Capitalizing on Social Media for Effective Customer Support

BLOG: Providing customer service via social media is an evolving trend today as digitally empowered consumers are becoming socially savvy and increasingly using social media to review, research products, and engage with companies. A study by Nielsen found that social networks and blogs are the fourth most popular online activity following search, portals and PC software. Users actively leverage this platform to share their customer experiences.

Consumers use social media to discuss their customer care problems, to research an organization’s reputation before making a purchase decision, and choose to do business with enterprises based on the experiences shared online by peers.

According to American Express, while resolving customer service issues through social media is perceived to be less effective than other methods, 60% of consumers still feel that social media has definitely helped companies improve their response time.

To drive customer advocacy, it is not enough to just create a Facebook page or a Twitter handle. Enterprises must learn to harness the power of social media as every bit of communication reflects on their brand image. Adopting a well-planned social media strategy requires careful consideration of a few key elements highlighted below.

Businesses need to have an experienced and well trained social media team which knows what works for the brand and the medium. Using the same resources and knowledge base as voice/chat agents, the team can easily access information needed to handle queries so customers are given accurate and prompt answers. Investing in applications that monitor social media using text analytics is imperative. With the help of keywords and phrases, analytics tools make sense of unstructured information and spot customer issues before they go viral as complaints. Social media engagement ensures that an enterprise adopts a proactive approach by delivering timely response to interactions. It also allows for a platform to share company news, events and even job listings that may be of interest to the consumers.

Effective social media interactions require high quality standards. Constant quality monitoring and review of agent performance is essential to ensure the right support to customers. Moreover, customer feedback can provide valuable information on what can be improved to provide an enhanced customer experience. Enterprises can also include CRM as an integral part of their social media strategy to identify sales leads and to carefully analyze customer data to gain insights on the broader trends.

Using social media as part of customer service channels provides numerous benefits, but most importantly it allows enterprises to come across as transparent, trusted partners for consumers.