As a business owner, it’s easy to view your company’s social media platforms solely as advertising and marketing. However, your presence on social media can do considerably more than promote your business; it can also serve to defuse potentially volatile situations. No matter how well you care for customers, at some point, someone is going to be upset. Here are some tips about how to use social media as a means of customer service in addition to your existing advertising strategies.

Respond Quickly

Most clients and customers are no longer interested in calling a customer service hotline and waiting for an indeterminate amount of time to talk to a representative. In today’s society, the easy answer is to get on a company’s social media page and write something negative. This provides you with an opportunity to respond to negative customer experiences quickly. Not only does this potentially assuage the person who has posted the complaint on your page, but it also signifies to other customers and clients that you quickly respond to negative experiences.

Separate Public and Private

It’s best to direct negative conversations offline as soon as possible. When responding to a public criticism, you can suggest the customer message you directly about the details of the problem. By taking the issue out of the public eye you avoid a potentially negative back and forth. While some customers will seek to complain loudly and publicly online, other customers may not wish to post their complaints in a public fashion. It’s best to give them the option to address their concerns privately. That’s why you must have a way for customers to private message your business page on whatever social media platforms you use. Some customers who may have had a less than stellar experience at your company may not want to lambaste you in a public way, but still want, and deserve a resolution. Don’t forget to also respond to private messages just because the rest of your followers can’t see them. Word of mouth still matters!

Don’t Focus on the Negative

While responding to negative customer feedback is a crucial part of your business’ social media campaign, don’t only focus on the negative. Some customers like to post positive feedback on your social media. This typically comes from customers loyal to your brand who want their friends and contacts to know what an excellent job you do. Don’t forget to publicly respond to praise just as often as you respond to criticism. Let people see that you appreciate their loyalty and love for your company.

Social media has changed the way that business operates in modern times. Don’t forget to use it to care effectively for your customers in every way possible.