Online shoppers love going on Facebook to contact merchants about orders, or even complain about a bad experience.
But having a complaint appear on a Facebook page for all of the world to see can be pretty scary for ecommere store owners. The good news is there's a huge upside - responding and resolving the issue properly and quickly can create loyal fans who trust that you will take care of any problems that arise.
Here are 4 examples of excellent customer service on Facebook. Adopt these smart strategies to your own social media customer service plan and you'll turn complainers into brand champions.
1. Speed is of the Essence
Shoppers communicate via Facebook because they want fast service. They took their problem, question, or concern to Facebook because it's easy, but also because they want to apply some public pressure to get the merchant to reply.
Check out the timing here - the customer sent the initial question at 12:50pm.
"Hey mate, ordered a T shirt a few weeks back when the 7 guys were being held. Do you have any estimation on when it might get here? I know you changed the design when it went to 5 and were pretty busy with things."
A Golden Rivet representative responded in eight minutes, logging a post at 12:58pm. An email and a couple more posts followed, and the customer's concern was completely resolved by 1:10pm. This is social media customer service at it's best. Respond quickly to customers on social media sites.
2. Pay Attention & Address Their Concern
Perhaps the most basic concept in good customer service is listening. Many customers simply want to know that they're being heard. So when a shopper posts something on your Facebook wall, take the time to understand what has been written.
Farm and ranch retailer, D&B Supply had a customer on its Facebook page concerned about a recall.
The D&B Supply representative looked into the issue immediately and provided an answer that directly responded to Mary's inquiry all within 20 minutes. D&B didn't put a spin on their response - they found a thorough answer and quickly responded in a direct fashion.
Show customers that you care by paying attention, and addressing their concern directly.
3. Accept Responsibility
Facebook customer service, like all good customer service, is about taking care of needs. If there has been a problem, it's important for the merchant to take responsibility. Simply saying "sorry" is often all that is needed.
Recently, a customer complained on the Pottery Barn's Facebook page about the store's automated email system.
Apparently, this shopper had first sent an email to Pottery Barn, then became further upset when the response wasn't personal. On Facebook, Pottery Barn quickly accepted responsibility, said sorry, and began working to resolve the issue.
4. Be Generous
One goal of Facebook customer service is to demonstrate that your store is easy to work with and will do what it can to help answer questions, address concerns, or resolve problems. To achieve this goal you need to resolve the problem generously.
This can mean upgrading shipping when a package is behind schedule, offering a coupon or gift card to compensate a shoppers, or even offer alternatives to out of stock or back ordered items. The key is that you need to do something to improve the shoppers experience.
Check out this example from Zappos.
Zappos, which is known for its customer service, often offers $50 off coupons as a way to generously fix their mistakes.
If you screw up, take ownership of your mistake and be generous while making things better.
If one of your customers makes a complaint on your Facebook page, act quick, make sure you fully understand their complaint, accept responsibility when it's your fault, and be generous when you solve their problem.
Also check out some tips on using Twitter as a customer service platform.