4imprint, LLC

| Updated: September 30, 2020

Many brands have turned to social customer service as a way to better serve patrons and prospects. Social customer service uses live chat or messaging to quickly and effectively answer customer questions, inquiries and concerns. Rather than waiting on hold or sending an email, customers simply open a chat window, send a message and receive almost instant response from a service representative.[1]

Those customers who use live chat for service report satisfaction 92 percent of the time.[2] This satisfaction rate is higher than that for phone, web form, email and social media service. Customers like it because it is convenient, personal and private. And businesses like it because it creates value and provides instant brand access.[3] If your business is looking to adopt this popular customer service method, keep reading. We explore several customer service best practices and guidelines below.

Social customer service best practices

Ensure a seamless social customer service experience by putting these best practices in place: [4]

  • Practice the 30/2/2 rule: Respond to initial chat requests in 30 seconds or less and answer all subsequent messages within 2 minutes. Check in after 2 minutes of idle time, too.
  • Attitude is everything: The best chat representatives are positive about your brand, its products and services. Those who are empathetic, energetic and engaged can best meet customer demands for personal, two-way conversation.
  • To script or not to script: There is a time and place for a pre-crafted script, but the most skilled representatives know when to move beyond it to provide personal service. They take their time and are there to serve, not sell.
  • Optimize customer time: Answer questions directly and prioritize by placing the most important information up top to provide quick and convenient customer service. Empowered employees speed up this process and aid in customer retention. Those with the autonomy to offer a discount or gift to remedy a negative experience, for instance a loyalty card good for future discounts, are better equipped to turn poor experiences into positive ones. You may also consider rewarding those employees who use their empowerment for good. A Bluetooth® keyboard or speaker show those who go above and beyond that you appreciate their effort.
  • Be proactive: Remember, your chat customers can’t see or hear what is happening on your end. Communicate proactively to keep them in the know—ask permission to place customers on hold or transfer them. And let them know you appreciate them hanging in there. You can also be proactive by initiating the first chat. If you see a customer meandering through the FAQs or help section of your site—message them. No need to wait around for them to make the first move.

If chat is a new customer support channel for your business, promote it. Include a chat button on each page of your website—and don’t overlook your FAQ page. You may even want to offer a small perk such as a shopping tote or sticky note kit  for those who give it a try. Chat can be a great way to create value and better serve your customers and prospects. For more on the subject, check out our social customer service Blue Paper.

[1] “Social Customer Service.” Info.4imprint.com. N.p., 18 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016. <https://info.4imprint.com/blue-paper/social-customer-service/>.

[2] “Zendesk Benchmark: Live Chat Drives Highest Customer Satisfaction.” Zendesk. Zendesk, 20 May 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. <https://www.zendesk.com/company/press/zendesk-benchmark-live-chat-drives-highest-customer-satisfaction/>.

[3] “Social Customer Service.” Info.4imprint.com. N.p., 18 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016. <https://info.4imprint.com/blue-paper/social-customer-service/>.

[4] Ibid


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