Social media customer service is the art of tending to the needs and concerns of customers through social media platforms. It is simply offering customer service on social media.

Thanks to the many evolving technologies and social media apps that connect millions of people around the world, this concept has become more popular than ever. 

When you gear your customer service strategy to align with the expectations of customers who use social media daily, you can foster customer satisfaction, which in turn breeds loyalty. 

Customers who feel valued and heard are more likely to become repeat patrons and ardent brand advocates. Happy customers are more likely to make purchases, spread the word about your brand, and provide positive reviews, all of which contribute to increased sales and a flourishing business. 

On the other hand, if your business makes any of the mistakes outlined in this article, it has the potential to create a business nightmare that can lead to negative mentions, reputation and a decline in sales.

To get the numerous benefits that social media customer service offers, you need to be sure that you and your customer service team are handling it right. 

Let’s show you the six mistakes your customer service team shouldn’t be making when it comes to interactions on social media.

6 Common Social Media Customer Service Mistakes to Avoid

1. Ignoring Customer Comments and Messages

This is by far, one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make in customer service. Responding to customer comments and messages is not merely a courtesy; it’s a cornerstone of building trust, fostering loyalty, and safeguarding a brand’s reputation.

Ignoring customers who reach out to your business is similar to turning a deaf ear to a friend’s plea for help. It’s a breach of etiquette, a betrayal of trust, and a surefire way to send customers fleeing into the arms of more attentive competitors. 

In fact, 48% of consumers expect a response to social media questions and complaints within 24 hours. (Statista)

Customers require nurturing and care. When their voices are met with silence, whether on a social media post, a direct message, or even through your website via a chat app, they wither under the weight of neglect. The consequences of such neglect can be dire. 

So dire, that a survey by Khoros reveals that over 65% of social media users across X(Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram expect brands to respond, regardless of whether the initial outreach from the consumer was via private message or public post. 

Responding to customer comments and messages in a timely and professional manner is pertinent to provide optimal service. It requires a combination of empathy and creative problem-solving skills. It’s about acknowledging their concerns, addressing their issues, and ensuring they leave the interaction feeling valued and heard.

For example, if a customer reaches out, their words are laced with frustration, detailing a product malfunction or a service mishap. To ignore their plea would be akin to pouring fuel on an already burning fire. Instead, step into the role of the digital firefighter, responding swiftly and professionally.

Acknowledge their concerns with a simple, “Thank you for reaching out. We’re sorry to hear about your experience.” Let them know that their voice matters, and that their concerns are being taken seriously.

Next, delve into the heart of the matter. Gather the necessary information, investigate the issue, and offer solutions. If a product replacement is warranted, expedite the process. If a service issue needs addressing, provide clear instructions and timelines.

2. Being Defensive Or Argumentative

Even when faced with disgruntled or frustrated customers, maintaining a courteous demeanor is not merely an act of civility; it is a strategic manoeuvre that safeguards a brand’s reputation and fosters customer loyalty.

Why? The answer lies in the delicate nature of human interactions. Customers crave understanding and empathy. 

Their anger, often rooted in frustration or disappointment, is a cry for attention, a plea for their concerns to be heard and addressed. Responding with defensiveness or argumentativeness will only exacerbate the situation and leave a bitter taste in their mouths.

To navigate customer anger, businesses must embrace the art of empathetic communication. 

Acknowledge the customer’s frustration, apologize for any inconvenience caused, and actively listen to their concerns. Seek to understand their perspective, validate their emotions, and work collaboratively towards a solution.

Your responses should be crafted with care, devoid of personal attacks or condescending remarks that may fuel the customer’s irritation or frustration. Address the customer directly, using their name, and avoid using generic or automated replies.

3. Making Promises That You Can’t Keep

Customers place their faith in the assurances they receive from your reps. Regardless of where they contact you from – social media, live chat, email, or phone – they expect that you’ll keep your word and do what you’ve promised to assist them and solve their problems.

The consequences of unfulfilled promises can be severe. Customers may spread negative word-of-mouth, tarnishing your brand’s reputation and hindering its growth. With its vast reach and amplifying power, social media can quickly transform a broken promise into a PR nightmare.

To safeguard against such misfortunes, companies must set realistic expectations from the outset. Clearly outlining what can be achieved and the timelines involved helps manage customer expectations and prevents unrealistic hopes from taking root.

