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Mashable – Customer service best practices: Making social media a two-way conversation




January 13, 2016

By Stephanie Walden


When it comes to your business’ customer service strategy, social media can simultaneously be your brand’s most valuable ally and its most intimidating nemesis.

On one hand, when handled skillfully and tactfully, customer service via social media can produce positive PR and create fervent brand loyalty that’s infectious. Having 24/7 access to customers and the ability to instantly communicate with them — as well as quickly resolve issues — can prove invaluable.

On the other hand, social media provides a very public forum for disgruntled customers to gripe, and if a problem is widespread, online negativity can quickly get out of hand. The fear of going viral for all the wrong reasons keeps many a community manager up at night for very real reasons.

Below are a few tried-and-true tips for mastering your brand’s customer service using social media.

1. Your customers are not your BFFs

Be pleasant, but not overly friendly with online customer interactions. If there’s one thing social-savvy commenters will call a brand out on faster than a poorly placed typo, it’s getting too chummy online in an awkward, insincere manner.

It’s generally inadvisable to speak to customers as if they’re your best friends, which means lay off the emojis (which can easily be misconstrued), too-casual language and excessive use of cheesy puns or banter. Use proper grammar and capitalization, unless it goes against your company’s cohesive brand voice (i.e. if your brand consistently uses lowercase lettering on marketing collateral and website copy).

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