support staff ask for a customer’s name – a big opportunity is being missed here.

Is the Customer Always Right?

The customer might not always be right in your view, however they are armed with social media and public reviews and can use this to great effect. A single disgruntled customer has a voice that carries to others, whether it’s through word of mouth, screenshots or the trail of comments under a public post. Therefore, it is certainly better to trust customers and risk getting taken advantage of occasionally than to get a bad reputation for dismissing or ignoring customer complaints.

Use the Correct Language

In this day and age, it’s important to appear polite and friendly. Common mistakes include passive-aggressive language, using condescending words like ‘actually’ or confusing customers with technical jargon/slang terms.

In your language, try and sound as positive as you can. For example, “You are being transferred – your call is very important to us” versus “Hey Lucy, I’m going to introduce you to X who will do everything they can to help answer your question!” If you simply explain to customers why the transfer is to their benefit, they will feel more valued – wording really makes all the difference.

Another example is that if something went out of stock, avoid saying “I cannot get you that until next month – it is currently unavailable.” Instead, say “the product will be available next month, we will make sure that it is sent to you as soon as we have it back in stock.” It is always better to offer a viable solution and to avoid saying no.

Consistency is Key

A consistent approach means making sure every customer receives similar experiences at all times where you exhibit enthusiasm and courtesy. Offer the same solution for the same problems on both Day X and Day Y, not just depending on what mood the agent is on that day.

Avoid Redirection

Being passed back and forth will only infuriate a customer. Research found that only 20% of businesses are able to solve an issue at the first opportunity. This is not ideal as customers expect a problem to be resolved in just one interaction however by training your team to understand the business at a high standard, this can easily be avoided to avoiding customers being bounced around forever.

Go the Extra Mile

Successful businesses always do something extra to keep their customers happy. This could be by giving free vouchers or discount codes just to apologise for an inconvenience, even if it’s minor. This will create a lasting impression. After all, if you don’t take care of your customers, then someone else will.

If you need help with community management, social media advertising or any other marketing service, the team at fatBuzz is here to help.

Get in touch with us today to enquire about our marketing services.