How will social media change customer service in 2016? (GUEST POST)
A company must be where the customers are, places where they socialize and spend their pastime. After all, consumers have a final say about the company’s image, not a marketing department (Guest post by Nate Vickery).They are empowered today by an immense ocean of information and data, and have learned how to navigate it. Often, however, they need help in maneuvering uncharted waters, and that’s when they want to see the guiding light on the horizon. The game is ever changing for companies, and a customer service is growing more and more important. 2016 is shaping up to take this pertinence to an even higher level.
A problem solver
A surge of new technologies has enabled businesses to establish deeper connections with their customers in a way that’s dynamic, casual and responsive. Enterprises are able to build a dynamic brand, one that’s in tune with the high-paced, exciting lifestyle of today. This is impossible without providing service excellence on various social networks that have become more than just advertising machinery. Consumers simply expect a modern company to be present on social media and to communicate with them on a regular basis.
Even profiles that were not created for customer service ended up dealing with people who are contacting the company with a query. While most of the visitors look for a response to their questions, a considerable proportion desire direct contact with customer service representatives. They want their problems to be solved in a timely fashion, or just enjoy the opportunity to engage in conversation with the brand’s representatives. What’s more, acquiring information about the brand via its social media profile is nice and easy, and is aligned with customer’s everyday experience and habits.
Value of words
There is no better channel for serving the information and promotional content than a prime social network. Yet, note that brands are supposed to add real value, not just share funny videos and witty commentary. Therefore, creating a multi-channel support can be a daunting task. Frequenting Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms is insurmountable task for many, but focusing on those networks where target audience does the trick. Still, handling all the incoming chatter is overwhelming, since recent years saw an increase in direct messaging.
This effort pays off, however, as research shows that customers who have a positive experience with brands on social media tend to spend more on their products and services. Furthermore, a content customer will recommend the company to others, providing a free word-of-mouth promotion. On the other hand, customers whose questions remain unanswered on social media are likely to side with the competition. In an age when every bit of negative info can spread like wildfire, this can have a very negative impact on the business reputation and sales.
Most companies opt for Facebook and Twitter as must-have weapons in a customer service arsenal. Last year, Facebook has introduced several new messaging tools for brand pages, in order to stay on top of new trends. People have grown accustomed to communicating through private messaging, and want this fast and convenient method to be available when interacting with brands. Apart from perpetual communication with customers, many companies use Facebook to monitor and analyze their behavior. The goal is to set the priority criteria and direct staffing and resources toward business goals.
When it comes to Twitter, its account is a free, real-time marketing tool. It is excellent for reaching out to people without being intrusive. A company’s tweet is something informative and funny, intimate and informal. This way, barriers between the realms of entertainment and marketing are blurred, and getting the best of both worlds is made possible. Everyone is trying to strike some helpful, striking and sharable content, one that is retweeted thousand of times in a matter of minutes. Done right, customer service on Twitter is unparalleled in terms of spreading brand familiarity and building customer loyalty.
A stellar service
It takes more than just one well-placed post to nail customer service. This is a constant effort, a long-term strategy, and a contemporary enterprise must not fail to utilize social media to powerful ends. Brands that are not socially conscious and relatable, have no chances of surviving in a fierce marketing arena of today. Being a social media rock star, on the other hand, requires a serious investment of time, resources and some great creative input. In the future, social media will continue to grow in importance for businesses worldwide. Just the same, the bar of customer service is constantly rising on social networks, and keeping up the pace is becoming a serious challenge.
Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant and blogger from Sydney. His fields of expertise are company management and efficient work environment through latest technology trends. He is also an editor-in-chief on business related website, Bizzmarkblog.com.