If delivery of a product will take longer than expected, communicate that to the customer. If the sizing is wrong or their preferred colors are unavailable, let them know. It’s much better to be honest upfront than make false promises and renege on them later. 

4. Not Taking Customer Feedback Seriously

Feedback, in whatever form, is so important for companies especially when it comes directly from their customers. It offers a golden opportunity to identify areas for growth, address potential issues before they escalate, and strengthen customer relationships.

It could be given publicly, on social media apps like X (Twitter), Reddit, or even Facebook. No matter what the feedback says, both positive and negative, it is crucial to listen and note what is being said.

Brand Mentions even states that over 40% of customers share negative reviews on social media. This shows you just how willing people are to share their negative experiences. 

You do not want your brand’s reputation to be colored with all that negativity as it can translate into a decline in brand loyalty, negative word-of-mouth, and ultimately, a loss of customers and revenue.

To effectively collect and analyze customer feedback on social media, you must adopt a proactive and systematic approach. 

Start by establishing a dedicated social media listening tool, a digital listening post that captures every mention of your brand, whether it’s glowing praise or a disgruntled complaint. Once these digital gems are collected, it’s time to delve into their meaning.

Analyze the sentiment of the feedback, identifying recurring themes, concerns, and suggestions. Categorize the feedback based on its nature, such as product-related issues, customer service experiences, or brand-related perceptions.

With these insights in hand, you can embark on a journey of improvement, addressing recurring issues, implementing suggested changes, and acknowledging positive feedback. 

5. Not Using Social Media to Personalize the Customer Experience

To truly stand out and create a lasting impression, businesses must strive to personalize the customer experience on social media.

Personalization should only exist in your newsletters or branded merchandise. It should be deeply embedded in every aspect of your business.

Personalization is the key to unlocking a deeper level of engagement and satisfaction with your customers. It extends beyond mere greetings and recommendations. 

Social media customer service, encompasses tailoring responses to reflect the customer’s tone and emotional state. Responding with empathy to a frustrated customer can alleviate their concerns and demonstrate genuine care. Also, a humorous response to a lighthearted inquiry can strengthen the connection, foster rapport, and humanize the perception of your company.

To personalize the customer experience on social media, you must harness the power of data and analytics. By tracking customer interactions, preferences, and purchase history, your business can gain valuable insights into your customers’ unique needs and aspirations. This information can then be used to tailor content, offers, and responses accordingly, creating a personalized experience that resonates with each individual.

6. Not Using Social Media to Build Relationships with Customers

One thing that social media and live chat apps have in common is the creation of a single platform for building & nurturing customer relationships, whether synchronous or asynchronous.

There are so many benefits to this that often exist outside of social media. It can lead to increased brand loyalty and advocacy. When customers feel valued and respected, they’re more likely to become repeat customers, spread positive word-of-mouth, and defend your brand against negative feedback.

When offering social media customer service, consider your customer interactions as opportunities for connecting with a potential lead or sale.

What would you do to build a long-lasting relationship with them? What things will you say or do that will impress them and make them brand advocates? 

To effectively build relationships with customers on social media, consider these strategies:

  • Respond to comments and messages promptly and professionally. Timeliness is crucial in maintaining customer satisfaction. Acknowledge their inquiries promptly, even if you don’t have an immediate solution.
  • Personalize your interactions. Use their names, address their specific concerns, and show empathy for their situations. This personal touch strengthens the connection and demonstrates that you value their individual needs.
  • Encourage two-way conversations. Engage with your customers, ask questions, and actively participate in discussions. This fosters a sense of community and makes them feel heard and valued.
  • Respond to negative feedback with grace and understanding. Acknowledge their concerns, apologize sincerely for any inconvenience caused, and offer a solution or resolution. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
  • Show appreciation for your customers. Thank them for their support, recognize their loyalty, and celebrate their milestones. This simple gesture goes a long way in building lasting relationships.

Wrapping Up

These social media customer service mistakes are a no-no in our books. If you realize, after reading this article, that you’ve faltered in any way, it’s time to shape up and strategize to offer the best social media customer service.

And if you’re looking for an easy way to add several social media apps to your website for easy communication, we’d recommend Chaty, our all-in-one chat tool.

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