Originally posted in the March 2013 edition of Mingle Magazine
Social Media + Customer Care = Social Care.
It’s a relevant concept that every business needs to implement.
Delivering a positive customer experience is one of the top priorities for every business (or at least every business that wants to stay in business). However, the ways in which businesses deliver customer care has been shifting with the increase in online communication.
The customer experience is no longer limited to what happens at a retail location or at home behind closed doors. There are no closed doors any longer – social media has blown them wide open.
The customer experience happens largely online. According to 2012 figures from The Huffington Post, 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies acquired customers in 2012 from social media.
In addition to that, one in three social media users would rather address their customer concerns through social media instead of contacting a company by phone. (Nielson 2012)
Why, then, are 56% of customers’ tweets to companies being ignored?
If your company is not participating in the social media world, how can you be sure you are delivering the level of customer care you’re committed to delivering?
It’s imperative that businesses listen to their customers, and in order to listen to them, companies must be where their customers are. Find out if your customers are on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or LinkedIn or…. Then make sure your company is there.
It isn’t enough simply to have a page or a profile. You need to be participating in the conversation.
How can a company offer good social care?
- Be present. Have pages and profiles on relevant social networks.
- Listen. Be aware of what users are posting about your company.
- Think before you speak. Have guidelines that define how to respond to a variety of situations, and make sure all team members understand the guidelines.
- Respond. Answer every post, every tweet, every comment with personalized responses that address audience concerns and follow the company’s engagement parameters.
- Engage. Be proactive about sharing content and information that will help provide a consistently positive online customer experience.
Social media communication is part of the overall customer experience. Use that as a guide. Consider what type of customer experience you want your customers to have, and use social care to help make that happen.