Can social media double as customer service tools? Most companies use social media to amplify their brand voice in hopes of connecting with customers. According to the 2022 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 85% of all marketers agreed that their social media efforts managed to generate more exposure for their brands or companies.
Generating a following on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok isn’t easy. However, brands that succeed in getting noticed tend to make more money. The same report also revealed that longstanding brands that use social media reported better sales results. In fact, more than 50% of brands that use social media for two or more years fared better than those with newer accounts.
Social Media As Customer Service Tools
Even as some companies tend to use their social accounts as a brand mouthpiece, most customers gravitate to social media because of its inclusivity. When companies reach out to their audience via social media, the audience can answer back. Prospects and customers can use a brand’s social account to leave feedback or ask questions.
Customer service is currently an under-considered part of a company’s social media presence. With the help of effective customer service tools, brands can use their social media accounts to keep conversations with individual customers alive.
What are SocMed Customer Service Tools?
Customer support software allows customers to reach out to companies to get a response to a question or a resolution to a problem. A small company that sells a single product in a limited area shouldn’t have problems answering customer inquiries or addressing a complaint. However, a medium or large business that churns out products by the thousands should brace for a steady stream of inquiries. They’re not always complaints, mind you. Many people call customer service to learn more about new products or ask what channels they’re available on.
Limiting a company’s customer service channels to email or phone can prevent customers from getting satisfactory and timely replies to their inquiries. According to the Zendesk CX Trends 2022, over 60% of customers say that resolving issues quickly is the most important part of good customer service. Still, email and phone support are both lacking when it comes to quick responses. Customer service over the phone is notorious for keeping customers on hold for a longer time than they even talk to the agent. Meanwhile, email support involves a back-and-forth approach, which is hardly good conversation.
With more than half the planet’s population using social media, not having a social presence is downright irresponsible for any brand looking to raise its market presence. For established companies, however, reinforcing their social media customer service component is the logical next step.
The Rise of Conversational Business Led to the Popularity of Social Media Customer Service
Social media-based customer service tools offer an alternative means of conversing with customers. The rise of conversational business is helping fuel expectations of more personalized service. Conversational business is the method by which customer support weaves in a customer’s historical data (recent purchases, sites visited often, total spending, etc) during interactions to better address their concerns.
Social media customer service means placing your customer tools on platforms your audience frequents. This means maintaining a presence on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and others. Well, which one? A simple search for your brand name or hashtag mention can easily show where your followers are. Alternatively, investing in a social media monitoring tool allows you to track your brand’s whereabouts at any given time. Getting a dedicated team to handle customer service inquiries over social platforms is also a cost-effective strategy.
Once you set up a customer service presence on any social media platform, make sure to tend to all inquiries. According to renowned CX guru and bestselling author Jay Baer, not answering a complaint can affect your brand negatively. Unattended inquiries can decrease customer advocacy by up to 50%. Meanwhile, Statista reported that 60% of consumers look favorably at companies that respond to questions or complaints on social media.
Types of Social Media Customer Service Tools
There are three main types of customer service tools: listening and monitoring, communication, and management. Having all of these tool types at your disposal can help maximize your customer support investment.
Listening and Monitoring Tools
Also known as social media tracking tools, these software solutions utilize analytics to search where your brand is mentioned most. Powerful search tools pinpoint posts and conversations where your brand name pops up. Companies can now locate and follow every mention and every hashtag. This allows analysts to gather insights into what topics become associated with the brand as they come up in real-time.
Communication tools are key to accomplishing customer service goals. These are the messaging applications that allow users to communicate with the brand across several channels. In 2018, a typical internet user owned an average of 8.5 social media accounts. For many. of them, they liked the idea of conversing with customer support across various social channels. Ideally, customer service should keep up with users as they move across platforms. This way, support agents don’t need to ask users for the same personal information over and over. In addition, messaging remains a very convenient medium for both private conversations and customer support sessions. Both sides of the conversation can provide immediate feedback, and they can also share files and documents easily while doing so.
Management tools consist of the bigger apps that consolidate monitoring and communication with other functions. This includes accounts management and maintenance, cross-platform integration, analytics, and reporting. This integrated solution ensures that the brand receives regular social media monitoring and that teams provide timely replies to customer inquiries.
Top-Rated SocMed Customer Service Tools
There are plenty of social media customer service tools in the market today. Each one promises a mix of features that helps improve the customer’s social media experience. Below are some of today’s most popular tools that can help not just with your social media management tasks, but also with your customer service objectives.
Agorapulse is a top-rated social media management tool that provides an all-in-one solution to common tasks. The software’s pricing structure allows individuals to use the basic version for free as they try out the features. Agorapulse offers a tiered pricing structure based on the organization’s size, with Pro priced at $79/month and Premium at $199/month. The Enterprise package entails booking an appointment for a custom quote.
Features-wise, Agorapulse provides a unified solution that allows social media managers to organize all of their social accounts in one management software. A unified inbox collects all social communication, which saves users time rather than shuffling between platforms and accounts. It also provides monitoring, publishing, scheduling, and reporting tools. The software’s analytics function generates detailed PDF and CSV reports that point out which campaigns produced better results.
