Marketing and customer service teams are not aligned when it comes to responding to inquiries and complaints on social media. While it’s important to quickly resolve consumers’ publicly shared issues on social media to uphold a company’s brand reputation and maintain customer relationships, marketers often prefer to take these cases offline to minimize their visibility – a frustrating consumer experience.

Despite this tension, marketing and customer service teams agree on the benefits of messaging, as consumers are now gravitating toward digital messaging channels to interact directly with brands, rather than posting their complaints and inquiries to social media channels. Not only does messaging shift some customer service interactions away from the public eye – to marketers’ delight – but it also protects brands in less obvious, but powerful ways.

Brand reputation largely depends on customer satisfaction levels.

Customers satisfied with a great service experience are less likely to condemn a brand on any channel – from social media to word of mouth. Companies looking to elevate their brand’s reputation among customers and potential customers must focus on satisfaction to ensure and uphold positive perceptions, and messaging has proven itself as an effective way to do so.

Earlier this year, we teamed up with Aberdeen and found that messaging companies achieved 3x greater customer satisfaction than non-messaging companies and late adopters. Our report also revealed that messaging impacts customer satisfaction in these ways:

  • 111% lower customer effort required for customer service
  • 143% higher employee engagement
  • 96% higher customer win-back rates

Further, many digitally savvy consumers are outright expressing their preference for messaging. Digital Marketing Magazine reported that 41% of millennials stated that they would be truly satisfied if they could use messaging or SMS to connect with companies and organizations where they do business. Companies levering messaging to deliver the kind of service that customers want are ultimately better equipped to uphold their brand reputation, while companies that are slow to advance their traditional customer service processes will have to put more effort to defend their brand’s reputation.

In a world where anything can “go viral,” one event can create a reputation nightmare for companies.

Earlier this year, a United Airlines gate agent prevented two passengers from boarding a flight because their attire did not meet the company’s dress code. When customers who witnessed the event turned to social media to share their unfavorable opinions on what happened, the airline experienced significant backlash on social media channels which eventually reached the media. Unexpected events like these can have tremendous impact on a brand, yet it is the company’s response to these incidents that will truly make or break their reputation.

Emirates is a great example of how proactively addressing issues can ward off public backlash initiated by irate customers. In response to the TSA’s recent electronics ban on certain flights, Emirates took responsibility for providing a clear line of communication with customers via social and digital channels to improve the planning, purchasing and packing phases of air travel. The airline took the initiative to ensure customers’ experiences were effortless from start to finish, and in doing so, closed the opportunity for any potential reputation damage. Companies like Emirates, that have the ability to leverage digital messaging and social media in providing exceptional service to their customers are better equipped to ward off potential damages to their reputation.

This practice also holds true for companies that are less inclined to leverage social media and digital messaging for marketing and promotions, like energy and gas companies. According to an IBM benchmark study, utility customers are increasingly discussing topics like service issues on social media. With an investment in digital messaging for customer service, these utility companies can offer better, more personal customer care during power outages and in times of emergency.

Messaging makes interactions easy and convenient.

Messaging is creating value for customer service teams, allowing agents to respond to customers easier and faster than ever. Customers can often even find answers themselves thanks to chat bots and automated responses supported via messaging channels.

Since messaging improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, it ultimately safeguards your brand’s reputation by:

  • Reducing effort, allowing customers to quickly and easily find answers to their questions and resolutions to their problems.
  • Driving better support from contact center agents who can reference complete customer profiles with information captured from messaging conversations.
  • Expanding and innovating business models to deliver better service to customers in the channels they use most often, like Western Unions’ new money transfer bot created to service customers via Facebook Messenger.

Request a demo to see how digital messaging can help streamline your customer service interactions and boost your customers’ satisfaction.

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