If you answered the headline with a yes – give yourself a major pat on the back. You are out there setting the standard for others to follow (And please, get in touch so we can get you signed on for a guest blog spot). If you answered “no, our social customer care is most definitely not kicking ass” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated five thought-provoking blogs that will help you get on the path to best-in-class social customer care. Whether you’re working with an outsourced strategic partner or whether you are operating with an in-house customer service solution, these posts are must-read content as you work on improving your customer experience on social media.
TL;DR: Having proactive social customer service can turn your angry customers into loyal ones. With a timely empathetic response to a sour situation, we can avoid viral social media blunders.
Shep Hyken has been in the customer service industry for years, so he’s like a seismograph measuring which trends are rocking the customer experience world. One of his recent posts looks at how customer service has gone from an alternative to primary customer channel, and how damaging it is for those companies lagging behind on the essentials of social media customer service.
He discusses six points that are a good reminder for any brand. Make sure to pay extra attention to his points about monitoring social media and proactively engaging with your community. If you’re already doing them, pat yourself on the back. If not, let’s get you up-to-speed.
If you don’t know where you came from, then you won’t know where you are or where you’ll be going. That’s at least the premise behind this Customer Think blog. It takes a look at the progression of customer service in recent years and how changes in consumer expectations might one day make social the dominant channel.
The 9 to 5 response has been replaced by 24/7 support, and single channel has made way for the omni-channel. What’s interesting are the brand examples Customer Think provides to show how to effectively transform your social customer service now and in the future (and if you want to read our take on the future of contact centers, read The Evolution of Self-Serve Customer Service).
From the perspective of this Entrepreneur blog, a brand’s choices on social media can lead to death by a thousand cuts. One misconceived tweet or weak customer experience can ripple outward to impact the perception of thousands of consumers, damaging your brand in small but expansive ways.
The post hits the importance of the role social plays in a brand’s public-facing presence and provides smart strategies to avoid customer interactions that lead to long-term damage. We especially appreciate the emphasis on establishing a clear social media process and hiring the right people (not too different from finding the ideal contact center agent profile).
This Marketing Land piece gives practical, in-the-trenches advice for companies as they put their social customer care into practice. When customers take their grievances to social media, they do so because they believe it’s the channel where their needs will get the most attention. Customers are trained to use platforms they believe will get the best results, and your business can use social media to prove that customers’ concerns can be handled favorably.
One of their strongest points from the blog is that public-facing interactions should be brief. Reply twice in the public eye (first to apologize and empathize and second to take the conversation onto a private forum). That way, your brand is shown to care without airing out all of the details for everyone to see. Additionally, we can’t stress enough the point about searching for more than just mentions of your company’s username. Only 3% of customer complaints call out a company’s social media handle – all the others require you to hunt them down proactively or create alerts.
Is good customer service really valuable? Another great piece from Harvard Business Review asks that question, using Twitter as the platform for their experiment. They tracked interactions, surveyed consumers six months after the interaction, and tried to find out “when a brand provides better customer service, will customers reward that brand with greater loyalty or pay a price premium?”
Their findings were fascinating. A response, even with an angry customer, can boost the amount they are willing to pay for premium services. The post digs even deeper into responses, speed, and the personable approach, discussing all of them with ROI in mind. It’s really a great read.