Social Media for Customer Service
Social media, other than to connect to your friends, has become a channel for irate customers to reach out to the brands to express their concerns and defame them if they don’t address the concerns of these customers. In one of my personal experiences, I had to resort to using social media to blow the concern to the brand (undisclosed) after the issue was not addressed. I don’t know whether the company did not want to deliberately address my issue or did not have any solution, but I had to put lot of efforts to put my concerns about bad service across to the company through their customer care center, emails, and personally visiting them until I realized that it’s falling on deaf ears.
I then determined to teach them the lesson and that’s the time I thought of using Social Media for the purpose other than connecting to friends. I made a post expressing my grievance and an appeal for resolution and posted on the Facebook handle of the company and to a couple of other forums that could help me spread the message. To my utter surprise, I got a call back from the company within 3 days of the launch of a campaign to understand my concern. However, they could not resolve it completely, but we negotiated to the terms in favor of me. I learned Social Media has now become an important channel to reach to the brands.
This trend is picking up and pushing companies to consider Social Media as an important channel to reach their customer to address their concern, other than promoting their brand. Twitter and Facebook have become crucial tools for companies to address customer issues as well as mount attacks on rivals. A tweet from Amitabh Bachchan this January addressing his telecom service provider for help had a rival chiming in offering its services. When Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the poster boy of the cashless economy, mentioned the additional data he got from his operator, a competitor jumped in with a better offer.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are increasingly being used by companies across industries to interact real-time with their customers. In the telecom industry, where companies are fighting an intense war for market share, these platforms have become a tool to sell products, engage continuously with customers and provide quick response to complaints and demands.
Many companies have built social media team, these days, to keep an eye on every feed across mediums for any move by rivals as well as watch for the disgruntled subscriber, be it their own or of a competitor. The teams are expected to resolve the issues quickly and the companies are ready to pay big money for social media analysts.
Social media is a priority channel for the company which has transitioned from being a marketing channel to a consumer experience channel. Many companies have also optimized the existing resources and using the existing customer care center to handle the social media reputation also, know as Online Reputation Management.
Last September, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) was cornered when the new mother tweeted about a shortage of Pampers diapers in Mumbai. Within 24 hours, P&G sent her a month’s supply of Pampers Active Baby diapers to avoid any negative publicity.
KLM Airlines knows that many of their customers are professionals using LinkedIn. So the airline launched a special LinkedIn group that offers 24/7 customer support to KLM passengers.
This is how you can also step up the customer experience
- Build a team of Social Media experts or outsource to Digital Marketing Agency, this decision depends entirely on the strategy company wants to adopt. For MSMEs, the best decision is to outsource it to Digital Marketing Agency, let experts do the job.
- Create your presence across all the channels of social media. Although Facebook and Twitter are the most used social media platforms, so building a presence on it is important.
- Have a team monitor the social media feed for dissatisfied customers, their posts, feedback or review. The team must respond to the customer within TAT of 15-20 minutes with the solution. In a study, 32% of social media users who contact a brand expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
- Monitor your competition also across social media world so that you could rework your strategy accordingly.
- Reach to the dissatisfied customers through other channels also like a phone call or email to address their query or concern. This would increase the customer delight and customer would appreciate the support you have provided.
- Integrate social media with the overall customer service process.
- Do not ignore to organize a Digital Marketing training for your team.
A Nielsen Company report reveals that 30 million online consumers in Indian are members of social networking sites; 20 million of these spend time on social networking sites daily, and Indians spend more time on social media than they do checking personal emails. According to the survey, a social media presence connotes, among other things, a sense of cool.
You can’t afford to miss social media as a channel to provide support to your customers. You must include it in your strategy to enhance the customer experience for your brand.
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