How to: Humanize your customer service on social media

It sounds simple – to be human on social media. But it isn’t that easy for everyone. I’ve learned this first hand when it comes to dealing with working with the customer service department at my company.

It isn’t their fault, though. While I was in college learning this brand spanking new technology (including using it incorrectly) they were stuck in the “traditional” customer service channels – scripted, two-way communication.

But flash to today: hundreds of thousands of fans all in one place airing every single grievance about your company/product/charities/whoknowswhatelsethesepeoplearemadat for the whole world to see. It can be a lot for anyone.

But the main key to good customer service is simple: be human. And here is how to make sure your copy still has a pulse before you click “Share:”

– Read aloud. A tried and true favorite of mine. I can’t tell you how many times I have read my writing out loud and said, “WTF is wrong with me?” (This includes the first two paragraphs of this post. What can I say? It’s Monday). Read every response before you post it to a consumer and make sure it sounds like how you would speak if you were talking in person – not too formal, not too casual and void of fluff.

– Give that advice to yourself. Ask yourself, “If I had this problem, is this the response I would want to read?” This can get daunting when you’re sorting through 40+ consumers who can’t download a coupon for a $1 off your product. But imagine if you were that frustrated – would you want to hear the advice you’re about to give them?

And yes, I realize you probably would just decide that the coupon wasn’t worth it. But consumers think it is. So don’t ignore them (no matter how far their complaint has already been pushed down your Wall).

– See it through. Sometimes consumers don’t respond to you right away. Other times they don’t understand what you said and keep freaking out. And even other times they completely ignore your well thought out, read aloud and asked to yourself advice. But keep following through. All of your fans will notice your dedication and will appreciate your help in the end.

Remember – when things start to get out of hand, take the consumer off your wall with a direct message. Wouldn’t you expect a little more attention when you just threatened to hurl your computer across the room? I would. But please do not threaten that on any of my brand pages…

– Serenity now. But not to the point where you break all of the computers George is storing in Kramer’s apartment since he lied about selling them to beat Lloyd Braun. Stay calm. Tell yourself you’re doing the best you can to help this person and always come from a place of good. And always, always save your successful responses for later use. Because serenity is time-saving shortcuts.

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3 thoughts on “How to: Humanize your customer service on social media

  1. Pingback: Back to basics: The role of Community Manager | Andrea Aileen

  2. Pingback: Outsourcing: Customer service edition | Andrea Aileen

  3. Pingback: Let’s hang! | Andrea Aileen

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