With 63% of UK consumers now on social media (Office for National Statistics), it is not surprising that organisations have opened up the dialogue with their customers through social media. However, is simply having a presence on those channels enough to satisfy the needs of your audience?
Recent figures have shown that 67% of Twitter users have reached out to a brand to get help or service in the form of social customer care. However, what is most shocking are the statistics that show organisations are ignoring 58% of these interactions (Forbes). Needless to say, this experience has left many deeply unsatisfied and these public displays of indifference will no doubt drive many more potential customers away, in fact 96% of people admit that their purchasing decision is affected by comments on social media.
On the other hand, McKinsey & Co. discovered that improving social customer service can lead to a 30% to 50% improvement in key measures such as “likely to recommend” and “likely to make repeat purchases,” – an action that has a direct impact on customer retention and brand reputation.
So, in order to turn this statistic into a reality, what does your organisation need to be doing when it comes to social customer care? At CrowdControlHQ we have identified 5 key steps to deliver customer service on social media that not only satisfies your customers, but delights them.
Over the past two years there has been a 2.5x increase in the volume of tweets directed at brands (Harvard Business Review), a factor that is impossible to ignore and which is why social media listening is the first step to social media success. Your starting point for any type of social media delivery is to audit what you already do, in order to understand the key characteristics associated with your audience, such as the times of day when your channels are most busy, what type of interactions you have with your audiences and the tone of voice.
Additionally, when it comes to listening, do not sit back and wait for individuals to come to you. Although many consumers are social media savvy and will use the ‘@’ mention tool to tag your organisation directly, many still do not and this is how customer service queries can get lost amongst social media chatter. By using a monitoring tool such as CrowdControlHQ’s Buzz Monitor, you can adopt a proactive approach and seize more opportunities to turn negatives into positives.
Once you have got a grip of the listening needed to support your customer service approach, it is time to plan your social customer service tracking process. Customer service teams are grappling with how they track activity across the multitude of social media platforms available to customers, and thankfully today management platforms such as CrowdControlHQ are designed to do just that!
In order to appropriately resource and develop strategies for your social channels, it is imperative that you can categorise content into key areas such as: quick contact, support, complaints and peer-to-peer activity. Once it is clear how much of your social media engagement falls into each bracket, it is possible to set out an effective strategy, which depending on the levels of support and complaints that are being received, may involve the creation of a dedicated support channel. This is something that many organisations have adopted, for example, on Twitter, Nike’s brand handle is @Nike, but in addition, they have created another handle to manage customer service, which is @NikeSupport. This can be a useful distinction to contain all of your customer service activity into one channel.
Successful management of customer service delivery on social media requires a very slick prioritisation process. It is useful to define categories of priorities e.g. P1, P2, P3... etc. and then allocate types of customer inbound activity into them.
Priority 1: Priority 2:
Sales enquiries General enquiries
Complaints Brand mentions
Crisis Customer thanks
Direct technical questions
With 53% of social media users expecting a response within 60 minutes (Forbes) having a process in place such as this can save valuable time and build all-star social customer service status like ASOS who are widely recognised for their quick and efficient social service.
It’s time to take action! The response approach will naturally vary between different sectors and different brands. This is an important element of market differentiation, so it is critical that you define what your response approach is going to be.
However, you need to ensure that the tone mirrors the brand values to create a seamless delivery of customer service. Is it appropriate to inject humour and personality into your channels like O2 have done in order to turn their network crisis into a fantastic piece of PR? Alternatively, if your channel is revered as informative and educational such as many public sector organisations’ are, then a formal tone may be most appropriate – the key is knowing what end of the spectrum your brand fits.
Furthermore, training is essential to ensure that your users not only know how to communicate in the right tone of voice, but that customer service content is automatically or manually fielded to the right experts using effective social media collaboration tools or techniques, to deliver fast and relevant answers.
Managing customer service across the social media environment is still very much in the ‘teething’ stage within many organisations. The customers of two differing organisations are likely to have very different demands, expectations and experiences of social media. By using social media analytics to understand your engagement, what has been working well for your organisation and what may need refining or adapting, you will be able to develop a process that works for you and can be turned into your organisation’s USP.
It is also important as the social environment flourishes and becomes the norm, that customer response teams spot the trends and adapt their approach to stay ahead of the curve (and their customers needs), creating a fully functional, engaged and dynamic customer service approach – as they say – the holy grail of social customer care.
CrowdControlHQ’s ‘Conversations’ tools have been designed specifically for the purpose of helping your organisation to deliver first class social customer care to ensure that your audiences are delighted.