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‘Social Care’ is imperative in the world of ‘Social Business’

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In recent years there has been a social media outburst on the business front as well, primarily because of its ability to help consumers make improved buying decisions. More and more customers expect brands to be present and available on social media and that’s why 93% of marketers now use social media for business. Organisations which are addressing these expectations – enjoy an edge over their competitors.

For many brands social media has become a major customer care channel, but often businesses spend more on inducing people to buy more instead of focusing focus must be on customer service and customer experience.

Social media or rather ‘social customer service’ is now a key component of several business’ customer service strategy. Providing a remarkable customer service isn’t rocket-science. By following a few simple techniques, brands can not only provide outstanding service but also build relationships with their customers. ‘Social Care’ is imperative in the world of ‘Social Business’.

Five techniques for building an outstanding customer experience and becoming more customer-centric:

1. More listening than talking: Success with providing outstanding customer service with social media requires more listening and less talking. If brands want to be successful at using social media for customer service they must let the customers have the center stage. Listening does not mean keeping the mouth shut; the real value in listening is what businesses can learn and also make their customers feel that they are being ‘heard’.

  • Ask customers how you can improve your current services / products.
  • Be proactive and ask customers what their pain areas are.
  • Use feedback and criticisms to improve processes make them more customer-friendly.

Even if you are a small business or a big brand, spend time monitoring the online-conversations about your brand and product and services.

2. Acknowledge and respond quickly: If a customer reaches out to your helpdesk in person, you wouldn’t ignore them – right? So don’t ignore them online as well. ‘Acknowledge’ every feedback, every complaint, and every conversation.

Social Customer Service is the ‘New Telephone’. According to a study – customers who have ever attempted to contact a brand using social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. Businesses must be prepared to handle social media inquiries / complaints within the ‘crucial’ hour.

Every minute and every hour count; if you don’t respond on time the influence and effects of negative interaction (in case of complaints) may increase. For instance, if a customer posts a complaint on a particular brand’s Facebook page – not only other fans can see the unanswered query / complaint, but it gives more opportunity to the complainant to tell others about their negative experience. Consumers reward brands meet their rising expectations, while punishing those that fail to respond in a timely way. Pull up your socks while the clock tick-tocks.

Organisations must respond as quickly as possible and if they are unable to respond in a timely fashion, they need to re-look at their current social media strategy. A late response can have the snowball effect and instead of dealing with one complaint you might end up addressing dozens of them.

3. Be specific: Responses have to be specific and addressed fully. Statements like ‘we are sorry to hear about your experience’, ‘Apologies for the inconvenience caused’ etc. without fully addressing the concern can aggravate the situation rather than pacifying it.

  • Do not get into an argument.
  • Discuss customer’s point of view respectfully and provide further assistance via offline mediums like email, private messages (like DM in twitter).
  • Providing assistance over the phone is highly recommended, it helps control the situation swiftly.

4. Add sense of humour: It’s not always easy to make someone laugh, but brands that master it captures their customers’ attention and get them talking.

Being funny is a risk; it is always tricky to use the right amount of humour because if done poorly, it can backfire on social media. Using humour helps ‘lighten the mood’ but also lends a more human persona to the organization.

Humour is an art, has great potential, but should be used creatively and carefully. Some of your customers might not appreciate it. So pick your targets carefully and keep it short and simple. You must know your target market and share humour that your target audience can relate to.

5. Turn complaints into compliments: Social media has changed the rules of engagement. Some organizations fear that being online will open doors for their customers to publicly criticize their products and services. But whether your business is online or not – if your customers are online, then they will still be talking about you on one platform or the other.

Never delete or ignore the negative comments, always respond to them sincerely. An appropriate response can help you take control of a bad situation. Humans make mistakes, things go wrong; but how you deal with them makes the difference. Be honest and authentic while addressing complaints and concerns. Stay calm, as it helps you stay focused.

Receiving a complaint never feels good, but instead of running away, try to think of them as opportunities and turn their experience into a positive one.

Research suggests that customers whose problems were satisfactorily resolved are more loyal than those simply pleased with the products. Don’t wait for complaints to flood. Be proactive and ask for feedback and learn from them. Also, don’t forget to thank your customers for any positive comments and mentions.

  • Digital-Marketing

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