People are talking about your business on Twitter and Facebook. Whether you decide to listen or not, the conversations are happening. For most businesses these social conversations, if handled correctly, can be leveraged in their favour; even if a customer has taken to one of their favourite social outlets to vent or complain about your product or service. In most cases the amount of people exposed to a brand from a single tweet will exceed the customer service provided in a privat setting – one on one.

An example of a company who truly understood this and the importance of providing deep customer service on Twitter was Warby Parker’s and their response to customer service questions. As a brand who was looking for a way to interact with customers outside the constraints of Twitter, their social media team started developing and sharing videos of themselves answering questions to YouTube and replying to customer’s tweets with a link to the videos.

As a result, Warby Parker found that customer service tweets that included a video were retweeted 65 – yes sixty five – times more frequently than other tweets from the company. Warby Parker found that consumers value and are impressed when an organization goes the extra mile to connect with them in a transparent and authentic manner. Warby Parker understood the importance of social media customer service and how any brand can use it to their advantage.

Here are five tips for you and your organization to do just that:

1. Respond with a Sense of Urgency

Response time is crucial when it comes to social media. The businesses that treat their Twitter accounts like an inbox will quickly find that any compliment if left unchecked for too long will wither and die before it can be publicly acknowledged and thereby properly leveraged. Likewise any complaint that is left to fester for too long has the potential to grow exponentially if not properly dealt with.

2. Use the Appropriate Tools

You can’t friend or follow everyone on Facebook or Twitter so using the proper Social media monitoring software is essential to ensure you don’t miss any potential leads or issues as they instantaneously arise.  We happen to know a company that does a pretty bang-up job on this front…*toots own horn*

3. Keep it Simple

Ultra complicated issues that develop should be dealt with on an individual basis. In this case publicly acknowledge the complaint, comment or question and ask the person to call or contact your business directly while carefully explaining your additional contact information. If the interaction goes smoothly or if you notice others still commenting on the situation be sure to publicly explain how the issue was resolved.

4. Inform and Up-Sell

Building upon Tip #3, informing and up-selling will be your businesses go-to tool when it comes to your social strategy. This has to do with ensuring you consistently go above and beyond with each comment question or complaint. Suggesting other products or services that your customers might like can be an extremely effective method when treated as a soft sales pitch.

5. Follow Up

Any time you deal with a comment, question or complaint follow up with the individual or groups of individuals involved. Send a tweet about the experience and ask questions like, “how do you like the product that we suggested?”, “Any other questions about the product?”, “Based upon your suggestion last week, we thought you might like this.”. When your customers or followers have seen you go so far above and beyond, they WILL talk about it. And that’s exactly what you want.

Do you have any Social Media customer service triumphs you would care to share? We would love to read them so post ‘em up in the comments section below. Let’s see how well we practise what we preach!