With the average person now spending more time daily using social media over any other online activity, it is no surprise that social channels such as Twitter and Facebook have become strong customer service tools for businesses of all sizes.
‘Social Care’ presents many challenges for B2B and B2C businesses but it also offers an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction, boost sales and grow customer loyalty. You see, customer expectations are growing year on year. In too many instances customers are asked to fill out a contact form, send an email or find and call a phone number. Quite often this can be a frustrating and time consuming process. Not only that but on many occasions the query is not dealt with which can lead to customer dissatisfaction and an increase in churn.
What does this tell you? Businesses need to be where their customers are and need to offer a high level of customer service, and here are some of the reasons why!
Humanise your Brand
People buy people, and people like to do business with people they like. With Social Media, customers know they are getting a response from a person rather than an automated email response. This automatically humanises your business or brand. Businesses have time to think about a response and can present it in a casual, helpful and conversational tone.
For me, I know I would like a swift response to a query online, but also it is the little things like a bit of humour thrown in that can go a long way. At the end of the day people are on social networks because they like to socialise. Hence they are likely to tell others of their experience, be it positive or negative. If I get a swift helpful reply with a joke thrown in then I am going to tell people for sure. The knock on effects are huge. “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice”.
Obviously there will be occasions where a disgruntled customer will vent their anger online. This is an opportunity for you and your business to deal with it in a helpful, sympathetic manner and do everything in your power to resolve the issue. Resolving an issue in this way, in the public sphere, will only enhance your brand. By no means should you go head to head with a customer, even if they are wrong, as this could cause somewhat of a backlash.
What customers in this day and age expect when dealing with customer service is a swift and helpful response. Unfortunately in many instances this is not the case. Email can often be a long drawn out process where your mail is read, sorted and replied to within 48 hours. Telephone, as well, can be very frustrating. We have all been in a situation where we are on hold for 30 minutes, listening to some crappy music or there is a recorded message which is a useful as a chocolate teapot.
According to a recent Accenture study 66% of global consumers stopped doing business with a provider and switched to another in the last year due to a poor customer service experience.
The beauty of social media is that it can be so instant. Your social media team will receive a notification once a query has been made. Ensuring your team are ready to reply in a swift matter makes all the difference and will keep the customer happy, which should be every business’ number 1 priority, right?
Increase in Sales
Shock horror, what is this? Providing a good service could lead to increased sales..who would have thought?? 😜 That is right folks, the results are in. Managed correctly, the benefits of providing awesome customer service over social media are huge.
According to a recent Bain and Company study, when businesses engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company.
Not only that but customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand (Harvard Business Review).
I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of those apples!
There is no doubt that dealing with customer queries can leave a business vulnerable. However the rewards on offer are much greater. ‘Social Care’ offers an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction, boost sales, grow customer loyalty and increase brand awareness. It is no surprise that 67% of companies believe that social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for the contact centre (Forrester)
Below I have included some popular examples of good and bad customer service.
Airlines have to be on top of their game when it comes to social media. As we know, delayed flights are a common occurence and people often take to social media to vent their frustrations. Here, American airline JetBlue responds to a customer’s dissatisfaction in a prompt manner. This goes a long way to enhance customer loyalty in a tricky situation. It is important to engage with both happy and unhappy customers.
Xbox holds the Guinness world record for “most responsive brand on Twitter”. Who even knew there even was such a thing. Their team works tirelessly to respond to customer queries, solve issues and keep everyone up to date with the latest news and releases. Quite the feat, these guys know how to do it!!
As we have seen above, airlines receive plenty of queries, abuse and compliments on social media. However not all airlines are as good as JetBlue when it comes to ‘Social Care’. British Airways show us how not to deal with customer dissatisfaction. They have been coming under attack for quite some time for their poor customer service.
And finally….well what can I say about this one….