Building social customer care is so much more than replying to messages. Create a unique customer experience, add personality, listen to what your customers are saying and leverage this data. Follow our 10 steps to win at social.
One of the hardest parts of creating a compelling social care strategy is finding solutions that will endure over time. What is the best way to engage with customers in an increasingly evolving industry? We talked to Justine Burgaud from TSC and Dan Gingiss, author of the book Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, about some of the long-term solutions they use to help companies provide excellent customer experience.
Although some of these suggestions can be applied as short-term fixes, integrating these into your companys strategic vision will help transform the way your organization delivers customer service. Here are ten long-term practices to stand out from the crowd and improve your approach to social customer care:
Update your guidelines and processes as time goes by. As your company continues to grow, its inevitable your business activities and brand will evolve as well. Take preset procedures for customer care and consistently adjust them so that they follow your journey and move with your image. Its essential that these guidelines change as your brand evolves, and as new products and services are introduced.
Social media is an incredible tool, but its easy to let messages fall through the cracks. Sometimes, customers will reach out to you via direct mentions, but at other times theyll talk about you online without even tagging your brand or reaching out to you directly. If youre not paying attention to those conversations, youre probably missing out on a lot of essential information. Use tools like Brandwatch and Synthesio to monitor direct and indirect mentions so that you can have a more complete perspective of what customers are saying about you.
Your customer care hours should be reflective of the products and services you offer. If youre a company that sells coffee machines, having opening hours early in the morning is beneficial since customers may reach out to you as they are having their morning coffee. If youre a company that sells mattresses, expanding hours to late at night could help you catch customers that have questions about their mattress before going to bed. Examine your business activities and set hours accordingly.
Strive to hire talent that already has a solid understanding of digital tools and social media for your customer care team. This could simply mean people that use social media on a regular basis, or who have had experience as community managers in the past. Having this type of talent on your team is beneficial in that they can train other members of the customer service team on best practices for moderation.
Make sure to integrate all of your social media profiles on one engagement platform so that you can actively track KPIs. If your agents are answering messages separately on Facebook and Twitter, you might miss important data, such as which issues customers are reaching out to you about the most. Use tools like Social Studio and Sprinklr to consolidate your social presence in one place and monitor engagement.
Your marketing and customer service team should be in direct communication with each other and work in tandem. After all, both teams are using the same tools to either publish content or interact with customers. When the marketing releases a digital marketing campaign, customers will respond on these digital channels and use that opportunity to leave comments or ask questions. The customer service team should work with the marketing team to monitor feedback and respond accordingly.
Contact centers are built for volume but in todays business climate, its essential to offer some degree of personalization let customers know that they matter. Train agents to respond within guidelines while also adding their own personalized messages and flair. Avoid pre-written messages that are copy-pasted throughout your social profiles. Customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty and commitment to you, answering their questions and concerns in a personalized way is the right way to acknowledge them.
Integrating social data into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is crucial in having a full understanding of who your customers are and what they want. Companies struggle to do so, especially those that receive millions of mentions, most of which end up being spam. But the ones that do it successfully make a massive difference in their customer experience. For example, if you were a hotel that received a request from a customer over social media for hypoallergenic pillows, you could integrate that data into your CRM and ensure that this customer has them in his room the next time they visit your hotel.
Whether youre in B2C or B2B marketing, in the end, youre speaking to another human being not a business. So when you respond to your B2B customers over social media, you should use the same guidelines and strategies for responding to questions and concerns as you would for B2C customers. Keep in mind that people reaching out to you are doing so because they care about what you do, even if its a complaint. If they didnt care, they wouldnt be reaching out. Serve your B2B customers in the same way as you would your B2C customers if you want their loyalty and business.
Finally, ensure that the data gathered through social media is turned into actionable learnings for the rest of the company. For example, if customers are always complaining about a specific feature or service, this information should be relayed to the product development and operations team. If a marketing campaign is published that customers find offensive or confusing, this should be communicated back to the marketing team. Social media is a very direct window to what customers want, and this information should not be ignored or dismissed.
Stay tuned for the next article in our series, where we will discuss some of the vital skills your customer care agents should have when interacting with customers on social media.
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