Customer service has drastically changed over the last 25 years. Customers aren’t just waiting for a call back anymore — they’re actively requesting support and sharing their experiences, using as many communication channels as they can get their hands on. Understanding and harnessing this shift in communication has never been more critical.
Today, we’re thrilled to share our conversation with Alexandru Niculae, Client Services Manager at Maria Tash. Alexandru is an expert customer experience (CX) practitioner who has explored the depths of service through social media and has helped develop solid methodologies for engaging customers. We appreciate the questions we received from the Gladly community and believe Alexandru’s insights will help assist in your pursuit of optimal social media-based service.
1. Which social media platforms do you use to support customers and why?
We pull Instagram directly into our customer service mix (this is alongside using email, SMS, chat, and phone). We also actively monitor customer interactions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Google Business, Yelp, Trust Pilot, and WhatsApp.
Our brand is very popular on Instagram, hence the reason why having this integrated with Gladly, to begin with. We like this channel the most as it allows us to use more of a straightforward and friendly tone, and we realized that customers are much more inclined to this type of communication than a formal one, such as email.
2. What social media strategies do you use to reduce traditional support requests?
We have a designated FAQ section on our website that offers answers to our most common questions.
We also have dedicated agents within our CS team who are explicitly handling the IG channel alongside our social media team, who owns this particular inbox. While our IG channel has a 24-hour SLA, on average, a conversation is handled within two hours, meaning that we successfully achieve 100% SLA on a monthly basis.
3. How do you prevent social media questions from disrupting existing support flows or distracting from non-support-related social media initiatives?
We have a queue for each channel and enough people to deal with the inbound contacts; we haven’t faced any disruptions so far and have been able to prioritize every conversation accordingly.
4. What social media training do you provide your customer service team?
The entire team has a personal IG account and is extremely familiar with the platform. What is being discussed on other social media channels outside Gladly is not something CS have visibility to except for Google Business, Yelp, and Trustpilot, where we carry instant conversations with the clients (mostly following their public reviews in relation to our services).
5. What’s the target response time for social media customer queries?
The service-level agreement for Instagram is 24 hours, but we typically answer every inquiry within two hours. We are applying the same SLA with the other social media platforms, except for WhatsApp, where our SLA is three minutes.
6. Do you promote that customer support can be accessed through social media? Why or why not?
We plan to include some action buttons on our website that can easily direct the customers towards reaching out for support via these platforms.
The Wrap Up
From quick responses on Twitter to detailed problem-solving via Facebook Messenger, it’s evident that these platforms aren’t just for casual interactions. They’re robust tools that businesses can employ to connect with customers, address issues, and even transform negative experiences into positive testimonials.
Remember, each tweet, comment, or message is a unique opportunity to create a brand advocate. Engaging with these messages will help unlock social media’s potential as the effective customer service tool it truly is.
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