Attend FREE Webinar on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth Register Now

Enhance Customer Experience Via Two-way Social Media Interactions

Rate this post

Ten years ago when there were no social media platforms, you didn’t have to worry much about customers sharing a negative experience because they would tell 5-15 people at the most , but that number was manageable. Cut to 2016, social media has revamped the customer experience game completely. Customers now have social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, review sites and blog posts through which they can share their positive or negative feedback with ample number of readers. Companies now have an invested interest in the customer experience – some with a hope of mitigating poor feedback and bad word-of-mouth, while others aim to empower and encourage happy customers to share their positive experiences. Hence, focusing on customer experience has become a big trend.

The following graphic shows how many more people have searched for customer experience thus far compared to 2005:


Today’s progressive Chief Marketing Officers are doing much more than launching a Twitter feed and a LinkedIn group or two to increase reach. These leaders recognize that the role of the CMO is evolving from laying an emphasis on acquiring new database contacts to developing intimacy with customers. Now, it doesn’t matter who you know, but what you know about them. This implies that CMOs need to be focused on actively listening, interacting and responding to their customers. Even so, most companies still mishandle up to 80 per cent of customer engagement opportunities and a missed opportunity means loss in revenue. The only way companies can reverse this trend is to become customer-obsessed from the top down. In the era of the tech-savvy customer, social media is a primary platform for customer engagement.

Here are a few principles that can set companies on the right path to customer engagement with social.

Engage and Empower Your Workforce

Good social adoption focuses both on people and technology. Get your employees engaged because enhancing customer experience is a shared responsibility across the enterprise. It’s not just the prowess of sales, marketing or customer service anymore. Every employee must be empowered to identify a customer engagement opportunity and act on it. Find ambassadors within your company to excel in social media and select tools for your business that your employees can use at home, to promote social behaviors internally. With added consultancy and strategy, the social strategy acts as an essential element to make sure adoption at all levels by catering to individual’s specific needs. Companies typically need to invest in a ratio of 2:1 in their workforce and processes over technology. Ultimately, technology doesn’t drive relationships. People do. A free flow of information allows the customer-obsessed companies to understand not only their own customers, but also their customers’ customers. Employees need to be well prepared to use data to build relationships with their customers and solve their problems.

Get Personal With Your Customers

Your customers are connected to a lot of their relatives, friends and colleagues though social media platforms. Edison Research and Triton Digital’s report has found that Facebook users have 350 friends on an average. A Twitter user has 61 followers on an average. If you ad, say, 100 connections on LinkedIn, your customers will be able to reach minimum 511 people on just those three sites. One disgruntled customer can broadcast his complaint to all his direct connections. The message can further get shared and potentially reach an audience of millions.

 Social media channels make for an efficient and cost effective way to communicate with customers and build the important relationships. Unfortunately, 58% of consumers who tweet their bad customer experience don’t get a reply from the concerned company. Such missed opportunities cost companies monetary loss in the short term and spoil brand reputation in the long term. Customers are more informed and have more choices than ever before, so if their expectations aren’t met, they’ll move on to some other company quickly. Engaged customers, however, reward responsive customer service by spending more and becoming influential brand advocates on social media channels.

Timeliness Is Crucial

One of the most helpful aspects of using social media for customer service is that it’s a fast and easy way to respond to feedback. This advantage goes in vain if it takes your company three days to respond to a request, such as, “What time are you open until on Thursdays?” when it’s already Saturday morning. A great deal of people may be averse to speaking on the phone and reaching out via social may be their second nature. Have a dedicated person to pay attention to online inquiries is imperative. Be sure this employee knows to check Twitter mentions, Facebook post comments, the comment sections on any company-produced blog posts, as well as direct messages on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and the YouTube comments too.

Not every comment requires a response but vigilance will ensure that your company doesn’t lose business due to oversights. Direct questions, complaints and product-related inquiries should all be addressed as soon as possible.

Turn Your Customers into Advocates

When customers are engaged, you become their default and trusted buying choice if they’re loyal. Moreover, they become advocates of your company who endorse your company to thousands of people on social media platforms. By listening to your customers across multiple social channels, your organization can take the necessary steps to turn a negative experience into a positive one. For instance, the British mobile phone company, O2 leveraged social media for customer engagement. An imminent public relations faux pas became a positive story as the company replied to complaints on Twitter in a personal and light-hearted manner and eventually, won their consumers back.

Over 70 per cent of customers buy from a company if they have a history of good service. That’s where the real upside potential is and this is why customer engagement is set to overtake productivity as the primary factor responsible for profitable growth. Social media is a key channel for mobilizing customer engagement in this interactive economy. Companies right now are harnessing the power of customers cum advocates to do their marketing for them. Consider modern companies like Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox. You’ve probably seen the raving reviews and recommendations of these services on Facebook and Twitter. Customers love their products/services because they exceed their expectations. Dropbox encourages sharing of positive experiences using referral marketing. Here’s a screenshot of their campaign:



The customer experience is no longer confined to your customers and their close friends. Social media has enabled your customers to share their feedback online and that too, instantly to thousands of people around the globe. A single mistake or one bad experience and you find yourself in damage control and your company’s reputation is jeopardized. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage social media and encourage customer advocates to share their experiences which will extend your reach and develop goodwill. You can neither deny nor diminish the power social media has given to your customers. You should rather embrace social media and analyze how it affects the customer experience positively and negatively. If you can do that, you will be able to capitalize on this trend and swoop in on new business. The reality is that you no longer drive company and brand messaging, your customers do.

Image Credits:

  • social-media-training

  • Your Comment

    Your email address will not be published.