Social customer care has become a true business necessity. New investments in technologies and organizational changes to support this evolution are inevitable for companies that want to outsmart the competition. While it’s easy to get confused about what really matters, take time to evaluate where you can provide value to your customers.
Organizing your social media team will continue to be important. Companies agree social customer service is the new standard, the level of service has increased and will continue to rise in the future. In the next year, stakes will get higher. According to research by Forrester, consumers will increase their interaction with brands, especially for customer service issues.
Here are the four commandments your social customer team should follow to ensure they continue to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing social media world:
1. Use Common Sense
Contrary to popular beliefs, social media and providing customer care is not rocket science. Brands underestimate the power of using your common sense to handle your customers’ issues. Fortunately, social media has opened up the opportunity for brands to act human again and forge one-on-one relationships.
Every time your social customer care team sends out a tweet and responds to customers, they represent the face of the brand. So make every interaction count. Brands need to find a way to maintain the authority they already established for themselves, and be human and relevant at the same time. Before you publish or respond to something, take that into account. When you are in doubt if something is appropriate or if you’re using the right language, quickly run it by someone on your social media team and don’t overthink it. Social media should be a ‘no fear’ zone where team members can rely on each other to trust their gut instinct.
2. Stop Working in Silos, Social Media Is NOT a Department
Although you are talking to people on social media, companies often forget to be social in the workspace as well. Companies often believe customer care is only the responsibility of customer service or marketing. Social media should be embedded in the entire company, and astonishingly, shouldn’t be seen as a department. Social media is often handled by the marketing department, which means they don’t know what the other departments are doing. Don’t shut them out in establishing your social media presence. Every department (PR, Sales, HR, R&D, etc.) has something valuable to bring to the table.
3. Leave NO Complaint Unattended
In 2015, make sure you can keep a complete overview of your brand and customers and don’t let anyone or anything slip through the cracks. That way, you can really show how much you care and prove it’s your mission to leave NO complaint unattended. Assist your customers throughout the process, follow up and make sure to swiftly address an issue. When it’s resolved, tweet back to them to let them know you handled the situation. Effectively managing that process of the “ping pong” back and forth is KEY.
Word travels swiftly, so make sure to respond quickly, especially during crisis situations. Each minute counts. Slow responses will dramatically affect your brand’s reputation.
4. Start Reaching Out Proactively
Instead of just responding reactively, reach out proactively. This is not only a great way to manage your reputation, but to increase traffic to your website, and therefore, boost sales.
To really have your head in the game, don’t just take care of your customers and let them come to you with complaints. Seize the opportunities where people talk about topics related to your brand and add value to the conversation. Don’t ignore review sites, branded communities, etc. and engage your team members in helping your customers out. Having a knowledge hub that is easily searchable will be crucial to serve as a type of self-service customer care. Directing people to these pages is very effortless.
The key to great customer service is to actively and proactively provide customer support. Great customer service truly is great marketing for your brand. In today’s business world, customers have the power to make or break your company. They will easily flock to a competitor if your service isn’t up to standards. Premium-level social customer care that results in a better customer experience will not only improve customer satisfaction, but increase loyalty and boost customer retention as well. Your employees are your biggest assets, so make sure they are on the same page!
Any other social customer service commandments that you would add?