If social media is a big part of the way you run and market your business, it is very likely that you’ve found yourself providing customer service through social media too.

With today’s reliance on social networks, many customers find that reaching out to brands through these sites is a quick and effective way to get in touch in a way that suits them, rather than the more traditional phone or email methods.

When providing customer service through Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, here’s what you need to remember to ensure a great experience for your customers.

Don’t just settle for a basic approach – do something extra to show you care.

Going to an extra mile will show your customers that you really do care about their satisfaction. For example, if they’ve had an issue that’s the fault of the company, sending an apology along with a gift card is much more meaningful than simply replying ‘we’re sorry you’ve had this experience’ through an online chat.

Really listen to the customer’s concerns.

A common customer service complaint among customers is that they don’t feel the business has really listened to their concerns, or that the response feels generic. Make sure you show the customer that you value what they have to say and provide a fully personalised response that shows you’ve taken them seriously.

Make sure your profile represents a dedicated company that values their customers.

If your profile is rarely used, you won’t come across as a business that cares about its customers or the way the business is presented. Keeping up a healthy profile will show customers that you’re dedicated to your work and are ready to provide great service.

Deal with issues promptly and don’t leave your customer hanging.

Customers reach out on social media as it’s known for its fast response times, so you’ll need to live up to that expectation. Reply as soon as you can – especially if the customer knows you’ve seen their message. You don’t want them to think you’re purposefully ignoring their queries.

Be honest. If you can’t help,  you need to explain that – as well as finding a solution as soon as possible.

It may be that you can’t help the customer yourself, for example, if it’s a technical issue and you know nothing about the website code. Explain the situation honestly and assure them that you’ll be back with the relevant information as soon as you’ve spoken to whoever has the answers you need.

Avoid asking the customer to go elsewhere. Don’t make more work for them.

If a customer messages you via Facebook but you ask them to send an email to your customer service line, they’re only going to become more frustrated. Deal with the issue where they already are, sourcing the necessary information from your side to help them out.

Be sure to show that you’re still willing to help – even after the original issue has been resolved.

You should try to end customer service conversations with ‘Is there anything else I can help you with?’ and/or ‘Please let us know if you experience any more issues.’ – or something to that effect.

This shows the customer that they are always welcome to message you again and receive the same level of help, should they ever require assistance.

Do you use social media to provide customer service? Are you looking to do so in the near future? Share your tips for great social network based customer service in the comments section below!