As the world becomes more and more dependent on social media, brands are now using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their customers. Marketing is no longer the most important way to reach customers on these networks, and social customer service is quickly becoming a useful – and necessary – tool to meet customer expectations.
Many Internet users turn to social media to write positive comments about their experiences, but a significant number of people use it to let their complaints be heard publicly. These negative comments can be very detrimental to a company’s reputation, especially if they are not handled accordingly. The correct response from a customer service team can make a huge impact.
The biggest cause of social media crises in the last decade has been the exposure of poor customer experiences that were shared online. Ignoring complaints or issues that arise on a company’s social media page can be very bad for business, but effective social customer service brings real benefits. In fact, research has shown us that 91% of people agree that social customer service is a positive thing for customers.
The three main expectations that customers have for companies on social media are:
- Be fast. A social customer service team’s performance can be measured by their response times and the number of queries answered.
- Be useful. First contact resolution is the key to customer satisfaction from Customer Service. The right tools and processes help companies to get queries to the right team member, as quickly as possible so that helpful answers can be delivered straight through social media.
- Be friendly. Tone of voice is the most important, and the most difficult, challenge to master for social customer service teams. It’s important to deliver genuine, professional help, but in keeping with the ways in which your customers reach out through social platforms.
The demand for social customer service is rapidly growing, due to the convenience it offers consumers. We’re shifting our online activity into social networks, and there’s no reason why our interactions with companies shouldn’t follow. Developments in mobile technology make it even easier for people to be constantly connected, and in order to keep up with their customers, businesses will need to incorporate social media into their customer service agendas. In order to move forward, companies must become truly socialized – and it all begins with the establishment of a dedicated social customer service team. Consider the following graphic that highlights the challenge and opportunity for brands (large and small) to use social media to solve customer problems.
You can download Conversocial’s Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service here, where we’ve shared a series of practical steps on how businesses can get efficient social customer service teams running, based on lessons from companies with advanced social customer service programs.