In this video, learn why the skill of moving customers to a private channel is essential to social customer care. Learn ways to motivate customers to connect privately, and see this shift to a private channel from the customer's point of view while learni
- Can you imagine how weird it would be if you were in a quiet room at the public library and someone pulled out their phone, called their credit card company, and asked them to waive the late fees on their account while everyone in the library could hear the conversation? Social media customer service is kind of like that. Because Twitter and Facebook are public channels, your customers will be asking for your help with thousands of other people listening or actually reading their questions and your answers.
There are situations where you'll be able to give much better service if you ask the customer to move to a private channel. In Twitter, the private channel is called Direct Message. In Facebook, you can send private messages or use Facebook's Messenger app. Let's talk about some customer service situations that are better handled in one of these private channels. The first is when you want to protect private or sensitive information. Don't let customers share private details like their account numbers, social security numbers, or medical conditions with you publicly in social media.
You wouldn't think they'd want to share private info, but some customers really need your help and they seem to forget or stop caring that the channel is public. To protect them, ask the customer to move to a private channel before they reveal too much. Another time to move to a private channel is when the customer's emotions are running high. If the customer started tweeting you when she was a little bit frustrated, but over the course of exchanging tweets she's becoming angry, it's time to try to move to a private channel.
Here's a tweet from a customer to her credit card company and their reply asking the customer to move to a direct message and share her phone number privately. While the customer service agent appears to be asking for information so they can look up the customer's profile, the agent is in fact moving the discussion to a private channel because the customer's frustration is ramping up. It will be easier to handle these escalating emotions privately.
The third reason to move to a private channel is to provide trouble shooting help that applies to only that customer. This one's a bit tricky. Let's say a customer's having trouble getting your app to work on both his phone and his laptop. On one hand, it would be great to answer his question publicly because other customers could see your troubleshooting steps and possibly solve the problem themselves without contacting you at all. On the other hand, if you can tell by the type of problem the customer's having with the app that the issue is unique to him or that he needs extra support, move the discussion to a private channel.
Another reason to move to a private channel is when you simply can't help a customer within the confines of a 140 character tweet. And while Facebook doesn't count characters in the same way, you should still be writing short responses to customers. So if character counts are really cramping your style, ask the customer to move to a private channel where you can both write as much as you want. And when the customer asks to move to a private channel, your answer should always be okay, sure, will do.
Even if it turns out that the discussion didn't need to be private for security reasons, it simply good service to respond to customers the way they prefer. For social customer service agents, private channels are life savers. You can give your customers the help they need without counting every character count and keystroke and without the entire social world reading every word you write.
- Being responsive by giving quick, complete answers
- Writing professionally and in an on-brand tone
- Knowing when to move a public conversation to a private channel
- Using emoticons and emojis
- Handling trolls and other negative customers
- Knowing when to use templates and when to use free text
- Using hyperlinks and coping with character limits
- Following the rules of grammar and punctuation