By Scott Yates, HGS Operations Director
Are you taking your social media strategy as seriously as you should? Imagine you’re a Fortune 100 company spending millions on marketing to create and support your brand, but you don’t prioritize social media support. Your customers are driven to your social media pages—but once they get there, they don’t find 24x7 empathy-building communication or proud, positive brand representation, and a fast, solution-focused approach. Instead they are faced with thread after thread of negative customer feedback and lackluster product support. Simply put, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, you’re missing the plot. With this nickel-holding-up-a-dollar approach, you may have just lost 20% year-over-year growth.
Think smart about your social media strategy, and start with understanding the three ways today’s fashionable feedback tool can make (or break) your CX:
- Ensure your social media presence speaks to a personality well aligned with your company culture, product line, and, most importantly, customer base. This means shifting from a defensive to an offensive social media approach, with more proactive posts addressing brand, product, or market issues. Invest the time and resources to speak in the tongue of your brand and customers. Also:
- Avoid company siloes so that Marketing and Consumer Affairs are better funded and aligned in their approach. Understand how Consumer Affairs should be in close step with—and even fuel—departments like Product Innovation, Product Development, and Research and Development.
- Help bolster your front lines, with agent training that includes product and company culture education and a playbook for how to communicate in precise line with your brand.
- Treat social media customer engagements as conversations that stand on their own—deserving of response time and colloquial, culturally appropriate tone. More than ever, the art of conversation is not lost. Think of these exchanges more like a phone call than an email. While a shift to digital customer care is today’s new norm, don’t lose sight of the fact that a four-hour response time—much less a 24-hour response time, is not going to satisfy (much less delight) today’s customer. Also, in responses, don’t hide behind a shadowy 800-number—be present and personal, with open communication and practical solutions to customer problems. Don’t be overly cautious about engaging customers with appeasement, as long as you can solve the problem, retain the customer, and not compromise the complainant.
- Keep the end goal in sight: gaining and retaining customers. Understand the scale and importance of your social media presence. Specialize your channels and align with your CX support. For example, if you have a customer with 25,000 Twitter followers, most likely your trainees shouldn’t be responding. At the front end of support, build in fast research so agents understand the social profile of each customer posting—from their social presence to their troll factor. If a customer engages consistently in a negative way—this contact should likely be escalated to a veteran team member or set aside so as not to build steam.
Finally, once you have a sound social media strategy in place, ensure that you share the knowledge. This means integrating robust engagement and reporting tools focused on recording and building knowledge from this customer feedback. While this can be labor-intensive, know that these insights are valuable to your future growth and success.