Written by Sonal Jaiswal | Evangelist, Customer Guru
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 or 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 – while the scope for increasing customer base through social media is immense, there is also just as much possibility that a brand image can be tarnished by adverse social media reviews. However, one fact is undeniable: Social media and various other online tools are the quickest and most cost-efficient way of establishing and maintaining good customer service experience.
So, here are a few important steps to up your customer experience game on social media.
1. Focus where your customers are
Analyze who your target audience is and where your customers are readily 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 sites such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and 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 the internet is a goldmine of information and whatever is on the internet is an open book. The information on the internet is there for the whole world to read. The management must be cognizant of the fact that every comment, response, and 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! Don’t you think that it should be trained to reflect the company’s ideals and values then?
3. Respond promptly
A delayed resolution is as good as no resolution. Response time is critical in improving customer experience. 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. So, apart from just responding to grievances, brands must take feedback seriously and act on it to provide the best possible resolution to the customers. Set up a process and a maximum timeline to resolve customer issues, and ensure that the customer is aware of every step that has been taken towards the resolution of his grievance.
4. 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 XYZ” to address a recent grievance you raised.
5. Align and integrate all the channels
Apart from being omnipotent, customers today also are very explorative. They are active across various channels on various devices. It is critical to build a seamless experience for the customer across all these multifarious outlets and ensure that the overall customer experience is smooth.
6. Engage meaningfully with your customers
Remember that a one-way social media communication is futile – try to interact meaningfully with your customers. Ask for their opinions, say thank you, and make them feel like their opinions and thoughts count.
Are there other pointers that could help brands become more customer-centric on social media? Do let us know.
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