Any business that wants to provide top-notch customer care has to be active on the most popular social media sites.
Companies of all sizes are upping its customer service ante by being readily available on social media. Because customers like being able to interact with brands on sites like Facebook and Twitter, companies are finding that those that extend their customer support to the social media realm tend to have better reputations than those that don’t.
According to Forbes contributor Daniel Newman, “brands will increasingly recognise that social media is no longer an isolated marketing channel used primarily to sell their product or service. What once served primarily as a platform to increase sales is now a meeting space, and has become part of the brand experience itself.”
That’s why it’s important to recognise that social media platforms are not just for marketing and advertising. In fact, you are likely to lose followers quickly if your company does not engage with its audience in the social realm. Engagement means asking your audience for their opinions, comments, suggestions and ideas on how to improve your offering for them.
A survey by Bain & Co. estimated that 89% of businesses rely on customer service as their primary means of competition. With so many similar brands on the market, efficiency and affinity are major factors in the survival of your business.
Here are some pointers on how to get it right on social media:
Above all, listen to the customer
Proactive listening is one of the most powerful elements of social media. Listen to what people on social media are saying about you, about your business, and even about your competitors. It’s an excellent way to learn about problems or opportunities you might otherwise not be aware of. You can then respond, helping to solve problems, or take advantage of new opportunities.
Mind your culture
Employees convey the voice of your brand on social media, so it is extremely important to have a positive corporate culture in which employees feel respected and appreciated. Happy employees are far better at customer service than dissatisfied ones.
Know your audience
A successful customer experience happens when brands pay attention to who they are talking to, what type of message they want to get across, how this aligns with broader objectives, and how results will be measured.
In the digital world, customers expect instant answers. If you cannot respond immediately, at least let them know you are working on the answer. And then be sure to follow up so that customers know you take them seriously. Get your business to stand out from the rest by providing personalised feedback. Importantly, use these interactions to improve your business and address the customer pain points that are revealed. Otherwise, they will wonder what the point is of engaging with you.
Products and services are pushed on customers all day, so if they do not like the way you do business, they will easily find a replacement. This is why treating social media as a means to serve the customer, and enhance their overall buying experience, is vital to business success in the future. By doing so, you can create loyalty and the ability to communicate your commitment to your customers.
Consider a separate ‘brand handle’ to support your customers. For example, on Twitter, Nike’s brand handle is @Nike, but in addition, it has created another handle to manage customer service, which is @NikeSupport. Many brands do this to help separate support and complaint issues from general conversations between customers and the brand.