No matter what the industry is, social media is the answer to most questions related a product, company, brand, franchisee, organisations and nearly everything in between. Everybody uses some form of social media channels to connect, share and interact with people from around the globe.
However, most people limit the use of social media to just marketing campaigns. This is quite literally under-utilisation of a resource that houses nearly 70% of the world’s population on it in some form or another.
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So, what more can you do with social media?
Quite simply, get social. Social media is the number one platform where customers can come talk about you, give you reviews and share content for you. But it also the most easy place for customers to come and interact with you in the form of personal messages, comments and so on. Many brands have now begun optimizing their brand pages on social media to allow for a very efficient and quick chat system. This system allows users to communicate with you easily and resolve their issues.
But why social media?
Many users are now refusing accept multiple channels to contact a brand. They are also beginning to repel bad customer service. The advantage of social media is the fact that a brand can see what a consumer characteristic is and reply accordingly. Moreover, the platform allows to engage on posts and reviews thus personalising and improving a customer’s experience.
To take a deeper look into why social media is critical for good customer service, here is a list.
1. Be quick and be useful
Gone are the times when customers expected responses within business hours. Today, every person expects a swift and useful response. Not only is the lead time a metric but so is first contact resolution. In such cases, social media is the number one channel that allows brands to blur out the response time irregularities by responding in an automated fashion. Brands have become smarter and now have integrated chatbot systems that allow for intelligent responses and data captures without exactly hindering a customer’s journey. Most customer’s like a quick response and this feature allows for the same. Nearly 40% users expect a response time of under half an hour and upon not receiving it, they do begin to feel negatively about the brand.
2. Be bold, be you
There existed a time when brands feared customers and customer reviews. The humane nature of a brand was never allowed to surface at all. However, with time, research shows that those brands that embrace naturalness and humaneness are the ones that get more attention. Why? Because customers are not stupid anymore. Gone are the days of sales ads and catchy jingles that influenced purchases. Today it is honesty. On social media, a brand is allowed to portray this image in the form of responses, posts and customer service. When all their tasks and communications are for the world to see, a good job in this field might fetch you a lot more than you bargained for.
3. Engage More
Don’t limit yourself to just a chat box. Go and find your target audience and simply interact with them. Customers love genuine and non-salesy interactions. Many brands have begun combing social groups for queries relevant to their product and just gone ahead and responded on those threads to aid communication.There is nothing ethically wrong in butting into a conversation and participating in it when it is relevant for your brand. This level of personalisation is what wins brands a lot of fans too.
4. Have a voice and keep it
While on social media, it is very easy to distort your mission, vision, aim and most importantly your brand voice. Never lose that. It is absolutely crucial to adhere to your voice such that no matter where you engage you are easy to identify. Many brands go for quirky and fun tone. This tone seeps into their one on one conversations and goes all the way to group posts and comments. Buyers are constantly on the lookout for originality and authenticity. A clear brand vision can help with it easily on social media.
5. It is the backbone of marketing and it is cheap
To begin with, let’s cast this one point aside – social media customer service is cheaper and easier to maintain in comparison to hiring a customer service representative who will attend to emails or phone calls. Now, there is one thing we simply cannot deny, that marketing might build brand awareness and create a demand. But if the customer service skills are average and inefficient then the chances of losing the most potential customers is quite high. How many times have you seen incredible potential responses only to see disappointed customers and reviews all thanks to shaky customer service? This is all too common and thus the most important part of the social media strategy.
Remember, social media is an informal setting where you are allowed to play your cards as you like but never forget to play them right. The channels are a means of great communication and engagement and that is where the power of this channel lies.