The Value of Social Customer Service
There has been a significant spike in major brands taking big steps to provide their consumers with the best possible social experience.
Take Xbox, for instance. Microsoft’s gaming console goes beyond and beyond the social customer service game with its ‘Xbox Support Elite Tweet Fleet.’ So much so that it won the Guinness Book of Records award of ‘Most Responsive Brand on Twitter’ when it was first launched in 2010.
“If people are passionate and use that kind of (foul-mouthed) language, a lot of times something is legitimately wrong with our operation,” says McKenzie Eakin, Program Manager of Xbox LIVE Service Delivery (also known as @XboxSupport Elite Tweet Fleet Sky Captain).
He went on, “We fly in, obviously out of nowhere, and say, ‘No, we can help,'” says Eakin. “They are like, ‘what a proactive customer service out of nowhere. This is so amazing.’ It’s a truly magical experience, and I think it pushes our customer loyalty through the roof in particular.”
What Defines Outstanding Social Customer Service?
According to a report, the effectiveness of the response is measured by three factors : ( 1) the speed of the response time, (2) the consistency of the solution given and (3) how the response is provided. The study identified this last point as Hostmanship, that is, how well you offer the human touch.
80 percent of businesses believe that they provide ‘superior’ customer service, but just 8 percent of consumers believe that the same companies provide ‘superior’ customer service, which leaves a massive gap for brands to fine-tune their strategies and stand out from their unique social interactions.
1. Shorten Response
Since 2013, brands have increased their response rate by 143 percent year on year on Facebook. But why is that? Facebook is cracking the whip on companies who exercise bad social customer service by putting details on average response time and rate in the top left corner of their social media profiles so that their followers can see their true devotion to their fan base.
So how quickly does your social community expect you to respond?
32% of social customers expect a response to a social complaint within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes, according to one piece of research. In addition, 40% of unresolved social complaints culminated in phone calls. While improving response times may not necessarily result in the issue being resolved immediately, it shows the customer in question that their complaint is at the forefront of your mind.
Taking a longer time, or even worse, ignoring social complaints can have a significant effect on your social credibility, creating a divide between your online customers and your ability to have good customer service.
2. Put A System In Place
If you have five or 500 workers, having a system in place to deal with social grievances is vital to good community management. Having a company-wide guide that every team member may refer to when handling dissatisfied social media clients is key to providing a consistent and meaningful experience for both community managers and consumers.
First, you will need to compile all possible problems or questions that customers will ask about and create a spreadsheet of answers that can be referred to at any time. This does not only facilitates continuity in responses, but also saves time for community managers.
Second, you will need to identify what constitutes a low-, medium-and high-level social complaint. Everyone will need its own protocol for how to deal with it in order to reduce the possibility that the problem will draw more attention on social media.
3. Consider Going Outside Your Brand Pages
Did you know that 30 percent of tweets, including business names, do not include their Twitter handle, and only 9 percent of tweets that reference a company are aimed at the company?
As described above, early detection of a potential problem is the secret to reducing the amplification of the complaint, showing that the brand really cares about customer service.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to build a negative brand impression for your business. Set up Google Alerts for keywords relevant to your company so that you can receive regular emails about what’s being said about your brand online.
In combination with Google Notifications, invest in a social media tracking app that allows you to track your brand’s hashtags so that you can keep an eye on any tweets that are indirectly targeted at your brand.
Putting these acts in place gives the brand the ideal opportunity to surprise and entertain fans by showing that you are keen to answer their criticism.
4. Be Real!
Where it is standard practice for customer service to take a corporate approach to handling customer issues on the phone, social media gives companies an ability to show their online communities just with who they are dealing with. Many companies are now opting to sign notifications with the name or initials of the community manager, telling the customer that they are communicating with a real person, not a faceless company.
The Dutch airline KLM takes the human approach one step further with its #happytohelp hashtag initiative in the handling of social enquiries. KLM has also established a special “command center” for the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport initiative, with additional teams helping out in New York, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong. Now we are not saying that your brand should go and create a new department dedicated to social customer service, but it’s something to aspire to, isn’t it?
Want to know more about developing a effective community management strategy? Check out how the UK Gym Chain The Gym Community has grown its Facebook following by 368 per cent since 2012.
Develop a thorough understanding of key social media specialties, including content marketing, and channels where you can promote your content.