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    3 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty via Social Customer Service

    2 minute read

    You know that building brand loyalty takes more than the occasional Facebook post and Twitter update—it requires two-way communication between your customers and your brand, as well as the ability to provide value to your social media community.

    Social customer service is increasingly becoming a necessary component of social media marketing. In fact, it’s acknowledged as being an integral part of forming powerful relationships between your brand and its supporters, and—most importantly—building brand loyalty. Therefore, you should not only listen to your fans and followers, but also engage with them and provide support when questions or concerns arise.

    Yes, gone are the days of call centers, wait times, and terrible on-hold music because customer service has made the leap online. So are you ready to get started? Here are three ways you can provide effective social customer service in order to build stronger brand loyalty:

    1. Provide Personalized and Efficient Customer Support

    According to a 2012 study by Oracle, which surveyed 3,111 consumers in 15 countries, “more than half of Twitter users expect a personal response within 2 hours of asking a question or posting a complaint”; 51 percent of Facebook users expect to receive one within 24 hours.

    Without an efficient way to respond to complaints, your brand won’t meet customer expectations, and you’ll miss a golden opportunity to provide valuable responses and ultimately generate positive word of mouth from satisfied customers.

    Some brands have set up independent social media accounts that are exclusively for handling customer service requests. This makes it easier for brands to separate their online marketing from customer support, while still providing real-time service and updates.

    But of course, not every company has the resources to respond to every complaint so quickly. So to avoid causing your customers to feel ignored, someplace on your landing pages and social networks you should spell out some realistic expectations for when customers can expect to hear back from someone. At the very least, your customers will feel catered to, but you’ll also buy yourself some time in which to adequately address their concerns.

    2. Integrate Your Strategy across Multiple Channels

    Social networks are unique in their ability to provide instantaneous feedback and support. For example, because Twitter is geared toward quick, bite-sized content, it’s the best channel for communicating time-sensitive information regarding any issues that need to be recognized and addressed immediately (e.g., software malfunctions or product recalls). Meanwhile, Facebook is better suited toward addressing issues in a more comprehensive manner.

    So the next time an issue arises, immediately send out a Tweet letting followers know that you’re aware of the problem—and then go to Facebook to provide more information on the status of the resolution.

    3. Respond Quickly

    A hallmark of social media marketing is the virality of messaging and content. While this creates the potential for highly positive word of mouth, the door opens both ways. Social media also allows brands the opportunity to quickly address customers’ concerns or negative feedback and squash any negative publicity.

    This means you should consistently monitor your social media channels for customers’ questions and concerns and then respond with valuable information. Not only will you put a cap on potentially harmful word of mouth, but you’ll also show that your brand cares about its customers and is dedicated to resolving issues.

    Ultimately the best thing your brand can do is respond quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Too often customers are forced to navigate confusing call systems or complete lengthy online forms in order to get their needs addressed—not a good approach for businesses looking to build strong customer loyalty and passionate ambassadors.

    How are you providing support to unsatisfied customers? Let us know your best practices!

    Image courtesy of Google

    Posted in Social Media, Customer Loyalty

    Jeff Epstein

    Written by Jeff Epstein

    Jeff Epstein is the founder and CEO of Ambassador Software, the World’s #1 Relationship Marketing Platform which enables brands like Hewlett-Packard, HubSpot and Madison Reed to build & scale referral, affiliate, partner and influencer programs.

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