social customer service

Did you know an unhappy customer can now reach a quarter of the population of the planet with a single post?
 So what seems like a minor nuisance to your customer service team could turn into a major public relations catastrophe if not handled appropriately. One negative viral post on social media can turn into a global dialog with others across the world chiming in with their own stories and rapidly organizing boycotts against the offending company.
People share their experiences on social media by reflecting their own expectations and emotions. If a brand exceeds expectations, customers are happy, and their willingness to share their experience in social media is actually very high. The idea that somebody takes time out of their day to tweet at a brand or post on their Facebook page something positive about their experience is really incredible.
So why do many brands not bother to respond to compliments on social media…knowing that customers have so much influence when it comes to sharing their own experiences?

• A recent study by Sprout Social found that 88% of social marketers say customer service is important to their brands, but that isn’t translating to brand responsiveness to positive comments. This is most likely because responding to compliments has never been part of the customer service remit.

• Social media gave customers a voice, and marketers were soon out of their league trying to answer complaints. Initially, they brought in customer service to handle the questions and the negative comments, leaving the fun, positive interactions for the “community manager.” But over time, all customer interactions have moved to the contact center.

• Many companies are not properly resourced to handle all social media interactions, and/or social media agents are pulled off that channel in times of high call volumes. This creates stress on responding to all questions and complaints, let alone compliments.

• Compared to avoiding the public relations nightmare of a negative viral tweet, the perceived value of customer compliments is relatively low. Companies believe that fixing problems is more important than keeping happy customers happy.

By 2020, customer experience is expected to become the most important way for brands to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, according to Walker’s “Customers 2020: A Progress Report.” Considering the fact that social media has arguably become one of the most important customer service platforms across industries, businesses must deliver more sophisticated social customer care to continue to win in the marketplace.
Positive social interactions with customers can help businesses win loyalty and drive business success. However, when a business is lax about managing social interaction, or worse, makes a wrong move on social media, it can face swift, business-threatening retribution from unhappy consumers.

How to Win at Social Customer Care
It is all about creating a memorable experience that goes beyond the moment, launching a domino effect of positive shares, likes, comments and brand awareness. Here are five key components of a winning customer experience in social channels.

Speed: The expected response time for a customer service interaction has been reduced from a few minutes to even a few seconds in some cases. Businesses can use artificial intelligence (AI) to sift, sort and route thousands of social posts to the appropriate departments for immediate response.

Empathy: Customers often come to social media to be heard and understood. By going beyond a simple apology, it shows you understand customers’ thoughts and feelings and establishes that you’re a brand that truly cares.

Fun: Customers are more likely to be loyal to brands they can connect with on a personal level, and social media is one of the best tools to show brand personality. Businesses should take any opportunity they can to respond with humor or fun, including using emojis, to bring your brand personality to life.

Surprise: While most customers come to social media to interact, most have no expectation of a response. This offers brands a great opportunity to reach out, whether it’s to solve a problem or simply strengthen a customer relationship.

Resolution: Responding and resolving a customer issue quickly and efficiently is essential. Sometimes a chatbot can achieve this and other times it means having a real conversation with a customer service employee. Making sure you have the technology to create a seamless customer interaction from beginning to end is key.
Based on this trend, online reputation management and creating an epic customer service experience by building a skilled customer experience team should be every brand’s top digital priority. When someone compliments a company publicly, it gives companies valuable feedback about what they doing right. It is important to figure out how to do more of that so you can make more customers happy.