Falcon’s parent company, Cision, recently acquired analytics company Brandwatch. They incorporated the entire Falcon range of products with Brandwatch’s analytics prowess, resulting in a powerhouse social media management suite. The company offers custom solutions for all of its clients, so the rates are custom quotes.
Apart from best-in-class monitoring and analytics features, the new Falcon/Brandwatch SMM suite features enhanced collaboration functions. This allows team members to seamlessly work together on campaigns without compromising the workflow. Falcon/Brandwatch is a more extensive solution that best fits middle and large companies that require in-depth monitoring.
The Sprinklr Social Engagement and Sales suite consist of software solutions that cover the entire spectrum of social media management, from brand listening and publishing to customer support and sales engagement. All in all, Sprinklr’s Social Engagement and Sales suite includes 19 modules that all work to produce exceptional customer experiences every time. As a matter of policy, Sprinklr doesn’t publish its subscription rates but does offer a free demo and quotation.
A collaboration-heavy suite, Sprinklr is best suited for organizations with multiple departments handling social media management. It features enterprise-level management layers that oversee team efforts in creating, publishing, engaging, and analyzing social posts and mentions.
A streamlined social media management platform, Buffer provides an intuitive approach to producing meaningful social media engagements. The software features four main tools: Publishing, Analytics, Engagement, and Start Page. The last tool (Start Page) provides users with an easy way to create landing pages. The software offers some of the least expensive subscriptions. Single users can use the software for free, though with limited functionalities. The Essentials package offers more features at $5/ month for social channels. Meanwhile, both Team and Agency plans cost $10 per channel per month, with the latter requiring a minimum of 10 channels.
Similar to the other featured products, Buffer integrates all social media accounts into one unified inbox. It also identifies and collates all user responses to the company’s social posts and generates insights based on the data.
Sprout Social is a social media management solution designed for brand teams and agencies. It features an intuitive platform that simplifies the tasks of social media management, marketing, customer care, analytics, and data intelligence. The suite includes the following tools: Engagement, Publishing and Scheduling, Analytics, Listening, and Employee Advocacy. A standard plan costs up to $89 per month, including coverage of 5 social profiles. Meanwhile, the Professional plan costs $149 per month and bumps the social profiles to 10. Finally, the Enterprise package costs $249 per user/month for up to 10 profiles and comes with advanced features.
Sprout Social features a very user-friendly interface that makes it easy for social media teams to publish content, generate engagement, and collect reviews. It also has powerful listening and analytics features that take in every related comment or mention published on the internet. Sprout Social’s integrated solutions are ideal for social media managers, customer care specialists, and social data scientists.
Brand24 is a smart social media monitoring software designed for all types of businesses. Unlike the other suites, Brand24 focuses largely on listening for brand mentions across the internet. This singular function means that the software makes it perfect for organizations that prefer a standalone social monitor instead of a suite of products. The compact, no-frills solution also means a moderate price tag compared to its counterparts that offer suite solutions. An individual subscription will run you $49/month and follows a single brand and a single keyword. Meanwhile, the Enterprise solution covers up to 25 keywords and goes for $249 per month. Team and Pro options are also available.
Brand 24 gathers intelligence from all over the web concerning what others think about the company or the brand. This information allows users to generate insights that can ultimately produce sales leads, compile substantial competitor data, and improve customer service. It also means that companies receive timely data that allows them to provide inquiring customers with faster and more substantial replies.
eDesk’s Live Chat module allows companies to respond quickly to customer inquiries. It features an AI-powered customer support chat program that continually learns along the way. With its seamless integration with 75 eCommerce channels, support agents can access order data when talking to customers. Live Chat is part of eDesk’s Commerce Support Enterprise suite, which can run up to $149 per agent per month.
With today’s customers preferring chat over other channels, eDesk makes sure that these clients get the service they expect. Instead of waiting for hours over conventional email or social customer service, eDesk’s Live Chat can produce an answer within an average of two minutes.
The Right Tool Can Spell Success For Your Team
When used the right way, social media is a very powerful weapon that can turn engagement into sales as well as a great customer experience. Having the right customer service tools makes the task easier, as it provides much-needed assistance in learning more about the brand. These tools help identify what people are saying about your products, how often they mention them, and which platforms they get the most attention on. At the same time, customer service tools help streamline and declutter the workflow, allowing you and your team to focus on creating great content instead of trying to manage thousands of digital conversations.
Of course, leaving the work to the professionals so you can focus on growing the business is another option. Helpware provides outstanding customer service support to startups and standalone companies that could use some extra firepower. This includes fully integrated business services that drive brand loyalty. Customer support services include call centers, answering services, IT, chat, technical, and email support.
Helpware can also assist you in providing your clients with a transformative digital customer experience. This approach entails engineering a dynamic integration regardless of platforms, telephony, systems of record, and contact touchpoints.
Discover the many ways we can collaborate. Visit Helpware today to leave your contact information. We’ll be more than glad to learn about your specific needs and offer uniquely tailored business solutions.