What Can Social Listening do for Your Customer Service?

September 07, 2017

What Can Social Listening do for Your Customer Service?

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This is the fourth installment in our nine part series. If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s blog about using social listening to find better content ideas and identify influencers, go back and check it out.

Today, we are looking at using social media monitoring to improve customer service. When it comes to customer service, it seems there are two schools of thought. There are those that own it. They embrace it as an essential component of their company culture. They see it as an opportunity.

And then there are the others. The companies that see customer service as an obligatory service they have to provide. It is a chore, something begrudgingly done; an expense to be endured.

Using social media for customer service should not be this hard…

Regardless of the school in which you find yourself, social listening can make customer service easier, more efficient, and produce better results. But first, let’s look at this chart that graphs the existing customer service platforms to see which one customers prefer to use.

social media customer service

Online chat ranks the highest at only 50% find it easy to use. Social media ranks slightly higher than writing an actual letter when it comes to perceived ease of use. Does that seem possible? That writing and mailing a letter is only slightly more difficult than using social media?

Social media presents a huge customer service opportunity

Using social media to enhance your current customer service efforts is a great opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors. Since so many people find it difficult to communicate with a brand via social media, social listening could help your brand stand out and build a reputation as a company that really cares.

Currently, Twitter gets about 328 million monthly visitors and Facebook has around 2 billion monthly visitors. Between these two platforms, there are billions of conversations taking place each month. How many of them mention your brand, product, or service? How many people are talking about you, without actually talking to you? Each of those mentions is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service.

3 ways to use social media monitoring to rock your customer service

Track your brand

It is amazing to me that there are still companies out there who don’t respond to customer inquiries that come via Twitter. As you can see from this graph, only 29% of companies will contact a customer after receiving a tweeted complaint. As I mentioned above, there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to providing customer service on social media.


A great place to start is by using social monitoring to track mentions around your brand. In many cases, your audience won’t actually tag your brand with a “#” or “@” but will just refer to it by name. If the tweet isn’t tagged, you won’t receive any notification that it happened…unless you have a monitor in place to pull in all mentions of your brand.

In the example below, I had a really negative experience at a local restaurant. I took to Twitter to let them know I was dissatisfied. The tweet was directed at them and I tagged their username to make sure they got it. They did, and I immediately received a reply. I was beyond impressed.

But compare my tweet to this one. CVS is mentioned, but not tagged. This person is obviously very unhappy, but for whatever reason, they didn’t direct the tweet to CVS. With a monitor pulling mentions around their own brand, CVS could quickly reach out to this customer and engage with them. Not only would this customer’s followers see the interaction, but so would anyone following CVS. This would be an excellent opportunity to really show this customer they are appreciated.

social listening for customer service.

Track your product, service, and industry

One way to provide exceptional customer service is to address questions that your audience is asking, even if they aren’t asking you. Or in other words, when you set up a monitor around specific keywords that deal with your industry, you can engage with customers and help resolve their issues, even if those customers weren’t asking you directly.

A use case I’ve mentioned before comes from a client of ours that does pet therapy. They set up a monitor around keywords such as “pet therapy,” “pet pain,” and “dog arthritis.” As they pulled in relevant mentions, they would reach out to these people with links to specific blogs and advice. This customer used social listening to find potential customers and then work to resolve their problem or offer free educational resources. This is both excellent customer service, and a great way to increase brand awareness and develop a reputation as an extremely valuable resource.

Track your competitors

Finally, the third way to use social listening for customer service is to track your competition. You may be thinking that tracking competitors isn’t a valid way to optimize your customer service efforts, but you’d be wrong.

When you track your competitor’s brands on social media you will find identify many opportunities to respond to customer complaints or issues.

Social listening customer service

Take this exchange for example. In this case, a customer was trying to reach Radian6 for a social listening tool. They never got back to her, so she went to Twitter to voice her complaint. Instead of getting a response from Radian6, she heard from one of their competitor’s who was more than happy to provide assistance. In just a few short tweets, Radian6 lost at least one potential customer and who knows how many more saw this little interaction and changed their minds.

Customer service doesn’t have to mean serving only YOUR customers. In this case, Brand24 saw an opportunity to help out. Social listening provided this opportunity.


In short, customers expect you to rock their socks with your sweet customer service skills. They won’t necessarily make it easy for you (because responding to a tweet is so hard) and using a social monitoring tool like NUVI can make the process a whole lot easier.

Social media monitoring can improve your customer service when you:

  • Track your own brand
  • Track your product, industry, or service
  • Track your competitors

If you are reading this and think, “You know, I think we can do a better job at customer service” then you should contact us and take a demo. If on the other hand, you are thinking, “We already rock customer service without social listening” then a) you are wrong and fooling yourself and b) there are plenty of things NUVI can do to take your social media marketing efforts to infinity and beyond and should still take a demo.

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