Be a Customer Care Standout on Social Media
Most companies look at social media in one of two ways; as a viable opportunity to increase the awareness of their brand (through advertising or engagement) or as a complete waste of time. Customer care, however, is another way to leverage the popularity of social media among an audience of prospects and customers and the benefits that it can provide in many ways outweighs the cost and perceived distraction that social media is so often defined by. Need evidence of the role that customer service and customer care plays? Consider the following:
- 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to.
- 76% of consumers are likely to recommend the brand following friendly service.
- 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their query within the hour, but the average is 1 hour 24 minutes.
Facebook, a far more expansive social network, also presents opportunities for brands to connect, engage and delight their audience of prospects and customers:
- One-third (32%) of Facebook users engage with brands regularly.
- 5 billion comments are left on Facebook pages monthly.
- 42% of customer service responses happen during the first 60 minutes.
Based on these statistics alone, it’s becoming obvious to brands that they simply can’t ignore engaging with their audience for the purpose of customer service.
Respond to Customers Quickly: It is very common for customers to complain on social networks but most businesses fail to respond to communication on these networks - often for fear of making the situation worse. Most of the time however, users just want to feel that they are being heard. When companies respond to those leaving feedback in a timely manner and in a polite tone, they gain control and win over customers on the virtual fence.
Respond to Customers Correctly: One of the most dangerous aspects of social media customer care is coming off in a way that does not address the actual needs of the audience. Responding to customers quickly is important but doing so in a way that addresses the problem and provides some form of resolution (or at least intends to) is a sure fire way to Situational Prioritization: The volume of social media communication can quickly become overwhelming. Developing a system to prioritize responding to the most critical messages ensures a more satisfied client base in general and minimizes the negative impact of problems as they arise. Considering setting up auto replies on Twitter or Facebook to handle all messages and then develop a system to prioritize which should be handled immediately and which can wait depending on tone, urgency or sensitivity. Doing so enables brands to handle the most critical situations first (identifying serious potential issues in the process) and save the feel good, promotional engagement-related replies for a later time.
Redirect Sensitive Conversations: There are times when dialogue between a social user/client/customer and a company just is not going to be resolved. Conversations with disgruntled customers can quickly escalate if not handled quickly or correctly but can be worsened for the company by keeping those sensitive discussions available in the public. The best way to handle issues best reserved for private is to simply take it offline. Ask the customer to send you a direct/private message or provide them a phone number, perhaps even your a vanity phone number for maximum impact, so they can speak directly to a company representative.
Emphasize the Positive: A major part of being a standout brand on social media is giving prospects and customers of your company a reason to follow you - and what’s better than a positive story! Retweeting or sharing positive responses or issues that have been resolved in a satisfactory way creates a positive image while helping others to resolve their own issues.
Achieving Exceptional Social Customer Service Social media is a powerful medium to connect with customers - both prospects and existing clients. Regular, rigorous, and attentive monitoring is essential but there is a lot more that brands can do to ensure they are seen as social media superstars when it comes to customer care. Respond quickly and correctly, prioritize messages which may be particularly problematic or rewarding, take sensitive conversations off social media channels, and never forgot to foster a positive perception of your brand by resharing compliments from customers and their success stories. These guidelines are but a foundation for an exceptional social customer service initiative; there are nuances to social conversations - but treating customers and prospects the same way that you would like to be treated will go a very long way to being a genuine standout on this important digital marketing channel. ...
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