Why Should Social Media Be Your New Customer Service Battlefield?

You heard about it. No, you are seeing it with your own eyes.

Social network channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…have been rooting in our digital young generation. Everything we do nowadays goes social. According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, social network is used as a place to ask questions, to reflect customer’s experience with one brand via expressing their satisfaction or complaints by nearly half of U.S. consumers. Also, a third of social media users prefer “social care” to the phone.

Although there is still a long way to go for social network channels to be officially put at the central stage as one of the major customer service channels for one’s business, it is NO LONGER a question if you should let your customer service go social or not. It’s a new battlefield waiting for you and sooner or later you will have to join the fight with others here.

My advice is: the sooner you take social media seriously as a new customer service platform, the better and more advantageous. If you need something convincing enough to prove that my advice is right, look at the 3 critical reasons below.

1. The dominance of social media. It happens.

There’s enough big data report on the enormous benefits of marketing and advertising via social network. Social network is without a doubt, the game-changer in modern marketing. How about customer service?

From a survey “Consumer Behaviors Towards Multi-Channel Customer Service”of 1,000 adults aged 25 by M2Talk conducted in November 2014, it is reported that social media channels are preferred as the primary method of reaching customer service by about 2% of respondents. This number seems to be very modest while putting it next to other channels: live chat (21.3%), email (32.5%), and phone (33.5%).
However, in the next years, this number won’t be as tiny as 2%. If you look further into the future, where the social-media-addicted young generation nowadays is the targeted customer, social media does have a firm stand among one of the popular customer service channels.

According to the Wall Street Journal, social media usage is already the dominant internet activity with the fact that Americans spend an average of 37 minutes daily on social media. This amount of time is more than the time spent on any other Internet activity, including email.Plus, it’s very positive that social channels might become the effective channel for brands.  J.D. Power and Associates reported that social media sites have been using by 67% of consumers for servicing from a company.

You can’t just deny the powerful reach-out of social media. You’ll have to swim in the mainstream of this big ocean.

2. Social media solves the puzzle of fast and honest response to customers

You know what customers want from your customer service, right? And they want it fast. Immediately. Right away.

Social media helps deliver prompt response to customer’s request. Imagine, with email, they’ll have to wait for several hours to 24 hours for their request to be sorted out and assigned to one support’s member then to be resolved. For phone support, they may have to wait on hold for minutes. With social media, things can get resolved faster. When there’s a request posted on your fanpage’s wall for example, the page admin will be notified and can react to the question right away.

But live chat is just as quick, you may ask. Yes, live chat is super-fast for instant customer support too. However, live chat is about dealing with customer’s issues at a personal and private level. With social media, the conversation is totally transparent. Your answer, your attitude, everything is public and transparent for the fans/followers. Being honest is the bullet-proof branding method for any company to gain trust from the current and prospective customers.

3. Good customer service on social media means better sales

Everything you do for your business is aimed at the final goal: more sales.

So, you’d better know that via social media channels, if companies engage and respond to customer service requests well, those customers will end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company – as reported by Bain & Company.

Doesn’t it sound very tempting? Why can social media add up more revenue flowing into your pocket?

Well, it’s because social media is a viral thing, and anything spreading through social media channels is even quicker than virus. Imagine your customer service did a brilliant job in pleasing customers then your brand would get mentioned quickly. Study by Harvard Business Review showed that customers who enjoyed positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand.

Chances are, when you are handling questions and comments on social pages, at the same time you encourage more activity as well as brand mentions. A link to your website in the comment can drive more traffic to your site and help improve your SEO rankings.

That’s not all the glory. 42% of customers will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social (but stay awake, 53% of them will talk about the bad ones).

We all know that most companies treat social media as a marketing medium. But if you go the extra mile and impress customers with exceptional customer service on social pages, your company will be rewarded.

You know what to do next?

I hope I’ve just help you warm up your engine as well as give you a concrete motivation to pick up the weapons and fight for your brand on social channels. Your support agents don’t need to be social-savvy for satisfying customers via social media, they just need to be dedicated and have a customer-centered mindset as usual. Of course there are some tactics to deliver outstanding service there and get your brand go viral – I’ll talk about these later (it’s a promise).

Have you got your customer service staff well-equipped for this social media battle? Share with us what you think about it and your experience right below.

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March 18, 2015 - Customer Service Tips