6 Ways to Master Social Customer Service

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Posted on Aug 15th 2013
Social media has transformed the face of customer service for good. Disgruntled consumers now have more options than ever when it comes to letting you -and everyone else - know their gripes with your service. The increasing demand for real-time responses to customer queries presents significant challenges for any business trying to stay ahead online, but social customer service also gives you a chance to make your reputation shine in the very public digital realm.
 
Here are 6 ways to come out on top of the social customer service revolution. 
 
1. Find out what your guests are saying about you
Monitoring is the key to successful customer service online. If you don’t have the right monitoring tools in place, you won’t see what’s being said out there about you, even if thousands of other people do. There are several ways you can keep on top of new posts and comments that mention your resort, such as setting up a Google Alert for your property’s name and saving a Twitter search for your brand and services.
 
2. Respond in real-time 
One of the unfortunate upshots of the rise of social customer service is that customers are becoming more and more impatient. Waiting 24 hours for a response by email no longer seems acceptable – particularly for younger guests. While 24/7 service is unrealistic for most, the internet doesn’t shut down at 5pm and nor should you. Make sure you have the staff resources to cover evenings and weekends when your guests are likely to be most active on social media, as well as the busy periods leading up to Christmas and summer. 

3. Group answers to common questions
Keep seeing the same questions cropping up on Facebook or Twitter? Save time by answering with a ‘group’ post. For example, “To everyone wondering about the availability of Valentine’s bookings, we are pleased to confirm that…”

4. Know when to stay quiet
Of course you want to respond to as many genuine guest enquiries and comments as possible, but be cautious when it comes to replying to aggressive, extreme or ‘troll’ posts. In most cases these kind of comments are best left well alone or dealt with privately. Which brings us to point 5…
 
5. Complex problem? Go offline 
Avoid broadcasting more longwinded problems to a wider audience by taking issues that cannot be resolved within a few posts private via email, chat or even phone conversation.  
 
6. Keep it human!
Social media is the place to ditch standardised and generic responses in favour of friendliness, personality and empathy. If you can, using a touch of humour can really help calm a tense situation and even turn disgruntled guests into repeat business. 

Are you meeting the challenges of the social media customer service revolution? Let us know in the comments below. 

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