Small businesses and larger corporations alike use social media to connect with their customers in real time. Connecting through social media allows your company to brand itself and have a real voice that engages with your customers. However, these easy-access mediums also open your business up to direct and indirect criticisms from customers. Learning how to leverage your PR skills to properly handle these specific situations can reflect positively on your brand.

Listed out below are five techniques to help you provide great customer service through your social media channels.

Real-Time Responses

Customers often turn to social media to communicate with businesses with the expectation of receiving an immediate response. Even if you are a one-man shop or don’t have the budget to hire a social media marketing team to handle these issues, make sure you respond to customers as soon as you see their posts. Responding in real time shows you value your customers and their business.

Address the Issue at Hand

It’s important to restate the problem so it’s clear you understand what your customer is dealing with. Communicating clearly and politely will not only allow you to better understand the problem, but also keep your responses from sounding automated. Your customers will appreciate talking to a real person who might have seen similar situations and wants to help.

If No Solution is Available, Offer Empathy

You will run into situations where there is no solution to the problem. Perhaps the issue is localized or unable to be duplicated by you. In these cases, it’s best to empathize with the customer and offer an apology. Anything from “that sounds like an awful experience” to “we are working on it and will get back to you as soon as we have more information” can calm angry customers while you find a fix.

Show Customer Appreciation

Reach out to customers who are mentioning your company in a positive way. Are they posting pictures with the swag you gave them at a conference? Repost it! Are they tweeting about how your customer service rocks (because after reading this article, it better be amazing!)? Retweet it! These interactions go a long way in showing your customers how much you care about them and it makes them feel important!

Be Professional 

Professionalism on social media is very important. Always remember to reply and act in a professional manner. You may have to interact with angry and/or rude customers who are upset about a number of different things. It’s up to you to maintain a calm attitude and mitigate the situation as fast as you can.

In a largely connected world, positive outreach can have a major impact. Customers will begin to notice your professionalism and ability to deal with various problems presented through social media. Make your Twitter and Facebook accounts a testament to your dedication to your customers.

Did we miss something? Leave us a comment below or Tweet us @Domaindotcom to add any tips or techniques we might have missed.