Leveraging social media in your customer service toolkit is more essential than ever

We all know important it is for brands to engage customers on social media.

An open and genuine 2-way dialogue builds trust, creates brand advocates and generates new sales.

According to NM Incite, 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others.

Increasingly, customers are driving service engagements through Facebook, Twitter and Google +. Social customer service has become the norm and brands have no choice but to respond because of what’s at stake. Social Bakers estimates that brands have improved their social customer service response rate from 5% in 2011 to 62% in 2013. In addition, Bain estimates that when companies engage and respond to customer service requests via social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with company (Bain & Company).

More recently, companies such as Qantas have adopted new approaches to customer service via social media. By engaging startup Local Measure, Qantas was able to monitor the sentiment of Qantas Club lounge members and respond to service delivery failures in real-time, while they were in the lounge.

The mechanics of social media has its advantages for customer service:

1- Short messages: Character allowances require customers to ” cut to the chase”, allowing issues to be identified and responded to more readily.

2- Traceability: As customer service issues and resolution are permanently documented, other customers can search for and view responses relating to issues they may be experiencing.

3- Immediacy: Customers like to engage brands via social media because they know they will receive a fast response. In fact, a fast turnaround has become the norm, rather than the exception. According to a study by Social Habit, 32% of social customers expect a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes (Social Habit).

Brands need to embrace social media as an essential part of their customer service toolkit. Has yours?

 From Centricity – a division of Global Speech Networks.  More at www.centricity.com.au

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