Social customer care has been called the “latest and greatest version of new marketing” for a good reason. According to Forbes, when you deliver exceptional customer experiences, not only do your customers come back, they also refer their friends, family, and colleagues. Social takes this word-of-mouth marketing to the next level because handling customer service over social channels amplifies your customer service story.1 Is your company missing out on a powerful marketing tool by only focusing on social damage control?2 It’s time to reap the benefits of social customer service, like better brand loyalty, more incremental sales, and higher engagement. It’s time to start socializing.
Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time
Do comments on your Facebook posts sit unanswered for days? Do your Tweets outnumber your replies? Do you neglect influencers who tag you on Instagram? Just because you have a presence on social media channels doesn’t mean you’re using them for social care. Christin Kardos of Convince & Convert sums it up best: “Social media really is for socializing. You need to respond to comments, answer questions, and incorporate the idea of being useful in one-on-one conversations. If you’re not doing those things, you’re wasting your and others’ time.”3 Community managers should aim to respond to at least 90% of posts.
Where is there? Wherever your audience is. Although Facebook is still the most popular social network worldwide, there are hundreds of active social platforms with millions of users.4 Since it’s obviously not feasible to be on every one of them, determine the best place to spend your time and resources, then focus on providing exceptional customer experiences on those platforms.
Waiting to respond on Monday to a question posted on Saturday can cost you a loyal customer. According to a Lithium-commissioned study by Millward Brown Digital, 72% of customers expect a response within an hour when they have a complaint. If you fail to respond quickly, 38% will feel more negative about your brand, and a full 60% will take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction. In one study, nearly half of consumers who stopped doing business with a company blamed failure to resolve problems in a timely manner.5 Unhappy customers are also more vocal than happy ones. One angry airline customer complained to 406,000 people when he paid to have his negative tweet promoted after eight hours had passed with no response from the brand. Unfortunately, most brands either underestimate the importance of timeliness or don’t have a way to increase their social customer care service effectively. In one recent study, less than two percent of brands consistently respond to complaints or comments posted on social about them. Therefore, there’s a huge opportunity to be one of the brands that does!
Take the Bad with the Good
When you ignore a bad review or a negative comment, you’re risking more than just losing a single customer. Hug Your Haters advocate Jay Baer has declared that social media makes customer service a spectator sport: “People are watching and making judgments about your brand based on the way you respond.”6 Responding with a customer-centric approach builds advocacy and profitable growth not just among engaged customers, but other customers and prospects as well.
It’s impossible to react if you don’t know what’s being said about you. To manage social customer care at scale without sacrificing quality, invest in a social media response tool that monitors and identifies meaningful conversations and finds vulnerable customers fast. Look for a tool that also includes the capability to prioritize inquiries and provide customer care in real-time, regardless of the channel.