4 Best Practices to Apply to Your Social Media Customer Care Plan

4 Best Practices to Apply to Your Social Media Customer Care Plan

The social media landscape has changed over the last several months, especially when it comes to the expectations of social media community management and customer care. If your brand has experienced higher volumes of customer care issues coming in on social media recently, you aren’t alone. Due to the impact of COVID-19 when it comes to supply chain, delivery, limited store hours and capacity, and reductions in staffing, these have all contributed to increases in the volume of comments on social media.

4 Best Practices to Apply to Your Social Media Customer Care Plan

Based on the strategies and tactics we execute for our clients in these situations, we have outlined a few best practices that you can apply to make improvements in your social media customer care plan.

1. Customer Care Response Guidelines for Frequently Asked Questions

While it is not possible to predict all the types of questions your community managers may be asked, there are general themes you can easily list:

  • Delays in delivery of items
  • Order status
  • Return policies
  • Out of stock items
  • Long call wait times for customer care
  • Health and safety precautions being taken by staff or staff not following those precautions

The first step is to create a list of any of the items that apply to your business and draft some sample response messages. Try to create a few variations of each response so your community managers don’t come across as robots. Run these responses by a few different people and teams (communications, PR, legal) to make sure everyone is aligned on the verbiage being used. And don’t forget, a personalized apology and acknowledgment of an issue can go a long way with frustrated customers.

2. Workflow Process to Solve Different Types of Issues

Now that you have some sample responses ready to go, you will need to think through who might need to be involved in addressing some of those more complex issues that could go beyond the CM(s) on your channels. It is typically a best practice for the community manager to do an initial response publicly to show that the brand is responsive and addressing the comment. The CM might be able to handle the issue completely; however, they might not have access to information like order info and will need to pass it to the appropriate team member to help solve.

Example Escalation Guidelines
Example Escalation Guidelines

Most large brands have dedicated customer care representatives who help address these complaints on social and have access to tools that provide more of a single view of the customer (website order information, contact information, past purchase data, etc.). You should also be prepared for worst-case scenarios when a PR issue or sensitive topic needs to be addressed. You should have a go-to list of contacts for teams like PR and legal that is easily accessible for the CM member to route these issues quickly.

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3. Tools & Technology for Internal Use to Help with Streamlining

We have all come to rely on technology even more during these last few months, but this is an important piece to help support the workflow that is needed for a robust customer care plan. For internal communication, tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are commonly used for quick dialog between important contacts for quick responses. These tools can also house documents, like FAQs and contact information, in one place for easy access.

In addition to proper internal communication tools, a CRM tool that gives a “single view of the customer” is necessary. There are many tools out there that can provide this view (past orders, contact info, last call to customer care, etc.). Being able to see all of the touchpoints with a customer can allow the customer care team to better customize their response back and eliminate the frustration of giving the same information multiple times.

4. Flexible Staffing Based on Demand

No matter how much you plan and anticipate, there will always be things that pop up and will need extra attention. It is a good idea to look at your content schedule and paid media plan for the upcoming weeks and make sure you staff up, especially when content goes live that you think will generate a large volume of responses. In addition to your full-time CMs, it is a good idea to have a few support/back-up people trained and ready to go in case you need to quickly address a lot of comments and the volume is high. This is also really important for retailers as we approach the holiday season and expect a lot of the shopping to be done online this year.  

If you need assistance implementing a best in class social media customer care plan, we would be happy to help! Fill out the form below to get in touch with us.

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