Emerging technology has raised the stakes in the way we conduct business today. The consumer has now taken a primary role in forming company’s product lines and service offerings. The fostering of customer relationships is evolving; communication with consumers must be superb.
Consumers have the capability to flood the web and social media platforms with complaints; therefore, social customer service agents must be on their toes at all times, ready to respond to the daily demands of consumers.
Why Master the New Wave of Social Media Customer Service
Most recently, Simply Measured released findings from a study showing 99% of brands have active Twitter accounts. Consumers who didn’t previously connected with a company’s choice of social media now have capability to connect at any time and from anywhere. From there the potential to deliver excellent customer service through social media is endless.
Social media is one of the least expensive and widely used marketing tools in business today; it is for anyone and everyone. With the overflow of easily accessible “How to…” web tutorials for almost any topic; any company can become a master of social media customer service.
Social media platforms are non-discriminatory towards one industry or another, despite some common misconceptions; there are channels and platforms on the web for any product or service.
The three major benefits of mastering social media customer service are; building superior brand loyalty, instantaneous customer responses, and maintaining lasting customer relationships.
Benefit #1: Building Superior Brand Loyalty
Through the various social media platforms and analytical tools companies are able to have a deep understanding of what their customers really want. Enabling them to connect with their customers effective and efficiently. The tone is now set for the customer relationship and their feelings towards the company and its product or service offerings.
The more the social customer service representative appeals to the wants of the customer, no matter how radical or bizarre they may seem, the easier it is for them to identify with the brand. In essence by making the customer feel they are the number one priority translates to a strong bond of brand loyalty with that customer.
For example, Peter Shankman sent this Tweet…
…and then this happened!
Benefit #2: Instantaneous Customer Responses
As technology evolves almost daily and products and services are improved, customers are able to provide feedback to companies through social media platforms. This allows companies to truly digest how the customer feels and take their suggestions for improvements. With a properly trained social media customer service team, companies are able to dive deep into the comments or concerns of customers and act quickly to find resolution.
This innovative way of customer service communication allows for corporate accountability and responsibility to come into play, further attracting customers to companies. It also is beneficial in a way that top level executives are now able to see first-hand how consumers feel as well, allowing for better performance from the company overall.
Benefit #3: Maintaining Lasting Customer Relationships
Thanks to social media gurus such as the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, companies are now able to connect with their prospects, current customers, and often times prior customers through the various platforms and 24-hour accessibility. Making consumers feel as if they are the company’s number one priority gives them a sense of importance and establishes trust. Differentiating your brand in business today and maintaining relevancy is of utmost importance.
Mastering social customer service with a knowledgeable well trained team to handle the online communities, platforms, etc. is the ideal way to encourage the building of better brand loyalty, rapid customer feedback, and maintaining customer relationships that are meaningful and long lasting.
How to Master the New Wave of Social Media Customer Service
Now we have dove deep into why social media customer service is important, you may be asking yourself, where do I start? Here is a brief eight step how to guide. Keep in mind the desired result is to handle queries in manner of which the customer relationship is not damaged.
1. Respond to every post
It is important to reply to every customer correspondence, regardless if it is a complaint or they are praising the company. Consumers want to feel as if their voice is being heard. By giving even the shortest response, you will have won them over.
Plus, keeping in close communication with your customers is the ideal way to prevent chargebacks. Customers see social media as a way to communicate with you. If you don’t take their comments seriously, you could miss out on a prime opportunity to head off a problem before it gets costly.
Many companies that manage chargebacks (these people, for example) will tell you the best way to prevent chargebacks is to offer superb customer service.
2. Start small
Keep the social media customer service representatives in proportion to the number of inquiries you receive daily. It is imperative that they are trained properly to handle customer complaints, so over staffing should be avoided to ensure proper training is given. Additionally, the number of messages you receive daily will allow you to gauge this as well.
3. Problem solving
Now that you have the proper team ready to handle your social media platforms, you are able to measure their performance based on correspondence with customers. Ensuring the problem or question is resolved in a timely manner is important, but moreover finding the right information.
Generally speaking, the response time a representative has is approximately 16 to 17 minutes from when the query was assigned to them.
5. Inbox Zero
This refers to the amount of incoming messages a firm sees on their social media at any given time. If the representatives are working live chats your company should strive to have the inbox at zero as fast as possible.
Ensuring the representatives do not give too many of the same generic responses is imperative. However, it is a slippery slope because you also want to ensure certain complaints are handled in the same manner.
While standardized auto- responses are easy and often preferred you want to make sure the customer feels engaged in the conversation as well. Train your team to dive deep into the dialect and make the customer feel like their correspondence is essential to your company.
Mastering social media customer service allows processes to be streamlined and makes for an efficient way of communication. By following the seven rules of implementation you should find yourself a social media master in no time.