Magazine article CRM Magazine

Essential Elements for Delivering Smart Social Customer Service: How Personalized Social Customer Service Increases Engagement and Creates Brand Advocacy

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Essential Elements for Delivering Smart Social Customer Service: How Personalized Social Customer Service Increases Engagement and Creates Brand Advocacy

Article excerpt

Good customer service is an expectation. Although customers were once happy to have a friendly agent greet them or receive a bit of help with a problem, these days, that kind of service is mediocre at best. Brands are competing for the attention of highly-distracted customers and they have to be more creative and visible to break through and get noticed. Today, you not only have to listen to customers on the channel they're contacting you on, but you have to be ready to respond at a moment's notice--wherever and whenever that might be.

"$41 billion is lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service."

InsightSquared

Social media offers enormous opportunities for brands to engage with their customers, yet keeping them engaged requires a different level of commitment. These days, good customer service is simply the framework that brands need to build on if they want to capture and keep their customers' attention.

So how do you go from good to great at delivering social customer service? Let's break it down.

GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY

The first step in delivering smart customer service is to meet your customers where they are ... and that's on social. Before smartphones became widespread and customers weren't checking them 150 times a day, they would pick up the phone to call about a customer service issue. But now, it's rare that someone even thinks to pick up the phone.

"By 2020, 90% of customer service will happen on social media."

Glen Gilmore, Forbes

There has been a shift in how customers are reaching out to brands but too many companies continue to treat social media as just that--social. They have not recognized that customers are not there to socialize, but to have their customer service issues addressed. Customers are using social media for business. They might post an issue to social while they're multi-tasking but it doesn't mean they don't expect a timely, personalized response.

HAPPY CUSTOMERS ARE LOYAL CUSTOMERS

So why are so many companies not focused on social customer service? It's not because they don't want to. Generally it's because teams are siloed, and they don't have the right tools.

Traditionally, marketing teams have owned social. They used it for marketing efforts, tailoring content to certain demographics and really only responding to customers who were giving them positive feedback. …

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