1-800 numbers are dying fast. Customer Support is now social and brands can no longer ignore this. Consumers are not only using Social Networks to connect with their friends, but also to connect with brands. In many opportunities sales inquiries or questions about a determined service or product are discussed privately, but in many others, people share their doubts or discontent on social networks. Brands must be prepared for this in order to act immediately and capitalize on that exposure and visibility.
Before starting, here are just a few numbers that show why you should invest efforts and resources in building a social customer care strategy:
- According to JD Power 67% of consumers have used a company's social media site for servicing, compared with 33% for social marketing.
- 33% of customers prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. (Nielsen)
- In the past two years the number of Tweets directed at leading brands’ customer service usernames has grown by 2.5x. (Twitter)
- Leading B2C companies are responding to about 60% of Tweets directed at their service accounts. (Twitter)
- 51% of Americans have reported switching service providers due to poor customer service. (Accenture)
When building a social customer care strategy here are some tips you should keep in mind:
1- Define your customer experience
Align your customer care strategy with your company’s vision and the experience you would like to provide. “Humanize” your brand. Keep in mind that this is a conversational environment. Your brand has a personality and a tone of voice that should be reflected in your responses. This way you will be able to provide a unified and consistent customer experience at every touchpoint during your customer journey.
2 - Define Goals
Before launching any Customer Care program you should establish your KPIs. According to Gartner Consulting here are the most important ones to keep in mind:
- Time to first response
- Average handling time (overall and by agent)
- Number and percent of serviceable posts (actual customer/consumer inquiries)
- Percent of inquiries managed by social channel (such as Facebook and Twitter)
- Cost savings on call deflection
- Changes in sentiment
- Changes in customer satisfaction
- Net promoter score (NPS)
- Flush rate (posts that are no longer relevant or serviceable).
3 - Assign resources
Who is going to be representing you? People in charge of answering questions and inquires will respond on behalf of your brand. This is why they must understand the company’s personality and sound authentic. Consumer perception of brands is increasingly being influenced online, so it’s important to have someone qualified for this task, with strong writing skills and savvy about Social Media and technology. According to Gartner, failure to respond via social channels can lead to a 15% increase in the churn rate for existing customers..
4 - Use Technology
Lower your customer support costs by automating responses to simple questions and user interactions. There are several customer care platforms that will help you increase the response speed while keeping your operational costs at bay.
5 - Be proactive
Customers could be having troubles with your products or services and they will be talking about that in Social Media. Listen attently and try to solve their problems proactively before they escalate. Fewer than 3% of customers directly @ mention brands on Twitter (i.e. referring to the brand “company” instead of “@company”)
6 - Measure
Now that you have established your KPIs is time to analyze their performance and act based on those results. Social Listening tools will also help you discover deeper insights of your audience that can lead to a better customer support experience.
The cost of acquiring new customers is 7x greater than the costs of retaining existing customers (Forbes).