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Understanding Facebook for Customer Service

Marie Rose
By Marie Rose on Jul 9, 2012 1:24:00 PM

Bitesize - The Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service: Part 2/10

Here's part two from the series of bitesize posts from our 'Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service', a practical handbook for executing a Social Customer Service program from the ground up. You can download the guide in full here.

Facebook, along with Twitter, is one of the most important social networks when it comes to communication between businesses and consumers. Facebook allows brands to develop fan bases, connecting users and creating communities that engage with each other on their favorite topics. The platform presents specific challenges for companies trying to manage this engagement with customers effectively.

What does Facebook mean for Business?

 Facebook posts and comments have less potential than Twitter for going viral - reciprocal Facebook relationships, between friends and pages, mean that fans are much more likely to see news about your brand than those who havent subscribed to hear from you. But on Facebook, your own outbound channel is at higher risk of being tainted. Complaints and praise posted on your wall can be found by all visitors, and those left in comments are spread around your fans’ newsfeed with your updates.

How can Facebook be managed for Customer Service?

 Some companies have creates multiple, region-specific Facebook pages, each of them responding to inquiries particular to that part of the world. Groupon is one example, that has set up international customer service teams to specifically target and respond to customers from different locations. This method is particularly effective, as it’s easy to keep content relevant for local customers.

It’s important to ensure that when businesses respond to customers through Facebook, they do so using one, consistent voice. Any responses to a brand’s Facebook fans must come from the company page itself, so that customers known that the information is legitimate.

Facebook messages in Context - who’s listening?

  1. Posts are the main medium through which users send their customer service issues. Anyone can respond to posts, and anyone who visits your page can see them.
  2. Comments to posts can be written and seen by anyone, and they invite discussion among the community of customers that see a page’s updates in their newsfeeds. Negative comments can snowball out of control if they are not properly monitored.
  3. Private messages can be submitted by any Facebook user, irrespective of whether they ‘Like’ your page. These can only be seen by that specific customer, and pages cannot initiate private message chains. If you want to take something to private message, you’ll have to ask your customer to message you privately first.

These distinctions between Facebook and Twitter are essential for understanding what you’re dealing with when a customer reaches out. But social customer service teams shouldn’t get too bogged down in the details. Care should always be taken to handle customer service issues sensitively and appropriately, as it’s all online. Using the Internet, it’s very easy to share any content in minutes, so always be mindful of what you say, and who’s listening.

Missed the last Bitesize post on Understanding Twitter For Customer Service? Check out Part 1/10. Or, move to Part 3/10 on Crafting a Response Fit For the Public.

What are your thoughts on the use of Facebook to deliver customer service? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments below.

Got any suggestions for what you’d like to hear from us? Send your thoughts to marie@conversocial.com, or @Conversocial. We’re always looking for new ideas.

Topics: Customer Service

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