Customer service has and continues to evolve. No question about it. Instead of returning to a store or calling a helpline, people are increasingly turning to social media to resolve their gripes. It is called social customer care. Are you keeping up?
I am always doing that which I cannot do so that I may learn how to do it.
Check out our thoughts on customer focus.
Here are ten steps we recommend to implement which can make your social customer care the best it can be:
Social media customer service strategy
Good research is a necessity. Set your search queries, study the results and look for trends. This will help you determine what consumers are thinking and saying and what channels are most important for your business. It will also help you determine how to allocate your resources to the best places.
Social customer service
A monitoring solution needs to combine social media listening with customer engagement. Most
businesses considerably underestimate the work involved. There are many very good tools that can help reduce workload and permit your best effort.
Set up a listening program
Consider the terms you will monitor very carefully. Obvious listen for your brand name along with other terms, most of which should relate to current business tasks and events.
Connect your channels
Conversations with and between consumers spread quickly between social media channels.
Focus on priorities
Keep a close eye on your resources to ensure you are placing them on your most important issues.
Meet customer expectations
Without an effective social media listening program in place, brands cannot hope to consumer needs. Listen closely and keep up. The environment is changing and becoming a world of near real-time communications.
Connect with customers and then move closer. You learn most when you build close relationships with your customers.
Never overlook details
There are few details that are ‘unimportant.’ Until you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, it is difficult to know the importance of details.
Look for connections
Particularly focus on connections between seemingly unrelated observations. Keep iterating and building the puzzle of facts and their relationships.
Social customer care … apply etiquette
Be sensitive to your customer needs. Judge whether they want your help and engagement before you jump in.
Related post: 10 Ways to Employ Customer Experience for Influence
Putting a priority on social customer care? It turns out to be well aligned with customer insight analysis. The information derived from customers is vital to continually improving your business. The data gathered through social media monitoring yield insights that simply aren’t available elsewhere.
Let’s take an example, this one coming from Fred Reichheld, a Fellow at the management consultancy firm Bain & Company:
One of my favorite examples of this happened at Rackspace, the managed hosting and cloud computing company. An employee on the phone with a customer during a marathon troubleshooting session heard the customer tell someone in the background that they were getting hungry.
As the employee tells it:
“So I put them on hold, and I ordered them a pizza. About 30 minutes later, we were still on the phone, and there was a knock on their door. I told them to answer it because it was pizza! They were so excited.”
While the cost of the gifts/actions is quite small, the human mind simply cannot refuse the construct of simple reciprocity. Reciprocity can be summed up as our natural inclination to feel grateful for favors and our desire to “pay them back,” no matter how small they are.
Another thing that we consider about reciprocity is that research has shown us that the intentions of the ‘giver’ can affect the perceived value of the gift. This is why random acts of kindness ideas work so well:
Customers perceive the service as a genuine act of kindness rather than as you trying to buy their affection with costly gifts.
So remember, it doesn’t take huge expenses to win customers over!
You can’t over prepare on continually improving your customer’s experiences.
Remember, customers create the most value for you … when you create the most value for them.
What are some of your experiences with social customer care in your business?
Please share an experience with this community.
Need some help in building better customer trust from your customer experiences? Creative ideas to help grow your customer relationships?
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Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas to make your customer experiences better.
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Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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