Why Social Media Care is the new Customer Service
Social Media Care, also referred to as Social Care, is all about using social media platforms as customer service venues. Already about 16% of customer support requests are served via social media, and it's more than likely that figure will grow rapidly in the coming years. What customers are saying about your brand will be more and more public – and it simply can't be ignored.
Three reasons you should use Social Care
Go Beyond Traditional Customer Service
Customer service representatives are a very important part of your business. Thus, many businesses don't see the advantages of Social Care. After all, when customers call in to your business, as unfortunate as it may be, the reason is usually to complain. That's not always the case with Social Care.
When users are vocal on your social media profiles, you'll see everything – good and bad. So while there will be troubling complaints, you'll also be able to evaluate what your clientele enjoys about your service! With their ability to "like" and "follow" what your brand is doing, you'll notice how many people truly love your brand.
Don't just accept compliments passively, either. Interact with these users for deeper engagement. Thank people for their nice comments or help them out by sending links, instructions, or location directions. By expanding your customer service to an online platform, you're also connecting with your consumers on a more personal, positive level.
Grow Your Brand's Personality
Acting like a robot with standard, scripted responses won't grab the attention of current or potential clientele. Establishing a brand personality on social sites helps your consumers relate to your brand. And hey – it's not as easy being angry at a genuinely likable online persona.
To craft your custom responses, you must decide what your brand voice will be. For example, a tech company may want to rely more heavily on witty quips, while an insurance company's angle would be more formal (though still sincere and likable). Whatever you do, always respond. Hearing from a brand really resonates with consumers and assures them someone at the company understands how they feel.
By actively employing Social Care, your posts will automatically build your brand personality. You'll forge a stronger relationship with customers and make your organization more recognizable in the online world.
Build Your Brand's Rapport
Set a standard of excellence for your Social Care plan and you'll see positive results. For instance, answering every comment fully and promptly will make sure users don't feel ignored. Here are three more tips to help you earn the trust of your followers and fans:
- Be transparent. If a user posts something negative on your brand page, many want to delete it immediately – but don't! By answering the negativity, you'll show other users that you're taking control of the issue and are able to resolve it quickly and efficiently.
- Be genuine. You've spent time developing your brand voice and personality; use it! When responding to consumers, listen to them and answer with a realistic response. By doing so, you'll prove that brand loyalty goes both ways.
- Be reliable. If you've replied to consumers within a certain timeframe before, you must do the same for others so nobody feels you've been unfair. Treat every user the same and show them your brand can be counted on when issues arise.
Brands Using Social Care Effectively:
If you're not exactly sure where to start, here are a few personal experiences that can point you in the right direction:
Chobani Greek Yogurt
Chobani has mastered their brand voice and uses it to their advantage. They even reach out to customers who didn't directly ask for help.
I remember that morning well: I tweeted out of disappointment for my lost yogurt. Chobani didn't have to respond, but they did... and next thing I knew I had coupons for 8 new cups of Chobani. Now it's a brand I'm definitely going to stick by.
State Farm Insurance
State Farm is my insurance company. So when a tree fell on my car, I let them know about their responsive service...
The last thing I needed that day was trouble with my insurance company. What I received was the exact opposite. I was flooded with an outpour of well wishes from the main State Farm office and their offices around the nation. This kind of personal connection makes me never want to leave their service.
Wells Fargo Bank
When problems with your bank arise, they need to be fixed... fast. So when I didn't hear back from Wells Fargo's customer service call center, I went to Twitter. Within 30 minutes I received this:
Within 12 hours my issue was resolved. The prompt response of the Wells Fargo agent exceeded the capability of their traditional customer service. In this case, my faith was restored in their brand.
Have you started with a Social Media Care plan? If so, what have you found works well? Leave a note or tweet us @Ripen_eCommerce!
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By Jessica Kornfeind, Social Media Specialist
Jessica Kornfeind is the Social Media Specialist at Ripen eCommerce, which has provided comprehensive eCommerce solutions for clients since 2004. Working in close partnership with online businesses, Ripen’s eCommerce web development, marketing, creative and technology teams build intuitive user experiences that boost online sales.