You’ve probably heard it many times before but the face of hospitality is changing and customer service on social media is no longer seen as a meaningless marketing tactic. 64% of millennials now believe that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are an effective customer care channel. So it’s time to take it seriously, implement a strategy and listen to our best tips on how to improve customer care on social media.
1) Think Quick
Social media platforms are made for speedy interaction and immediate gratification – so respond in that matter. You can already check your response rate through your restaurant Facebook page. A reply within the hour is ideal and anything over that could disengage your customers.
In terms of booking inquiries, you should be thinking long term. Do you want customers to always book through Facebook? Or do you want to direct them to your website, where you they can see the menu, upcoming events and most importantly leave their full contact details.
Think about creating an automated response that is specifically tailored for different interactions (you want to actually appear human) and this will direct guests to your website if they want to book a table.
Using an automated response for customer service on social media will also give your guests instant acknowledgement, allowing you time to deal with their request or let the user know that another department will be able to help. An ultimate must is replying within the same day. If a customer feels like they have been ignored on social media, they are 30% more likely to visit a competitor!
2) Don’t be a robot
Following on from our earlier mention of automated responses, even though you are providing customer care on social media, you are still expected to get personal. Trying not to be a robot is an exercise in two parts, both in the way you hold a conversation and in how you realistically want to solve a customer’s problem.
A polite address and a simple apology will always go a long way. Customising your profile on Twitter direct messages and signing off with your initials is an extra way to humanise your brand.
Dealing with complaints, online or offline, is always hard but make sure to maintain a positive tone. Refrain from acting defensive and definitely don’t try to hide the issue! Not only will social media users be quick to call you out if they think you are trying to cover up the problem, but we’re part of a society that is happy to showcase negligent hospitality. 36% of users are likely to publicly shame a company for their poor service.
Moving on to the other side of this point, you need to let users know that you can help solve the problem with accuracy. Offering customer care on social media doesn’t mean promising the customer resolutions that do not comply with your restaurant procedures. If you know a manager won’t be available till tomorrow, don’t say they’ll be back shortly. If you know that you can’t except a certain discount in connection with a current promotion, please don’t tell them to visit and find out. The user doesn’t expect you to bend company rules; they just want a realistic answer!
3) Engage, engage, engage
Now that a quick response and a personalised tone are established for customer care on social media, we can move on to engagement. Arguably the most important of our points and something your restaurant should already by doing day to day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Just like in the world outside of social media, great customer service shouldn’t wait until there is a problem. You should be communicating with anyone who gives your brand perfect feedback; you should be talking to any user who mentions your brand! Dropping in a quick comment or further information helps to build your relationship with customers.
Building relationships builds brand loyalty, so if an issues does arise, they will be confident that any customer care on social media will go smoothly.
An easy approach to staying on top of any feedback would be to use a brand mentioning tool. Simple software like ‘focus keywords’ on Hootsuite will let you know whether anyone is talking about your restaurant, type of cuisine or location. Get in there and have a chat, 71% of users are more likely to recommend a brand with great customer service!
So, now you know our best tips for customer care and service on social media, it’s time to work on implementing that into your marketing strategy. Determine who will be responsible for responding to questions, how you will monitor activity and who will create the best protocol per situation. That’s where we step in!
With a wealth of hospitality experience, both online and offline, we can help you on the way to building a strong connection with customers over social media.
Get in contact with us to find out more about how we can help you dominate social media and for a free proposal.