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Written by Anna Sonnenberg

Published December 30, 2020 at 10:00 am

How to Improve Your Response Time for Better Customer Service

Everyone wants a fast reply on social media. But how soon is now? These tips can help you improve your response time and provide better customer service starting today.

Bonus Materials: Free SMART Goals Guide

Responding quickly to customers’ social media comments and questions can be a boon for brands.  Over a third of social media users expect brands to respond to concerns within 30 minutes.

Most people want at least a same-day response to their social media comment or question.

Read on to find out how to get a faster response time for your social media agency and offer better customer service.

1. Review Past Results and Set New Goals

Before you make any drastic changes, note your team’s current response times and assess where you can improve.

Social media platforms like Facebook allow you to track your average response times and percentages.

But if your brand uses more social channels than just Facebook—or if you want more detailed metrics—you’ll need a third-party tool.

If you use Agorapulse, you can check your team response times easily.

Navigate to the Reports dashboard, and scroll down to the Response Time section. There, you can see the number of comments and messages each team member has reviewed, deleted, and replied to, including their average response time.

Agorapulse team response time

Once you’ve established where your team currently is and where you want to be, you’ll find setting goals easier.

Know what to aim for

Is your average response time is more than a day?

You might set a goal to answer questions and comments within 12 hours throughout the next month. Because you can track response metrics over time with Agorapulse, you can more easily prove your ROI to your boss or clients.

2. Assign a Platform to Each Team Member

If your brand receives hundreds of comments and questions via social media each day, you can’t expect just ONE team member to manage engagement effectively! (And if you do have one person handling it all, be careful of overwhelming that person.)

Share the workload

Instead, divide the workload evenly, and assign a platform or two to each member of your team.

Not sure how much customer service and community management your team members can handle? Track their average response times for the next month. If they’re not meeting the goals you set, consider bringing on another team member to assist.

Monitor the typical timing of the messages your brand receives, too.

If your audience messages your brand around the clock, you may need more than one shift to tackle engagement and support effectively.

find out why teams love managing their social with agorapulse

3. Give Your Team Access to Your Content Calendar

For many brands, social media engagement fluctuates throughout the year. The holiday season or a special promotion might drive exponentially more comments and questions. (Similarly, engagement might take a nosedive while your audience is on summer vacation.)

Keep your team in the loop

No matter how your engagement tends to rise or fall, you can make it easier to handle the volume.

Give every team member access to your content calendar, so they know about upcoming campaigns and special events. Call out campaigns that you think will drive substantial engagement to ensure your team is ready to respond.

4. Automate Answers to Common Questions

If your brand frequently receives similar questions, don’t let them slow you down. Rather than typing or copying and pasting the same answer for each customer, use templates instead.

Take advantage of saved replies

With saved replies, you can quickly select and send an appropriate answer to a common question with just two clicks. Because your entire team can access saved replies, you can rest assured that everyone is responding with accurate information and a consistent tone.

improve team response time with saved replies

Want to add a personal touch to these standard answers? Use “%name%” when creating a saved reply, and it will automatically insert the customer’s name into your reply.

5. Delegate Tough Questions to Specialized Team Members

Don’t have enough information to answer a complex question? Don’t let that hurt your response rate.

Instead, assign tough questions or comments to specialized team members who have the answers. (Reminder: Make sure you have a social media policy in place, so your team members know the guidelines for interactions on social media, especially in a crisis.)

assign items to improve team response time

Give questions to the right experts

To save even more time, consider assigning certain types of questions to specific team members automatically.

For example, if your sales team typically has to respond to pricing questions, automatically assign any questions with the word “price” or “cost” accordingly. You won’t have to worry about multiple team members responding to the same question since everyone can review your communication history with each customer.

Bonus Materials: Free SMART Goals Guide

6. Develop Standard Responses to Negative Comments

Negative comments might be your team’s least favorite type of engagement, but receiving them is inevitable.

To respond to them effectively, work with your team to develop standard responses that are both helpful and neutral.

If a customer has a more complex issue that requires multiple back-and-forth messages or exchanging personal information, request to move the conversation to a DM—and respond in a timely manner.

Show others you’re handling the issue

Remember to leave a public comment requesting a DM, so your customer (and any other interested followers) can see you’re handling the issue efficiently.

7. Be Ready to Reward Positive Interactions

While responding to negative comments might be first on your team’s to-do list, you shouldn’t neglect positive engagement from your audience.

Boost customer loyalty

Most people are more likely to become repeat customers if a brand responds to their comments and concerns, so positive engagement gives your team even more chances to increase customer loyalty.

Need to respond faster? Have a few saved replies on hand so your team can acknowledge positive interactions like shares and rave reviews in seconds.

8. Use Social Media Listening Tools

Although some customers will tag your brand directly on social media, you can expect others to forget the tag or misspell your company’s name altogether.

If you don’t see these interactions, you could miss your chance to resolve a serious issue or connect with a repeat customer.

use social listening to improve team response time

Fortunately, you can use social media listening tools to make sure you don’t miss any audience engagement.

Listen carefully

Follow anything from variations of your brand’s name and website to branded hashtags and even competitors. Add these terms to your social listening tool so your team will automatically receive alerts and won’t have to waste time searching for mentions.

9. Rely on a Consistent Communication Channel

When you’re trying to improve team response time, efficiency is critical. That means juggling multiple communication platforms and applications isn’t an option. Instead, choose one or two channels, and use them exclusively for social media management and team communication.

For example, you can use Agorapulse for everything from scheduling social media posts to social listening and responding to customer messages. You can also use Agorapulse to track past exchanges with customers and to save replies to common questions. That means your team can handle virtually all your social management needs on a single platform.

If you need to check in with your team about small issues or bigger strategy questions, consider using a platform like Slack. Here, you can create dedicated channels for specific topics and search years of conversation history, so your whole team is always on the same page.

No matter the size of your social media team, you can use these steps to improve your response time. With an effective customer service and community management plan in place, your team can seize the opportunity to generate more sales and build a loyal following.

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Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.

How to Improve Your Response Time for Better Customer Service
Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over six years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food & beverage, health & wellness, and SaaS industries.

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