The margins between the businesses are diminishing. A few good customers are all the difference between a successful business and an average one. Yes, keeping old customers is as much important (at times even more important) as earning new customers. Some sales teams opine that the competitive marketplace has made it very difficult to earn new customers every day. So, as a business owner when you get a customer you have to treasure his/her association with the brand. And the best way to do so is offering the customers value for their money through superior and timely customer service. Customer care is often the major differentiator between brands that have high customer retention and those that do not have. As the online world is spreading its wings, people are having more choices. Today’s customers can get in touch with brands through multiple channels. Gone are the days when voice calls were the only way to get in touch with brands. Thus, brands have to arrange for email support, chat support and even customer support through social media channels.
Social media has become the world’s largest gathering place. It is where all the customers spend time, so it is quintessential that there is a social media customer care mechanism in place. Offering customer care on social media is a comfort that every modern customer asks for from their brand. As social media customer support is so important, thus it is important that brands reap full benefits from it.
Below are some ways in which businesses can leverage the benefits of social media customer care:
- Declare Tweeting Times: Make a specific timing for answering tweets. You may start in the morning and answer all the help requests till 4 PM. Before logging out of Twitter send a sign-off tweet. This informs the customers that you cannot address their problems on social media until tomorrow. It is perfectly fine, to declare your Twitter customer care timing because it keeps the customers’ expectations honest.
- From Social Media to Secured Channel: As social media is a public forum, so the security settings can be breached into quite easily. This is why the customer service representative should ask the customer to continue chatting on a secured channel by direct messaging. Try and provide a link to the Customer Relationship Management system as early as possible. Also tell the customer how information shared on social media is not secured.
- Personal Responses: A customer may approach the social media customer support team with a generic problem, but it should not be reciprocated with a copy paste answer. All the correspondence should be personalized. If there is a problem that would need time to address, try to impress upon the customers that you are trying hard to solve the issue. This builds trust.
- Independence for Agents: Agents should be given freedom to manage situations. They can be trained on the past instances. The management should not interfere in the work of these agents. If an agent has to turn back to the management for solutions each time, then the whole customer support infrastructure fails. Empower the agents.
- No Mixing: Marketing and customer support are two completely separate functions for a brand and they should be kept so. Mingling both these aspects just to save time and effort is not a wise idea. Whether it is Twitter or Facebook, you should create two separate profiles – one for customer support and the other for marketing.
- Take it Offline with Care: When you are trying to take an angry customer offline, you should be very careful. Choice of words is very important in this instance. You can make a customer cared for or you can make the customer feel being shut out just by the communication you carry out. When asking the customer to switch over to a private channel try to impress why it is important. Convince the customer that the action is important for providing personal attention. Also provide some data of how unsecured it is to share information on social media. If you can imbibe such a feeling in the customers they will be more than happy to switch the channels.
- Steps to Positive Experience: Answering the customers in a timely manner and being courteous to them is applicable in social media customer support too. Though these are the basics, but often the brands forget these. Letting a customer complaint posted on the Facebook wall go unanswered in not right for the brand’s image.
With these above mentioned steps you can please customers on social media and keep them coming back to you for services or products. None of these are difficult to implement. Good customer service on social media can open up new avenues for sale, as it is a public forum where applauses do not go unnoticed.
Alicia Gray is a BPO and outsourcing industry analyst, and writes about technology. Currently working as a marketing and customer service manager for Vcare Technology. Her role has been instrumental in assisting businesses to choose the right BPO Services. With her involvement in Vcare Technology, she is actively involved and up to date with the latest news on call center outsourcing and BPO industry.
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