Gone are the days of a customer having an issue and phoning your support team to discuss it. These days a phone might be involved, but it’s not always a call they are making, but rather an instant tweet, or Facebook post. This means that your customer support issue has gone from being a closed conversation, to a discussion in the public domain. This leads to a very different kind of customer support. Check out our 4 tips for improving your social customer service:

1. Be fast.

The world of social media is one of instant gratification, and this flows through into providing support via social channels. When someone tweets you about a problem, you certainly don’t want that to be sitting in the public domain unanswered for an extended period of time. Not only does this make it look like you are slow to react, but it may start to look as though you are trying to avoid the issue, and it gives other people the chance to jump in on the conversation.

You should ensure that you are using some type of social listening tool that allows you to surface social queries immediately, and respond. Tools like Mention and Google alerts can help you stay on top of this. Another great solution if your business used slack, is setting up a tool like notify allows you to set up a channel that receives an alert whenever your brand is mentioned on any social channels.

2. Give them the full picture.

Consumers are becoming more and more savvy by the day. A lot of poor experiences with businesses have made people wise to fabricated stories and half explanations. It is important to respond to a query quickly, but if you aren’t giving the customer the full picture, you are setting yourself up to fail. People want you to be open and honest about what is going on, so make sure that you are telling it like it is and don’t try to pass blame. In almost all cases, customers appreciate that you’ve given them an honest answer to a problem and will be more likely to purchase again from you if they know that you are transparent.

3. Overdeliver.

People want to know that you’re actually doing something to help them. While social media might provide quick access to a company, there is also a sense that you are just saying whatever you need to in order to turn the situation around as they can’t actively tell if you’re doing anything. So when you’re replying to a customer query on a social channel, try to do more than respond to the question itself.

For example, if you’ve had a query around a product that wasn’t packaged right, always make sure that you get the first response to the customer within the hour, and have someone call them immediately to discuss the issues. But not only that, have your support agent show the customer that there’s more being done on your end. An example of this would be to say something along the lines of “I’m just running upstairs to check on that with the dev team”.

Alternatively, you could offer discounts or promos to customers that experience problems. From a customer point of view, they feel like you are doing that little bit extra to help them.

4. Internal systems should be consistent.

We mention having someone respond by phone, or being able to run off and get an answer, but it is important that your team are all on the same page when it comes to social customer support. There is no point having a super responsive social support team, if you don’t have the resources to back that up via traditional customer support channels. Training your entire team to provide a top class customer experience is the most important thing you can do to ensure that your social customer experience is unbeatable.


Social media can be your best friend, or your worst enemy as a business, but so long as you are speaking to people on a human level and not hiding behind a corporate wall, you can turn it into one of the most effective tools at your disposal.

That said, don’t forget that support via social channels are just one cog in the customer support machine, and you shouldn’t let any of the others slip. Getting all the elements correct mean that you can build a business that customers love.

xSellco Helpdesk is the only purpose built customer service software for ecommerce, allowing you to combine all of your online channels into one dashboard. Get all your order, shipping, customer and payment information threaded into each mail, whilst smart tags and templates mean you can respond to 40% of your queries in just two clicks. Reduce your support time and costs with xSellco today. All Brightpearl customers get 15% off for their first 6 months.

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About the Author

Trevor is the Head of Marketing & Digital at xSellco, a leading provider of software solutions to ecommerce and marketplace retailers to help them improve their customer support and sell more.