Businesses have new ways to improve their customer service efforts on Facebook, and should now be able to start doing a better job of responding to questions and concerns and just engaging with customers in a more helpful way.
Do you intend to work on improving social media customer service or do you feel you've already been doing a good enough job in this area? Discuss in the comments.
Facebook announced the launch of Pages Messaging, which gives customers more ways to send private messages to businesses and ways for Page admins to manage and respond to them.
"Private messaging is a popular way for people to connect with family and friends, and businesses are increasingly using it to connect with their customers," a Facebook spokesperson tells us.
People can send messages to Page from a local awareness ad. They'll see a button that says "Send Message" from which they can initiate a private conversation in a Messenger window that appears.
For Pages, the incoming messages include an attachment that shows the ad that prompted the message. Once the user initiates the conversation, the business can respond as they like.
Another new helpful feature for businesses is one that lets them respond privately to public comments.
When the business responds privately, the comment shows a note that the business responded privately so it doesn't look like you're just ignoring it (which is a nice touch).
Users do have an option to block private messages from businesses.
Pages who are "very responsive" to private messages (that is if they respond to 90% of messages and have a median time of less than five minutes) will have a "Very responsive to messages" badge on their profiles.
Facebook uses data based on the past week to determine this. In Page Insights, you can see your response rate and median response time.
Facebook is letting Pages pull up saved replies (a feature they've been testing for a while) and send them with a single tap to help them respond more quickly. These can be edited before sending.
U.S. businesses are pretty bad at social media customer service, all of this could go a long way in helping them improve. In fact, they're pretty bad on Twitter as well. Take a look at this country-by-country social customer care ranking on both networks from Socialbakers.
Twitter released some of its own research and is giving brands four ways to “build customer service relationships”. In a recebt blog post, Twitter research manager Meghann Elrhoul wrote:
To understand how satisfied people feel with customer service interactions on Twitter, we surveyed 14,040 Twitter users who follow or interacted with brands’ customer service Twitter accounts in the past six months. We asked about their latest customer service experience in terms of: friendliness, personalization, responsiveness, resolution, satisfaction and recommendation.
Our resulting research surfaced four key best practices for brands who want to shift from simply handling customer service to nurturing customer service relationships and experiences. Check out our infographic below for the top data points and read on for our recommendations as well as examples of brands getting customer service right on Twitter.
Here’s an infographic looking at the findings and offering tips on building customer service relationships:
What it boils down to, according to Twitter, is being friendly (empathizing with consumers and offering help), being personal (using real names and signing every reply), being responsive (responding in less than an hour), and being accessible (following up to ensure problems have been resolved).
As we've looked at numerous times, businesses are generally falling behind on consumer expectations on social media. It's clear that this is becoming more of a focal point for both Facebook and Twitter. It will be interesting to see how businesses respond.
Do you expect new features to improve the customer service efforts of businesses in general? Share your thoughts.
Images via Facebook