We have entered 2019 and successfully completed the first month yet it’s still amazing to hear there are still companies out there with little to no active social customer service at all. And no, contacting brands on social media only to be passed on to the sales team does not come under social customer service.
So, if you too are among those paying little attention to your social media profile, it’s time to think again because you are missing out on something big here. Let’s check out some facts here.
The number of internet users grew out to 4.021 billion last year which is up by 7% as compared to 2017. Out of this, 3.196 billion were actively involved in social media which is up by 13% as compared to 2017. Now, that’s quite a lot of customers and would-bes if you ask me, summing up to that many wasted opportunities.
Importance of Social Media Customer Service
Over the years, more and more consumers are using social media to resolve their customer service related issues out of which the majority prefer using telephone, email, or live chat to contact brands over social media. Recent studies also show that customer inquiries on social media are on the rise as well with customer service conversations nearly doubled in the past couple of years. Here are some more facts worth noticing.
- 80% of consumers use social media to engage with brands.
- Customers receiving a positive response on social media not only spend more but recommend more the brand.
- More than half the customers prefer social messaging channels over phone or email.
- It costs much more to resolve a customer query on social than via a call center.
So, now that we understand the importance of social customer service i.e. how the customers receiving favorable service helps increase advocacy, let’s see how to integrate this service into our current marketing strategies.
How to Include social media in day-to-day business operations
First and foremost, be available on social media. If you want to see your brand on social media, it needs to be actively, constantly and consistently visible on social media. Do not think of social media as a promotion platform, instead, use it as a means for listening and engaging with existing and would-be customers by answering their questions, help to resolve their issues etc.
Next thing you can do is integrate social media data with other channels in order to make the customers’ journey more richer. The different ways you can implement social customer service are-
#1. By responding immediately
Whether it’s the social media or any other form of support service, the key to customer satisfaction always relies on immediacy. That’s why a brand needs to respond within minutes because that’s what customers expect from it.
Think of it more as an opportunity to connect, engage and leave a lasting positive impression that will further help drive loyalty. Also, the chances of customers recommending that brand improve significantly.
#2. By being consistent
Consistency is one of the most important tools that can help a brand provide a great experience to its customers not only because it builds trust but also because it perfectly illustrates what the customers can expect from a brand. Moreover, it helps drive loyalty, advocacy, retention while acquiring new customers in the process.
#3. By personalizing the experience
The majority of the brands’ entrepreneurs build revolve around helping their customers understand themselves better. But driving loyalty isn’t easy, it requires authenticity along with empathy to create experiences that help you connect and engage on a more deeper and personal level, leaving your customers with a happy feeling.
#4. By being proactive
If you think social customer service is only about resolving issues timely and effectively, think more. It also about anticipating needs and acting accordingly. But to pull something like this, you need to regularly monitor customer activities on social media to determine the proper time to engage with the customer.
It also serves as an excellent opportunity to gain customers feedback and to encourage them to share experiences with social networks.
#5. By sharing insights with other organizational teams
By sharing the information with other stakeholders that you obtain from engaging with customers on social media can vastly improve the customer experience. These insights can easily be acted upon and improvements to existing processes can be made so as to further enhance customer experiences.
#6. By measuring and monitoring
By using metrics such as CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), CES (Customer Effort Score), NES (Net Promoter Score) etc., one can easily measure the social customer service you are offering to your customers. So, be a bit methodical and learn about the various KPIs you need to achieve the desired results.
It not only helps measure but also monitors and analyze various trends so as to make certain improvements in order to enhance a customer’s experience.
With the right preparation and various digital listening tools and channels available to us today, we are more than capable of delivering a seamless experience to our customers, offering them such power and influence never before experienced by them.
Now, it is up to you to treat social media as just a promotional platform or to reach ahead and make the most out of it, taking the digital community to the next level. Just remember, the key here is to keep your customers happy by engaging with them as often and as quickly as possible.