While social media has become an essential component of customer service for today’s successful companies, most businesses aren’t using the online medium effectively. Nine out of 10 social media users have used social platforms to contact brands directly, a Sprout consumer survey found, and more than one out of every three people turn to social media to voice customer service concerns before seeking help via websites, live chat or email.
With the proliferation of customer-service-gone-bad stories going viral, you’d think more businesses would embrace social media as an effective customer service tool. However, many companies are responding less frequently and more slowly to social service messages than customers expect.
Want to gain an edge on the competition? Delivering superior customer service via social media that meets customer expectations will go a long way in winning over current and prospective customers. Here are four ways to use social media to better engage with your customers and boost satisfaction.
Create a Social Care Strategy
In its guide to social customer service best practices, Twitter recommends developing a social care strategy that supports your marketing, branding and general customer service goals. To get things started, consider what role customer service plays in positioning your company and then consider how your social media channels can contribute to achieving this goal.
To flesh out your strategy, Twitter advises taking a three-stage approach to social care. The proactive stage means providing relevant content via your company blog and social media that includes tips and solutions to common issues.
The next stage should aim to resolve issues affecting multiple customers, including the discovery and announcement of a software bug or the release of an update. Finally, the third stage allows you to respond to customers’ social posts and messages requesting help from a representative.
Define Service Goals and Benchmarks
To implement your social care strategy effectively, it’s crucial to create customer service goals that can be measured. Creating and maintaining these benchmarks will let you know whether your company is meeting the customer service standards your customers expect and when you’re falling short of expectation.
Your social customer care goals should address both internal and external aspects of your customer service. Internally, you should track key performance indicators (KPIs), including:
- How many customer service tickets your social care team fields
- How long, on average, it takes for representatives to respond
- How often your social media reps are able to solve issues online versus referring them to live chat, phone or email support.
Externally, you can track KPIs that measure your customer satisfaction rate on a scale of 1 to 10 as well as the likelihood of your customers referring your company to family and friends.
Set Up Your Social Care Infrastructure
The next set in this process includes building your social care infrastructure. While customer service should be a collective effort, select team members for these roles who possess strong online interpersonal communication acumen, coupled with good writing and technical skills. You can use your own in-house team or outsource to a dedicated professional team.
To help coordinate your efforts via social media and other platforms, one best practice you can look to adopt includes setting up a cloud-based contact center through tools like Aspect Zipwire. This online platform provides a single interface that your customer service reps can use to view all tickets in one location, making it easier to transfer tickets from social media to other channels such as live chat or phone support.
Track Your Performance
Once you’ve set up your cloud-based customer support center, it’s important to track your performance via social media, so you can better evaluate your effectiveness and make improvements. Keep track of the KPIs you set up using analytic tools. Some platforms, including Zipwire, come with built-in analytic capabilities. You can also integrate Zipwire with external CRM tools like Salesforce to track your personalized performance with individual customers, which can yield insights to help improve retention.
Another personalized way to track your performance is to send follow-up surveys to customers who have received assistance, asking them questions to measure their level of satisfaction. This both provides you feedback and engages your customers, promoting higher customer satisfaction and setting the stage for future sales and referrals.
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