Managing Products and Services

Creating effective online customer support

Use your business's social media page to listen to what your customers want.

Published: January 08, 2015

To improve your online customer support, you don't need a dedicated team. But you should follow a few tips for interacting with customers, responding to them promptly, and providing value to them.

Social media fans like to know there's a person behind a business's social media presence, for example on Facebook, Twitter, etc. So use everyday language, and be attentive and supportive in every encounter with a customer. Not all of those postings on your page have to use the same tone and language, but all should appear as a united front, matching your company's brand. Here's how:

Provide online customer support quickly

Every social media interaction with a customer can create a lasting impression. Show complaining customers that you're listening, ask them what you can do for them, and then deliver. Whether it's sending them a new item, improving a product or service, or moving the conversation offline and speaking to them on the phone, make good on your promise.

Handle things quickly. According to Salesforce, 42% of customers who complain via social media expect a response from that business within 60 minutes.1

Provide value for your social media followers

Social media fans follow companies to feel like they’re in the know. Post special offerings, promotions, and sales, but balance that with conversational content related to your business. Don’t be overly promotional with your content — social fans have little patience for ads cleverly veiled as “content.”

When it comes to encouraging customers to interact with you on social media, quality trumps quantity.

Evaluate your social media efforts

Determine if your social media efforts are paying off, For example, use Facebook Insights— a tab on your brand page that provides metrics around your content — to understand how the community is engaged and growing. Twitter Counter shows your mentions, follows, and unfollows, along with data on individual tweets.3 If people visit your website from your social sites, your efforts likely are paying off.

Social media interactions are patterned after in-person relationships. Think about what you would do for a customer that approached you in person and then try to replicate that with your online social media channels.


1 "10 Rules of Engagement: How to Respond to Social Media Complaints."

"A beginner’s guide to Facebook Insights."