How are Brands Applying Social Customer Service?
In today’s day-and-age, the competitive environment has led to some startling realizations:
New business is good. Repeat business is even better.
While customer acquisition might be cost-effective – fostering a deeper sense of customer loyalty is profitable.
Catering to the masses brings in volume, but connecting with customers one-on-one in a personalized capacity brings quality to the table.
And brands can achieve all this and more by connecting with their customers on their social media channels (think: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
Social Media as an Effective Channel for Customer Service: A Perspective
“61% of the organizations believe that social customer service will be one of the top-5 technologies for digital strategy by 2020.” – Digital Marketing Institute
In this section, we will look at how global brands and smaller businesses are leveraging social media customer service to boost revenues, customer happiness, and the overall brand value in the eyes of the customer.
- Acquire Live Chat for Enhanced Social Media Customer Service.
“71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if they have a positive experience with it on social media.”
First things first, ask yourself this question: “What do my customers do on my social media platforms?”
Are they there to review your product/leave their feedback by sharing pictures, posts, and videos of your product/service?
Are they there to ask questions and queries they have about your offering?
Are they there seeking useful and practical content about your brand?
The short answer is all of the above.
Customers are increasingly using social media channels to voice their concerns, opinions, and thoughts about your brand. So why not capitalize on this opportunity to offer a 24×7 handy virtual guide such as Acquire’s live chat software for your customer’s convenience?
Here’s how the platform works:
You can streamline your customer service on different social media channels (read: Twitter, Facebook, etc.) from a centralized Acquire dashboard to make the conversations seamless and friction-free:
Here’s the beauty of it: Your customers won’t need to leave the platform, and your agents won’t have to log into the platform, making the process more efficient and convenient. After all, no one likes to juggle between different sources of communication to speak to a customer representative.
Added benefits include:
- Connecting with customers on a deeper level to enhance user satisfaction.
- Accessing customer information from a single interface.
- Picking up conversations with users right where they left off and communicating with context.
- Providing customer support on-the-go with mobile functionality.
- Extending a shorter, more personalized form of customer experience that users have come to love and expect.
“The average wait time on social media is nine hours.”
Key takeaway: For the always-on customer of today, your brand needs to be omnipresent, especially on social media platforms, which are exploding by the minute. By integrating live chat into your CX strategy, you can streamline your operations and provide efficient customer service from start to finish.
- UGC Reinforces a Positive, More Authentic Brand Image
“Friends and colleagues’ endorsements, discussed in real life or through Twitter and Facebook updates, are more likely to drive sales than even a positive user review posted on a site like Yelp or Amazon (but those matter, too).” – Jason Mittelstaedt, Yellowstone Growth Partners
It’s true that most companies dread the idea of customers posting ‘honest’ bad feedback on social media channels. However, the opposite is true for positive feedback, as well. Despite the barrage of online advertisements and digital marketing campaigns, word-of-mouth publicity still holds a special place in every customer’s heart. This is where user-generated content (UGC) plays a vital part. It instills a sense of brand authenticity and allows the users to view the brand in a more honest light:
All in all, people trust the opinion of their near-and-dear ones in addition to trusting micro-influencers (people with a following larger than 100,000) who engage with users on a more personal level:
This helps establish a deeper connection with the brand and turns customers into brand advocates.
Additionally, brands can also go a step further to define their Key Performance Indicators and keep the platform transparent:
You can also make use of social media monitoring tools to evaluate your customer satisfaction or brand perceptiveness.
Key takeaway: Social media platforms have become potent channels for customers to share their opinion and reviews about a brand. Customers love brands that engage with them with honest and even apologetic communication as it makes the brand feel more ‘human’ and ‘real.’ Add to the mix, user-generated content, and you’ve got a clear winner at hand for driving authentic user engagement.
- Social CX Drives Quality Engagement
This one’s a no-brainer. Customers feel more comfortable engaging with brands in a more ‘public‘ setting and an open platform such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. as opposed to conversing with the brand in a private chat window.
