...latest news

Uncovering Brand Advocates through Social Customer Care

Social customer care is the new handshake and “how do you do?” that has the ability to convert customers into brand advocates and loyal customers. With engagement the new name in the metric game for marketers, brands are rapidly trying all that they can to build a social footprint that engages the consumer and fosters brand loyalty.

For any brand that prides itself on providing good customer service to its army of brand advocates offline, it’s a no-brainer that this should be the case online too.

 

Timeliness is Key

Responsiveness on social is fundamental for any brand looking to build a solid reputation for good customer care. If a customer query or complaint is left unanswered for a week, it will further upset the customer, who by this time, has probably told more people in their social circles about the negative experience than if a resolution was offered in a reasonable amount of time. Timeliness is key i.e. getting in there promptly and engaging with the customer to make sure you find a resolution as quickly as possible.

 

Listen

Customer service is a two-way street and social media facilitates that.  It allows brands to be personable and put a more human face on social care (if done right). A customer may just want to vent, so brands need to listen first, before engaging. Too often, brands fire back in defence mode without taking on board what the customer is actually saying. A scripted customer service ‘holding’ response for common complaints may be a time-savvy way to respond to as many interactions as possible, but what they lack, is a human side and a sympathetic ear. If a customer wants something fixed, then they need to feel that action will be taken. The end game to any complaint must always be a resolution.

 

Create a Team That Can

Social media is an empowering tool for any brand, but it can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Be sure that you are using social media for the right purpose and aren’t just creating profiles for the sake of checking the social media box. A rich and dedicated team is at the heart of any social customer service team, so make sure you have the people behind it to make it work. If you create a social account that’s customer service heavy, then the rule is simple: you are always on. Ensure someone is there who has their eyes on it all the time, because otherwise it’s a waste. A robust team that’s prepped to monitor social streams will ensure responses are not only timely but personable. Template answers can serve a purpose but don’t be afraid to be more personable as less rigid responses go a long way to boosting customer sentiment.

Social media teams need to listen from the viewpoint of the customer, lend a sympathetic ear and possess the ability to talk to them about their issues from the customer perspective.

 

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Almost all businesses put a huge focus on competitor research, and almost all sectors have consumer review sites where customers share their positive and negative experiences. As brand guardians, we watch out for brand specific mentions in daily newspapers, magazines, radio and television, we need to ensure that we are ‘always on’ and tuned in to what competitors are doing. If all your rivals to have special offer or promotions that are getting great traction, it might be worth considering launching one, or you could miss out on custom.

 

Think Before Hitting the Delete Button:

Unless your customers are posting profane or offensive content, it is never a good idea to delete posts. Every negative post is an opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service and communications skills while also improving your relationship with the customer.

Brands that are successful on social media fully understand the power of engaging with customers even those who have a negative taste in their mouth.  And while it may seem challenging at the time, just as occurs in the offline world, it is extremely rewarding to see a negative post or opinion of your brand evolve into a positive one, especially as your whole community get to witness it.

 

The key to effective and successful social customer care is ensuring what you’re putting out there as a brand is what your customers want, and not what you think they want. Getting to this point means getting your social team and your timing right.  It’s a combination of dedication, forward thinking, and as always with exemplary customer service, having a commitment to finding a positive resolution.

 

Orlagh Ryan is a Consultant at MCsquared and Murray, Ireland’s leading strategic branding communication consultancy. 

 

 

Comments are closed.