Getting it Right

According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, nearly half of U.S. consumers use social media to ask questions, report satisfaction, or to complain—and a third of social media users prefer “social care” to the phone.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become more than just platforms for random musings or marketing and advertising, many companies now rely on these platforms for customer opinions and customers intern view these as important channels to ask and receive customer service.

Lauren Horwitz, Executive Editor, Business Applications and Architecture, notes that increasingly, customers want real-time, high-touch, high-quality service wherever they are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Periscope on a company website, and from their smartphones. Therefore, the fact that brands are present on social media, users increasingly expect to be able to reach out to them there and receive an effective response.

So, if you haven’t yet invested in this new social customer service trend, here are five reasons why you should, according to Search Engine Watch:

1) It is convenient

The idea that social media provides a faster response to customer service enquiries is not necessarily true, as this can depend on the complexity of the requests, the volume, and how well-equipped a company is to deal with them. But what it does provide is convenience.

2) People expect a response – and they like to be heard

While customers have a limited amount of patience nowadays, they absolutely still want to be heard; they’re just using different channels to communicate with brands. Research commissioned by Lithium Technologies in 2013 found that 53% of people who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. This figure shoots up to 72% when people have a complaint to make.

3) A good impression counts for a lot

The way you respond in any situation can make all the difference to your brand’s reputation and profile. Social media has been a game-changer for customer service in that it makes brand-customer interactions much more public, making companies accountable for the way that they deal with customers. It also provides companies with a major opportunity to create a positive impression for their brand, and showcase their commitment to good customer experience. Perfect example is the Taylor Swift exchange with Apple iTunes. To Apple, Love Taylor http://taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/122071902085/to-apple-love-taylor …

4) Customer service makes a huge difference to customer retention

According to data gathered by Zendesk, 40% of customers began purchasing from a competitor brand based on its reputation for great customer service, while 85% were willing to pay up to 25% more to ensure a superior customer service experience.

5) It can be beneficial for product research and marketing

As Matt Owen wrote in our ‘Social Customer Service: Best Practice Guide’, “In addition to providing information, social media channels should provide an open space for customers to discuss issues they have with a product or service, and the more constructive businesses will see this as a valuable source of product feedback, which can guide their own internal focus and reduce wastage.”

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