Nearly 10 years into the age of social media, it’s clear that no business, large or small, can afford to ignore social media, especially Facebook. Each business utilizes social media differently. Some may use social media to stay top-of-mind with its customers by sharing engaging content while others may rely on social media to drive leads, customers, and ultimately revenue. Even if social media is just a check-the-box activity for your business where you only occasionally share content, we highly recommend you be aware of and monitor your Facebook page where your customer might be communicating with you.
Customer Service Oriented Changes
Facebook has made significant strides the last few years to be a more customer-service friendly platform. One of these changes has been how Facebook uses your business’s information and message history to help customers contact you [and let you know when you can expect a reply to your message or when your business closes]. Here’s a great example of a local business our employees frequent:
Facebook has made it incredibly easy for your customers to navigate to your location, call you, send you a message, or head to your website–be sure to provide accurate information about your business! To provide the best customer experience possible, consider using a trackable phone number so you know when your Facebook page is generating phone calls, and monitor your Facebook messages, visitor posts, page reactions and comments, and reviews.
Facebook messages are a fantastic customer service tool! Messages enable brands to easily provide lasting, positive customer services experiences in a one-on-one interface as opposed to post comments or visitor posts that are very public. Notifications for Messages are easy to find at the top of your business’s page.
Customers who utilize Facebook Messages are looking for quick answers or resolutions. This means that speed is paramount in responding and providing the customer with the resources or resolution they need. Like other customer service support activities we recommend attaching a customer service agent’s name to the interactions. This is helpful for the customer in that it reminds them that they are working with people on the other side of the interaction and helpful in the brand by providing clear records that can be reviewed.
To stay on top of your messages change your settings on your business’s Facebook page to receive a notification on for each
message and watch for these notifications vigilantly.
In years past, visitor posts, or posts-to-page, were prominently displayed on your page in a way that made it look like the business had posted the content. This led to a free-for-all with page spammers trying to share links back to their business with the audiences of larger, more relevant pages. Since then, Facebook has relegated page posts (if you choose to allow these posts) to the lower right side of your page, but this section still includes posts where customers tag your business. Like other engagements you’ll get notifications for these posts, but you may find occasion to need to check for these as it’s easy for them to get lost in the mix.
It’s worth noting that the visibility of these posts is not limited to those who visit your page and scroll your feed. It’s common for a customer (or a detractor) to post to your page and for that interaction to show up in their friends’ feeds.
Post Reactions & Post CommentsOnly months ago Facebook upgraded its classic “Like” button to its new and improved Facebook Reactions which includes “Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” Sad,” and “Angry.” For businesses like yours this is a really helpful tool in gauging your customer’s response to your social media content. In appropriate circumstances you may want to look at the reactions to your posts and see who is sad or angry and send a personalized message (if privacy settings permit). What a great opportunity for proactive customer service!
Next is where things can get really tricky: post comments. By sheer nature of how Facebook presents content, your business is bound to get the most customer service-oriented engagement in the form of post comments. Of all the different areas you need to monitor, post comments are the most challenging to stay on top of and are easily the most visible to customer’s family and friends.
Like most engagement notifications, you’ll want to be sure to turn on notifications to stay on top of comments. We’ve seen some situations where a customer comments negatively and before a brand gets involved, they have half a dozen to a dozen angry customers feeding on each other’s negative comments. Don’t let this happen to your brand!
Facebook reviews are likely the most important area to provide exceptional customer service as people rely on reviews from sites like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others to make informed purchasing decisions. Reviews on Facebook have a leg up on other reviews because of the social integration and the ability to attach media to your review.
Review notifications are a little tricky, but you’ll find them in the same general area as most notifications where they have their own subcategory. Once you receive a notification of a new review, take the time to read it and respond to the review, good or bad. We’ve found that it’s easiest to find a
workable resolution for an upset customer if you work with them quickly. It’s
also easiest to turn a happy customer into a customer for life by validating their review with enthusiasm and appreciation [and a special offer or swag never hurts].
Facebook Customer Service Strategy
To master the art of customer service on Facebook it’s important to have a template or process for when, who, and how often these engagements should be reviewed and responded to. There is no one answer that’s right for every business, as some businesses even outsource their social media management to an agency, but we highly recommend checking for visitor posts daily or even a few times a day if possible, reviewing the potential customer service concerns, and replying quickly. Keep in mind that you’re providing customer service in a highly visible channel which may draw the attention of a customer’s family and friends, for better or for worse. For the most visible engagements, we recommend the following formula:
- Acknowledge your customer’s post or comment by thanking them for contacting you
- Express empathy (without admitting fault) that they are experiencing dissatisfaction
- Encourage them to reach out offline or privately through messages or email
- Tell them you look forward to helping them
- Work to resolve their dissatisfaction to the best of your business’s abilities
In summary, Facebook is a highly visible customer service channel. To get the most out of it, optimize your account with up-to-date information about how to get in touch with your business, adjust your account notifications, and monitor these four areas often. Your business will be better if you not only leverage Facebook for customer service, but use it as a free data source where your customers provide valuable input about your business, product, or service that you might not get otherwise!