As we become a nation glued to our mobile phones, 24/7 interactions are growing on multiple channels, not just from friends and family alone, from businesses too.
Swift responses are becoming the norm and demand for fast customer service is higher than it has ever been, with the connection between brands and consumers moving even closer. Businesses have to adapt the ways they communicate with their customers in line with the channel(s) of their choice, or get left behind.
Here are our top tips for embracing social media as a key channel for customer service:
Choose your channels wisely
Firstly, you need to identify which channels your customers are active on to ensure your time is spent in the right places. The easiest way to do this is to simply ask your customers what their channel of choice is – something worth doing from the outset to ensure a smooth and positive customer journey.
With research suggesting “when companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers spend 20% to 40% more money with the company than other customers do” and around 70% of customers have used social media for customer support services on at least one occasion, social media is certainly worth investing in. Some channels are more appropriate to use than others of course, depending on the type of business, so listen to your customers, engage in valuable conversations and reap the rewards.
Feel the benefits
Not only can resolving a customer issue on social media cost up to a sixth less for a business compared to a traditional interaction on the phone or via email, a huge 71% of consumers will recommend brands following a positive social media interaction with them. Social media customer support can therefore prove to be more cost effective than other channels, and encourage recommendations to help build your brand’s reputation.
Also, as technology advances even further, AI, chatbots and self-serve applications allow for automating common interactions which is something you may consider testing to see if it works for your business.
Strive for authenticity
Authenticity is a key focus for a lot of brands, and research suggests that 86% of consumers consider authenticity important when deciding what brands they like and support. As we tend to talk differently on social media, with emojis, exclamation marks and shortened sentences, it is important that a set of guidelines are created for all customer service teams to follow, so authenticity is consistent throughout all conversations.
As you would train your team on brand values and tone of voice, this needs to be extended to social media too, whilst also ensuring that customer service responses are appropriate for the channel(s) and the enquiry at hand.
Listening to feedback is a really important part of the brand authenticity parcel, and by taking the time to understand your customers and having great conversations, they will stay loyal to your business and share their customer experience within their social circles.
If you are looking for some support with your customer contact strategy, do get in touch with us and we can discuss your customer service outsourcing needs.