Social media customer service is rapidly gaining popularity thanks to today’s technology-driven lifestyle. Mobile devices make it easy for consumers to connect with your company’s social media pages anytime, anywhere, and a majority of them use this channel for customer issue resolution. In fact, a recent study by JD Power & Associates determined that 67 percent of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing versus just 33 percent who visited for social marketing purposes.
Forward-thinking companies are leveraging this trend to create a reputation for superior customer care, giving them an edge over the competition. Organizations that continue to limit social media interaction, choosing to refer visitors to customer service numbers instead, are quickly falling behind in the changing marketplace. These three must-haves will ensure that your digital customer service strategy meets your clients’ rising expectations.
Respond and Resolve Issues on Digital Channels
The first step in a comprehensive social customer service strategy is to consider social media an independent channel of communication rather than an opportunity to direct clients to phone and email servicing options. Research from Twitter shows that businesses who respond to customers’ social media questions quickly and resolve their issues without redirecting to another channel enjoy a significant increase in customer spending — anywhere from 3 percent to 20 percent per interaction.
Reach Out to Customers Proactively
The beauty of social media is that it is easy to locate posts and tweets that mention your brand — both positively and negatively. When your digital customer care agents are caught up with direct-contact customer issue resolution, it is time to take social media servicing to the next level. This is where the right technology makes a big difference. Customer service software that can proactively pull in indirect company mentions will make it very easy for your agents to respond to compliments with appreciation and proactively resolve complaints. The extra effort will not go unnoticed, and you will enjoy increased customer loyalty — not to mention a 44 percent greater chance that these individuals will share their experience with friends and followers.
Direct Customers to Your Social/Digital Channels
Finally, show you are serious about your digital customer engagement platform by treating it with the same respect you give to customer service telephone numbers and email addresses. Wherever you list these methods of contact, add your social media channels. Facebook and Twitter make this step as easy as possible by offering buttons you can embed in your site. These link customers to the appropriate platform’s private messaging function, making it simple for customers to get in touch through social media.
When handled properly, there is no downside to creating a full-service customer care option on social media. Digital service agents are some of the most engaged, as evidenced by research published in the Sparkcentral Social Customer Service Agent Report. A full 68 percent of surveyed organizations said that the agents dedicated to social customer care show greater job satisfaction than peers assigned to other channels. In addition, digital service interactions are far less costly than phone-based options. A study from McKinsey & Co. determined that shifting to social customer care can reduce per-contact cost by up to 83 percent.
Once the right technology infrastructure is in place, there are just three steps to achieving a strong reputation in the social media customer care space. Ensure agents are empowered to respond to and fully resolve customers’ issues through social media, and use down-time to make proactive social media connections with clients. Don’t forget to give your social media channels the same attention as more traditional phone and email options when promoting customer choices for contacting you.