Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-Founder, Customer Guru
Managing customer experience on #socialmedia
Today’s customers are omnipotent. For them, everything is a click away and they will settle for nothing but the best. They also don’t think twice before exalting/thrashing a product or a service. Also, potential customers increasingly rely on product/service reviews before availing them. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86% said their buying decision was influenced by negative online reviews. This is exactly why social media has become a double-edged sword for organizations. However, one thing remains constant: Social media and various other online tools are the quickest and most cost-efficient way of establishing and maintaining good customer service experience.
Here are a few tips to become a customer experience rockstar on social media:
1. Focus where your customers are
Analyze who your target audience are and where they are available. Where are your prospects most likely to ask questions about your product/service? While most organizations find Facebook and Twitter most useful, others may find their target audience on Linkedin or Pinterest. It is for you to decide where to invest your time and effort in terms of resources.
2. Train your team appropriately
Every organization must realize that whatever is on the internet is an open book. Whatever is on the internet is there for the whole world to read. The management must be cognizant of the fact that every comment/response/resolution that its online customer-experience team makes is a reflection of the company itself. In a way, this online team is a company’s PR team! Which is why it should be trained appropriately.
The importance of empathizing and taking ownership must be ingrained in this team.
3. Respond promptly
Response time is critical. A study from social software provider Lithium in 2013 revealed that 53% of consumers expect a brand to respond to a tweet within an hour. That number jumps to 72% of consumers expecting a response if the tweet is a complaint about the brand or its products.
4. Set the expectations right
This is of paramount importance. More often than not, not adhering to given timelines causes agitation amongst customers. Always specify timelines – many a times, using ‘will get back to you shortly’, ‘will get back soon’ does more harm than good. Use a definite number of working days. It is obvious that sorting customer grievances needs collaboration between multiple departments. Hence, ensure that you speed up your inter-departmental communication.
Have a look at the below conversation:
Mar 30: When the customer is told something will be done ‘soon’
Mar 31: No news; customer is getting impatient already.
April 2: Still waiting…
April 6: A week after something was promised ‘soon’
5. Make your brand more human
Do have representatives use their names while replying to customer queries or complaints. From a customer point of view, having a named person to speak to is a lot better than an anonymous one: imagine getting a call from “A Customer Service Agent at Staples” to address a recent grievance you raised.
6. Stick to your ethics
As an organization, you should politely, but assertively stand up for what you believe is right. Be frank and open – a customer will appreciate candidness and transparency. The recent response by Ola Cabs on Twitter to a shockingly racist comment by a customer reinforces the same. Ola may have lost one customer, but gained many more in the process. Here is the tweet and Ola’s response that won so many hearts!
Are there any other pointers that you would like to add? We’d love to hear!