In the last decade or so, customer service has transitioned from mostly phone calls to a multi-faceted department. Service agents now respond to phone calls, emails, live chats, and text messages.
The world of self-service has expanded, too — now, customers can access knowledge bases, FAQs, self-trainings, online communities, and more to get their questions answered.
Social media has become another big player in the customer service space. We’ve seen businesses leverage social networks to build brand awareness, post advertisements, and monitor audience activity — but now, more than ever, they’re also using it to provide support.
In fact, 67% of consumers have reported using social media to post a complaint or ask a question. That’s a lot of brand activity happening online, in the public eye.
It’s no surprise businesses are becoming more intentional about providing customer service on social media — particularly Facebook. Facebook is the world’s #1 social network. It sees almost 170 million monthly active users.
What does this mean for your business? If you haven’t tapped into using Facebook as a customer service channel, now’s the time. In this post, I’ll talk about how to add Facebook to your customer service strategy — and how to use the network to keep your customers happy.
Facebook for Customer Service
Today’s consumer expects social service. They also tend to spend more with brands who help them out over social media — up to 30% more, to be exact. Here’s how to set up your Facebook to be a customer service star.
1. Create a Facebook Business Page.
The first step to creating an effective social customer service strategy for Facebook is creating a Facebook Business Page. Your Facebook Page is how your business will be active on the network — it’s where you’ll post updates, respond to comments, and message customers.
Make your Facebook page engaging by choosing a recognizable profile photo, crafting a strong CTA, and writing an appealing About section. All of these factors will contribute to making your customers feel welcome and comfortable reaching out to you with questions or concerns.
2. Invest in a third-party social media tool.
Consider investing in a third-party social media monitoring tool. Depending on the size of your customer service team, customer base, and product line, you may be able to field service inquiries using the Facebook platform. However, as you scale and work to keep your service inbox at zero, additional software can help.
This type of software includes Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and HubSpot. HubSpot’s Social Media tool provides a universal inbox, social media listening capabilities, and the ability to respond to posts and comments from within the tool — allowing your team to track service performance and share queries if needed.
Also, Hubspot’s free Live Chat tool (which integrates with your CRM) connects to Facebook Messenger, allowing you to initiate and respond to customer service inquiries made through Messenger.
3. Use Facebook Messenger.
Let’s talk about Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger is direct, efficient, and private, which is why many customers reach out to brands through this channel (versus posting on a Page). Neglecting Messenger as a key social customer service tool would be forgoing an opportunity to boost loyalty, retention and, ultimately, revenue.
Like I said above, HubSpot’s free Live Chat tool syncs with your Facebook Messenger, so your team is able to manage messages from one central location without having to switch back and forth between the Facebook platform.
Another tool that makes Messenger easier is a chatbot. With a Facebook Business Page, you can set up a custom Messenger bot to initiate and respond to messages that customers send you.
Take a look at Sephora’s bot below. When I visit Sephora’s Facebook Page, I’m instantly greeted with a Messenger window encouraging me to click “Get Started”.
Once I click that CTA, I’m greeted by Sephora’s custom bot, which prompts me to choose one of the following from a scrolling menu: Book a Service, Share Store Feedback, or Chat with Agent.
Notice how only some of Sephora’s messaging is automated. Their custom Messenger bot starts the conversation, but depending on my choice, I’m quickly connected with a live human — a customer service touch you should always incorporate regardless of the medium.
Another way to leverage Messenger is to turn public comments into private messages. This is a helpful tool to respond to pressing or controversial comments quickly and privately. If you see a comment that needs to be addressed, simply click Message. Facebook will automatically open a Messenger window in which you can send a note to that person.
Note: You can privately respond to comments posted more than seven days prior. This restriction is in place to help your service team address questions and concerns as quickly as possible.
4. Respond quickly.
Whether you’re addressing public comments or private messages, respond quickly. This is especially important on such a public platform where even a slightly delayed response can draw negative feedback. In fact, your Facebook Business Page even displays your average response time for your followers and customers to see.
Did you know that almost 50% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes? Regardless of what medium you’re on, responding as quickly as possible is your best customer service strategy.
To meet this demand, assign at least one member of your customer service team to monitor Facebook and your other social networks. Also, don’t forget to turn new comment and message notifications on so you don’t miss any new inquiries.
5. Proactively post updates, issues, and apologies.
Customer service extends way beyond simply responding to questions and complaints. It’s also important to proactively address product updates, share pertinent problems, and issue immediate apologies. Not only will your customers appreciate the quick acknowledgment, but they will also build loyalty and respect from your willingness to accept responsibility.
Some followers may be upset or angry to read the news, but it’s better coming from you than a third-party source or fellow customers.
Today’s customer service landscape is demanding. Customers expect immediate responses and reach out to you on every possible medium. It can be difficult to field such a variety of quick queries, but with the right tools, team, and mindset in place, your brand can leverage Facebook to keep customers happy and loyal.
Originally published Jan 10, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated January 13 2020