Managing effective social customer service

More and more people are using social as their go-to customer service channel – it’s convenient, instant and gets results, and yet many businesses still fail to do this.

Engagement and listening to your audiences should be given as much a priority as generating content and broadcasting your message. It’s easy to see why some organisations can shy away from what could be seen as a resource-heavy luxury or something that might encourage confrontation or even abuse.

This can be a daunting and intimidating place for anyone starting on social or those organisations not yet integrating their customer service with social media, but the benefits of properly harnessing the power of social customer service are huge.

Brands should be taking responsibility for extending the customer/user experience online, otherwise, issues can quickly escalate and become problems for other areas of the organisation. Having the right processes in place will help to give you the confidence to not only push your message out, but also in managing any incoming messages, from the good, the bad and the ugly.

The following are just a few simple steps you can take to get you started and give you the confidence to manage your social customer service more effectively, putting you on the path to more prosperous engagement with your online audiences.

Escalation/response policy

An escalation policy doesn’t have to be a huge document, it can be a simple process chart displaying how to deal with various type of incoming messages. You should also consider the tone of voice, speed of response, influence of sender and the channel of communications when responding. This will all help to ensure you provide a quick and effective service, alleviating issues and being helpful, all of which is important for building trust in your brand.

Direct Messages

You can now set your account to let anyone direct message you, even without the need for either party to follow each other. You can use this feature to include a Direct Message link in your reply; great if you want to manage a customer service issue away from the public domain.

Rules of conduct

It is, unfortunately, a fact that as soon as you become active on social media, there are going to be people out there that may not be happy about it. These aren’t to be confused with people who have valid complaints or questions. Instead, they are people who continually talk about your account in a derogatory fashion for no good reason.

There are a number of ways to deal with these people. Firstly, create some rules of conduct for your social media channels. This will be a list of behaviours which you will not accept from users. For example, this will include comments which are abusive, defamatory or spam.

Your rules of conduct can either be posted directly onto your social media channel or hosted elsewhere. If a user continually breaks your rules of conduct, you have every right to ban them from your page or block them from Twitter.


The opportunities to engage with and listen to our audiences have never been greater and by ensuring you have the right processes in place to support you in managing them, this will bring you a step closer to building trust with your audiences and position you as experts in your field.

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