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How to Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience via Social Media

More consumers are using social media to request support than to find marketing content, and direct access to agents and product experts is expected. Yet most companies are still struggling to make the shift to social customer care.

Social is the marketing department’s responsibility, isn’t it? Not anymore. Two-thirds of consumers have used social media for support, while only one-third have used it to find marketing content. Customers are using the channel differently, and companies that can successfully adjust will see positive results almost immediately.

Offering customer service via social can seem daunting—each week, more than one million people view tweets about customer service, and about 80% are negative—but you should see it as a chance to improve retention and loyalty. Every complaint is an opportunity: Companies that can provide a satisfactory resolution to a customer’s issue are likely to receive their repeat business 70% of the time. So how do you succeed in providing the top-notch social care that keeps consumers coming back?

Be a smart listener

Consumers create an average of 500 million new tweets per day, not to mention everything they post on the other major platforms, in product reviews, and as part of community forums. Nonetheless, a key part of customer care on social is hearing everything being said about your brand. Obviously, no one person—or even team of people—can accomplish that feat. You need a social listening tool that can crawl the internet in real time to uncover every mention of your brand, no matter where it occurs.

But more than that, you need a smart social listening tool that can cut through the noise and prioritize the posts that need your attention. Domino’s, for example, started using Astute’s social listening software and found that only about 3% of posts about its brand actually require action from the social team. The software allows Domino’s to tune out the other 97% of social noise so it can focus on providing support for the customers who need it, as well as engaging influencers to draw in new customers. Using the tool, the social team shortened their handling time for 15 minutes to five minutes.

CONSUMERS WHO POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT A CONTACT CENTER EXPERIENCE AND RECEIVED A RESPONSE RATED THEIR OVERALL SATISFACTION ALMOST 20% HIGHER THAN THOSE WHOSE POSTS WERE IGNORED. -CFI GROUP

There’s no such thing as regular business hours

On every channel you offer, it’s important to provide service on the customer’s terms, not yours. Unfortunately, many companies forget that the rules are different on social media. Consumers want to engage with you in the same way they engage with their friends, and on social media, that means in close to real time.

Consumers understand that many call centers aren’t open 24/7, and they’re willing to accept a delay of up to 24 hours if they’re contacting you via email. But they’re unforgiving when it comes to social care: 42% of consumers seeking social care expect a response within one hour (and 32% within 30 minutes), and 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends. That’s why Facebook’s coveted “very responsive” badge is only awarded to brand Pages that typically respond within 15 minutes.

One way to achieve that level of responsiveness is by using social media management software that includes a mobile app. Your social team can divide coverage of the off-hours without anyone being chained to their computer.

58% OF THOSE WHO HAVE TWEETED ABOUT A BAD EXPERIENCE HAVE NEVER RECEIVED A RESPONSE FROM THE OFFENDING COMPANY. -BLUEWOLF

Social care is an integral part of the customer relationship

Unlike social marketing, which involves broadly posting branded messaging with the goal of attracting new customers, social care is about engaging with customers at a one-to-one level to increase retention and loyalty. Therefore, social care is actually more closely related to customer service, and the software you use should reflect that. More specifically, your social media management software should be integrated with your CRM software to allow social interactions to be recorded alongside those from every other channel.

An example workflow using integrated software could look something like this:

  1. The social media management software uses a smart listening tool to pull in all social posts about the brand and determine which ones need a response.
  2. A priority post is pushed to the CRM, along with robust context, so that an agent can respond accurately and thoughtfully.
  3. The agent responds to the post within the CRM software (or forwards the post to another department, such as Legal), and the interaction is recorded there and in the social media management software.
  4. The response is automatically posted to the native social platform, so the customer gets a reply within minutes.
FAILURE TO RESPOND TO INQUIRIES VIA SOCIAL CHANNELS CAN LEAD TO UP TO A 15 PERCENT INCREASE IN CHURN RATE FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS. -GARTNER

Finally, using integrated software allows for hassle-free escalation to another channel. There will always be issues that are too sensitive or complex to be resolved within the limitations of social media. In fact, more than 80% of social care interactions are moved to another channel, and customers shouldn’t have to retell their story from the beginning when that happens. Two-thirds of consumers described themselves as “extremely frustrated” when they had to repeat information through multiple channels. You can avoid that by automatically tracking social interactions in your CRM system.

Where Astute Solutions Fits In

Astute Social integrates seamlessly with our ePowerCenter CRM as well as other leading CRM solutions. It allows companies to combine social care and social marketing into one comprehensive platform with engagement, publishing, ad management, and reporting tools, along with a real-time data dashboard and a mobile app.

Noise-cancelling for the web. Astute Social’s crawlers continually pick up new sites and forums so you’ll never miss a relevant mention, then the system prioritizes urgent posts that need your attention.

Keep track of posts, wherever they go. The auto-routing tool assigns high-priority posts to the right person in the organization, even if they aren’t a user of the software, and confirms issue resolution from one central interface.

Social chaos becomes meaningful insight. Powerful analytics turn unstructured data into actionable insights by clustering trending topics. View a high-level trend overview or dive deep into individual posts for a thorough analysis.

React in the moment. Real-time insights allow you to adjust your marketing strategies with unprecedented agility. Measure, adjust, and measure again in a continuous feedback loop.

The difference between SICK! and sick. Astute Social uses sentiment tracking and natural language processing to understand the nuance of language and emotions, including slang and sarcasm.

Astute knows how to deliver an excellent CX via social media Schedule a personalized demo.