When you set up a social media presence, you may not be thinking about customer service. Most businesses use social media as a marketing tool and marketing departments are the most common users of a company’s social media presence. For insurance agents, the key reputational risk associated with social media comes from the types of posts created by the marketing department. But there is another risk created by social media channels.
Customers will post on your social channels and they will usually post customer service queries. If those queries aren’t handled correctly, that creates a reputational risk. To avoid mishandling these queries, there are three basic rules to add to your social media usage policy.
Social Media is a Customer Service Channel
Whether you planned it that way or not, your customers see your social media channels as customer service contact points. That means you need to respond to them as though it were a dedicated customer service channel. They should feel like they’re getting the same service as they would anywhere else. Even if the account is operated exclusively by marketing, you should direct the customer to the correct channel.
Always Respond, Never Ignore
That response should be one you keep in stock. ‘Our phone customer support team would be happy to help you with that query, please call 555….” That response can be tailored to each query if required but it can’t be forgotten. A simple stock answer will prevent the reputational risk created by ignoring a customer service request.
The Customer is Always Right
It’s the first rule of customer service and it should be the first rule of social media too. No matter what your customer states in a post, never criticize them or deny the claim. For more difficult claims you may need to create a PR response, but don’t try to respond before the PR department get involved. A complaint on your social media channel will create a reputational risk on its own. But a full-blown argument involving your brand will be far more damaging.
Dealing with customer queries, particularly complaints, is a difficult skill. That’s why there are whole businesses built around it. Never forget that. Especially while managing reputational risk and social media.