We buy goods and services online via ads served to us on Instagram. We share photos and reviews of what we consume on Facebook. And we complain to brands on Twitter.
Even though social media is ingrained in our lives as consumers, there’s still a way to go for businesses who want to capitalise on its power. One reason they find this difficult is that they view social media as ‘marketing communications’ and separate from customer experience and customer service.
Here are 3 ways you can integrate your thinking – and enhance your efforts in both areas.
The power of response
It’s easier than ever for customers – in both the B2B and B2C worlds – to let brands know what they think. As such, 92% of customers will call you out if they receive poor customer service – and 67% will do so publicly on social media.
Consumers have increasingly realised that the fastest way to resolve an issue is to contact you via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. A quick acknowledgement – even if it’s just to let someone know you’re on the case or to direct them to a more appropriate channel – goes a long way towards diffusing a situation. Similarly, thanking people for positive feedback is an easy way to foster loyalty and reinforce the stellar impression you’ve made.
When used correctly, therefore, social media can be a powerful way to close customer service gaps, streamline response handling and boost the overall experience you offer.
The power of listening
Social media makes it easier to talk to your customers. It also makes it easier to listen to them.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that social starts and ends with complaints management. It also gives you a huge source of data. With social listening and analytics, you can see who your customers are, what they want, why they want it and how they want to get it.
You can then use this insight – and the specific stories – to inform your marketing personas, develop your campaigns and shape your customer experience strategies.
The power of value
For as long as brands have been using social media, they’ve been stumped by how to measure it. Traditional metrics (likes, follows and shares) might feel good, but they’re ultimately meaningless unless you can link them to outcomes.
That’s where the synergy with customer experience becomes invaluable.
A high engagement rate, for example, indicates you have a loyal, active base of customers – and engaged customers are more likely to buy from you. Hashtag usage tells your customers are responding to and engaging with your campaigns. And every comment is a valuable piece of feedback you can use for continuous improvement.
Ultimately, when used correctly, social media can be a powerful way to engage with your customers, gather data to inform strategy and improve your customer experience.