To that end, brands that have mastered the art of connecting with users in the right voice, style, and tone will be the ones that’ll emerge victorious in the long run. Take Nike’s case, for instance. The brand’s tone is patient and sympathetic:
- Plus the brand’s Twitter page clearly states that it offers multi-lingual support in order to cater to a more global audience easily:
- It’s impossible to not include Starbucks in this list. The company’s CX team ensures that every customer feels heard and responds to queries instantly. That’s not all. The brand likes to have with witty and fun responses don’t seem auto-generated at all:
Here’s another use-case of the benefits of driving social engagement. Starbucks periodically retweets conversations around the brand to drive the social media narrative around the brand’s offerings:
Key takeaway: Believe it or not, but even established brands take years to master the art of qualitative engagement. In an age where people are constantly second-guessing the authenticity and true value of online posts, driving quality-led conversation is key. Luckily, there are plenty of brands to take inspiration from.
- Social CX can help Brands to Establish a ‘Feedback Loop’
‘Americans are more likely to post about good experiences (53%) than poor experiences (35%) on social media.”
Tying back to point number 2, this strategy highlights the importance of acting on your customer’s feedback instead of simply engaging in ‘social listening.’ Interestingly, there are plenty of brands who actually take their customer’s word seriously – consider the following real-life examples if you don’t believe us:
- Starbucks set up a dedicated web page to factor in important customer feedback that showed potential after a customer tweeted feedback about their rewards program:
- After facing social pressure on Facebook to change the name of one its signature breads, Sainsbury’s took the advice of a 3-year old and acted on the little one’s feedback!:
The brand also acknowledged that this change came from a customer:
- In another brilliant example, hotel resort Gaylord Opryland wowed its loyal customer by surprising her with a free gift that the customer was long looking for. Here’s how the conversations began on Twitter:
Notice how the brand could have easily left the conversation at the last image (shown above) but the brand went an extra mile to satisfy the customer and turn her into a brand loyalist:
No brownie points for guessing that the brand enjoyed positive publicity (and rightly so) after the endearing stunt they pulled off!
Key takeaway: As obvious as it may seem, most brands don’t tap into their customer’s feedback, thinking of it as inconsequential or simply lacking the time to do it – a big mistake if you ask us. It’s always better for the brand to be in the know when it comes to online conversation as these interactions can offer invaluable advice on where your brand stands in the customer’s eyes today and where you need improvement. All in all, unabashed reviews from customers is a positive thing even though it’s negative as it doubles us as an important learning curve in your company’s growth journey.
- Social CX is Effective & It Truly Works
“In 2017, 35% of customers reported reaching out to brands across social channels for sharing their concerns of which, 84% say they have received a response or resolution”.
Taking into consideration all the examples stated above, it is fair to assume that social cx works, albeit if done right. You can assist users in real-time with accurate and useful content in a playful and creative tone as Skyscanner does:
Notice how the brand isn’t afraid to go the creative route to offer personalized and funny responses instead of the same old templatized response (such a LOL, refreshing change):
Not surprisingly, this response received a staggering “9.2K” likes on Facebook.
- Did you know that the phrase “Netflix and Chill” didn’t originate from the brand itself – it was given to the brand by the users themselves. In an ingenious effort, Netflix capitalized on this and engaged users on its social media platform – speaking their audience’ language (quite literally):
That’s not all. The brand ensures to keep its audience in the loop in case of any technical glitches or other issues so that the users are forever informed:
Key takeaway: When it comes to delivering exceptional CX, it’s always helpful to be upfront and accept your brand’s shortcomings instead of dodging posts and leaving users high-and-dry. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach with social CX – it all depends on your brand’s inherent values and characteristics that the customers understand and embrace in equal measure.
“People want this level of engagement from the companies with which they do business … even the best of what formerly passed for good customer service is no longer enough. You have to be no less than a customer concierge, doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard. You have to make them feel special, just like when your great-grandmother walked into Butcher Bob’s shop or bought her new hat, and you need to make people who aren’t your customers wish they were. Social media gives businesses the tools to do that for the first time in a scalable way.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy”
Here’s the long and short of it: If you wish to make your customers feel special, appreciated, and heard, engaging in social customer service is key. In fact, it has emerged as an ongoing process – right from assisting customers during sales to delivering a care-led customer service during follow-ups.
And the buck doesn’t stop there. Brands need to continually engage with users and offer true value in the form of rewards, seamless CX, the like. Companies also need to keep up with the changing social media trends and keep altering their social CX strategy, or they risk falling behind. Finally, there’s no standard rule to drafting a killer social customer service strategy – as long as you’re genuine, personally invested, and know-how to speak in the right tone as well as in a language that your audience understands. Thoughts?
Author’s Bio: Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate and out of the box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. She is working as a Digital Marketer and Content writer at Acquire. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results is her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn