Paolo Fabrizio
June 25, 2015

How to Ignite Trust with Social Customer Service


Customer ServiceThis week I’ve written a lot. I mean, as a blogger, I write everyday. But in the last few days, I did some extra as a contributor, and that makes me always happy. In fact whenever we’re asked to take part in someone else’s project – provided we find it interesting – we feel very proud because somebody has put trust in us.

Trust is like adrenaline and sometimes, we just need the right dose.

When it comes to social customer service that’s slightly different though, since an excess of adrenaline is too often symptom of a customer ready to rant against you, with negative consequences for your brand reputation.

Do not over-promise

“Don’t leave your luggage unattended” they say at the airport…

The same holds for any channel you provide the customer with. Any channel is a promise of assistance, care and resolution of issues; so if you’re not there to help or if you do not respond to customer queries in a timely manner, his/her perception will be negative and that will influence his or her overall customer experience. When customers contact you they want to be heard and helped, so that listening becomes paramount for caring (in much the same way as in any human relationship). Back to trust. How would you feel after being invited to a new shop opening party which you’ve unexpectedly found closed? I guess you may react just like  78% of consumers after experiencing a bad customer experience….

TIP: Don’t create a fake sense of availability. because customers will not forgive you if you fail at delivering.

Set the record straight



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Especially when using social media as customer service channel, you have to make clear statements from the very beginning in order to avoid any misunderstanding or false expectations. This implies that you must take action internally as for :

  • Staff guidelines (clearly explain Do’s  & Don’ts to all your social customer service team).
  • Defining tone of voice in order to interact with customers with many channels, yet with one single voice.
  • Training our staff on social platform(s) technically and tactically.

As well as externally to:

  • Inform your customers clearly about your business hours (especially if you cannot provide a 24/7 support).
  • Let them know what kind of information you shall provide thru social channels (otherwise they’ll assume you will assist them for any kind of need).
  • Offer also alternative, traditional channels such as email and phone (stating business of course).

TIP: Don’t leave anything untold nor implicit; excellent customer service is based on clear communications in order to build trust.

Build and promote your Company culture

Company culture

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Building a strong reputation based on excellent customer service is the best way to promote the value of your brand and show what lies behind the logo of your Company. Moreover if you add a human touch to any interaction with customers regardless the channel,  your customers will perceive your brand as a community of people with the same purpose, instead of a ‘money-machine with a fake-smiling attitude’.

Start taking care of your employees’ wellness so that they will feel motivated and will take care good care of your customers. Build and promote your company values everyday, in every interaction.

If you want to be trusted by customers don’t say that you care, show it.

TIP: if you’re looking for a good example of build a successful company culture, learn from Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

Your Turn

At the end of the day, social networks are just channels to interact with customers; it’s how you fill such empty envelopes that makes the difference.

  • How do you make a difference with your customers?
  • What’s your secret sauce to build trust?

I’d really love to read your view about it.

Thanks for reading this.


Image attribution: Lead Image origin unknown (multiple sources)

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Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. Paolo has been helping companies to harness digital customer service as a business driver. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture, author of books and speaker at conferences in Italy and abroad. Lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan