In the digital age, it is all too easy to overlook customer care, by paying too little attention to individuals on social media and forums. But there are also countless examples of brands which have taken a little extra time to care for their customers.
Impact of social media
It’s vital that you invest in developing first-rate customer care services. This can help your company retain customers, gain new business and differentiate your firm from your closest rivals in a competitive market. Social media has become the main medium for companies to communicate to customers.
It is now believed that 30% of the UK population now use social media apps such as Twitter, many from mobile devices on the go. That means that the ability for customers to leave feedback is only a click away; any time, any place. It is worth remembering that customers are much more likely to leave negative feedback as opposed to positive. Develop a response strategy in order to manage these situations, in order to prevent customer grievances from escalating and damaging your brand.
Customer care strategy across social media
Nothing will appease a customer’s frustration better than a friendly, helpful and prompt response to their issue. Below are some tips for dealing with customers on social media:
- Set up a social media listening strategy – Complaints about your company won’t always be directed at your company’s social media accounts. A listening strategy will notify you when your company’s name is mentioned online, allowing you to act quickly and effectively. For example, you can utilise Google Alerts to monitor brand mentions online. Ignoring customers may make them feel undervalued, meaning they may take their business elsewhere.
- Show commitment to the cause – Depending on the size of your business, you’ll need the ability to respond to customer complaints. Xbox have a team of 27 experts sending around two messages a minute to people with certain problems. Your business may only operate during certain hours, so ensure that communication, response times and your business opening hours are communicated clearly.
- Make it easy for customers to have their say – Catching and resolving the issue early on is an important part of customer retention. A long-winded, confusing complaints system can aggravate the customer further and could result in an outburst on social media.
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – Empathy is helpful as not only will you be able to come up with a suitable resolution, you’ll also understand where there may be weaknesses in your firm’s operation. Often, your most disgruntled customers can point out the key weaknesses you need to address.
- Engage on a human level – Standardised responses may anger customers further, so you need to be personable and respectful to every individual. Engaging with people on a human level can show customers that you value their business.
Benefits of social media
An active online presence won’t only be beneficial to your customer services team and customer communication, but it can also have a positive impact on traffic conversion to your website. Research has found that businesses who use social media have seen a 66% increase in generated leads and an 80% increase in traffic.
Try an engaging approach to your social media, including relevant videos, images and list-based content. This can help you gain a loyal following and create an additional element to your business which potential customers can familiarise with. This allows you to broadcast your brand’s core values to a receptive audience.
Social media is immediate and will enable businesses to both engage with customers positively and resolve issues in real time as long as your company is effectively responding to all interaction.
Build brand reputation
Nobody really pays attention when things are going well, but everyone remembers when it goes wrong. Some companies have faced serious reputational damage from poor social media management and customer care – and that includes ignoring negative feedback.
Customer care is an attitude, not a department. Ensure that you are taking steps to monitor all social media activity and have a clear policy in place and your company could see immediate benefits.