Five-Step Guide to Social Media Customer Service

The rules of customer service are simple and finite:

–       The customer is always right (even when they’re wrong)

–       Always employ a pleasant and concerned attitude

–       Work to troubleshoot a situation as soon as possible

While these are important rules to uphold in stores and in-person, no matter what your business is, they’re also incredibly important online. Brands that have social media platforms as part of their marketing package, take note.

Here’s what you need to know in order to maintain a successful customer base on the web:

1.Engage: Craft posts that not only interest your fans, but ask them questions. A pizzeria could ask its fans to share their favorite pizza creation. A retailer could ask them to post pictures of their most recent finds in its store. A professional service company can request that its fans share feedback on recent encounters with its representatives. Create a conversation, but one that shows interest in consumer feedback. You’ll make your fans feel valued and heard.

2.Respond: If someone asks you a question, whether it’s about shipping and handling, what days of the week you’re open or if you have something in stock, respond. One of the main benefits of using social media is that you can maintain a direct line of communication with your customers. Answer their questions; they’ll feel satisfied and you’ll have a solid relationship to build on.

3.Be Timely: Try to answer any queries and respond (or at least acknowledge) any comments that arise on your pages as soon as you see them. Especially when working with platforms such as Twitter, time is of the essence. Your customers expect you to talk with them, so don’t keep them waiting or they won’t come back to wait in line to be heard again.

4.Acknowledge Every Action: Whether someone “likes” a Facebook post, shares a link or RTs an earlier posting, thank them. If they have a question, answer it. If they make a kind comment or an assertion, continue the conversation. It’s all about sparking a discussion; and finally,

5.Don’t Ignore or Delete Negative Comments: This is the golden rule of social media management for brands. Take a look at the brilliant example below that Publix, the southeastern grocery store chain, exhibited on its Facebook page. When receiving a negative comment from a rather rash and assumedly dissatisfied ex-customer, it let a mere four minutes pass before formulating a practically perfect response. Instead of deleting the comment in worry that it’ll make them look bad, the brand reinforces its claim for superior customer service and cleanliness, and then offers its assistance. Perfectly polite and helpful. Excellent customer service. And another fan reinforces this with a follow-up comment. Nice work, Publix.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed in attempt to keep up with your social media platforms, remind yourself of the five-step guide above to keep yourself on track. Think about how you’d respond to a customer service inquiry on the phone, then take your words to the keyboard. It’ll become second nature before you know it.

Originally posted on


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s