4 Ways to Use Facebook’s ‘Reply’ Button to Boost Customer Service Experience

Most businesses understand the importance of having a Facebook fan page. It allows companies to further their brand, connect with customers and clients, and build relationships.

In the digital age, customers have the ability to express their love or disdain for your product or service in a couple of keystrokes. Social media managers are charged with monitoring the online chatter, but it’s difficult to do so on platforms like Facebook when the admin is unable to directly engage with customers on a thread. Thankfully, the social media giant recently addressed this concern.

Facebook recently announced the release of the “reply” button to fan pages with more than 10,000 followers. The new feature will allow brands to reply directly to comments, keeping relevant conversations connected, and pushing the most active and engaged conversations to the top, which will ensure that fans visiting your page will see your responses. All Facebook users will have the ability to use this feature on July 10, 2013.

Although many small businesses will not have immediate access to the reply option, BlackEnterprise.com has outlined four ways your company can use Facebook as a customer service tool:

Just listen

Fans appreciate the transparency of social media and look to it as a place where they can directly contact their favorite brands–and be heard. If you listen to your fans, you can identify issues and resolve them amicably.  It may also help when it comes to product/service development as fans will express their feelings which may save your brand money when it comes to focus groups.

Don’t talk about it, be about it

If your brand decides to utilize Facebook as a platform to service its customers, then ensure you actually do so. Keep in mind your social media department is not comprised of customer service experts and vice versa. If necessary, dedicate a customer service representative to support issues that your social media department feels needs to be escalated. By synergizing these two groups, you’ll provide your fans with a positive online experience.

Respond rapidly

Comments are a vital part of any brand fan page, especially one created for a business. When you use Facebook marketing to garner relationships with your customers, you MUST respond to fans within 24 hours. Not responding could drive your fans to your competitors.

Be cordial

Many of us were taught to treat others the way you want to be treated. Well, your brand should do the same. Customer service involves not just responding to the negative comments, but the positive ones as well. If someone has taken the initiative to “like” your page and leave a positive comment then they should be acknowledged. A simple “thank you” goes a long way!

S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead.