TikTok is a social network where users can share short videos of themselves lip-synching, dancing to popular music, and following along with in-app trends.
Although primarily meant for everyday users, launch of TikTok For Business drew companies to the app as it became a high-powered platform for advertising and connecting with audiences.
Businesses that have used the creator tool for marketing have found success, so, understandably, you’d be wondering if the app can be used for other functions, like customer service and support.
Here, we’ll discuss whether this would be possible, options for using the app for support, and whether you should invest in the practice.
How To Use TikTok for Customer Service
A straightforward answer to whether you can use the platform for support is yes; you can use TikTok for your customer service.
While there are no built-in customer support solutions, many of its native features can be used to meet your needs. Let’s go over some of those features and how they relate to customer support.
TikTok Q&A, made specifically for those with a creator or business account, gives users the option to ask questions in the comment section of your videos featuring the Q&A filter. All questions are stored in the Q&A inbox, and you can easily browse through questions, select the one you’d like to answer, and create a video response. The TikTok below is a demonstration of how the feature works.
This feature is beneficial for customer service as it lets you respond directly to customer questions and create a sense of interaction with your audience. A bonus is that, unless you delete them, your video responses will be stored on your profile for all users to see, so people know they can come to your account to get their questions answered,
The TikTok below is an example of the Q&A feature from Ouai, a beauty company, where they created a video response to a submitted question about one of their hair care products.
TikTok’s Live feature allows you to stream real-time video directly from your profile. The TikTok below is a demonstration of how it works.
Going live is a valuable tool for customer service. You can communicate with your audience in real-time, have discussions and answer questions, and create a connection that can’t be done through the comment section. As many will be watching your videos, multiple audience members that may have the same questions can get their problems solved at once.
TikTok Live is also a great place to give product demonstrations, especially if you notice common issues people face. You can advertise the session on your various social platforms, and users can open the app, watch your live, and learn more about how to use your products.
Unfortunately, TikTok Live videos go away once the live is over (which we’ll discuss further below), so it’s challenging to find an example unless you’re actively monitoring the app to see which accounts you follow go live.
Stitch is a feature that allows you to create a video based on another TikTok user’s existing video. It’s a bit difficult to understand, but the TikTok below is an instructional guide.
As a customer service tool, you can browse through hashtags related to your business, and stitch videos where they’ve asked questions or simply showed interest in your company.
You’ll generate a sense of connection with them as they’ll be excited that a brand they like noticed their video, and you’ll show other users that you’re active on the app, which can drive even more engagement to your page.
Dr. Dustin Portela, a dermatologist, uses the stitch feature to educate his followers on the importance of wearing sunscreen. The TikTok below is an example of one of his videos.
Answering Questions and DMs Directly
Another option is to go the standard route and respond to customer inquiries in the comment section and DMs. While these are both viable options, they are less public as DMs are private 1:1 conversations, and comments can sometimes get lost if there are many of them.
As shown, there are multiple ways to use TikTok for customer service despite the absence of built-in solutions sometimes offered on other platforms. However, even though it’s possible, should you use the app for customer service? We’ll discuss this question below.
Should You Use TikTok for Customer Service?
Deciding whether to use any social media platform for customer service should be relevant to your business’s specific needs.
The biggest pro is that TikTok is an emerging platform. With over 600 monthly active users in 155 different countries, a portion of your audience is likely already on the app, and one of the best service to-dos is to meet your customers where they already are.
TikTok users also favor informal behind-the-scenes type content, which you can create with the Stitch and Live features, as you’re putting a face to your brand that isn’t present over the phone, email, or messaging tools. This can be a caveat, though, as it can be challenging to find a personalized voice for your brand if this style is new to you.
Another benefit is that TikTok for Business and Creator accounts are free, making up for the lack of service-specific tools. You won’t be wasting money on a platform that won’t work for you. You can simply create an account, verify your business, and begin using the platform for support. It’s important to note, though, that if you do decide to use the app, try to keep your presence consistent. You don’t want to disappoint customers and leave them confused if you suddenly disappear.
One of the main cons to using TikTok for customer service was mentioned before: there are no built-in service solutions, so you have to leverage the native features on the app and make them work for you. If you don’t yet have an established support strategy to adapt to TikTok, this may be difficult.
For example, if going Live was a support-focused tool, you would be able to save your videos and make them available for all users to review and learn from. Unfortunately, live videos can’t be saved, so they are a temporary solution to a customer need that will never go away.
In the end, TikTok is a new consideration for customer service tools. Your decision to use the platform for service should come down to your individual business needs and what your teams have time for. If TikTok is your only service option, it may be challenging to provide your customers with the support they need and desire.
However, if you’re willing to try it out, the audiences, content types, and native tools on the platform can bring a new side to your support options that customers are ready to be delighted by.
Originally published May 24, 2021 8:00:00 AM, updated June 15 2021