Customer care online: why we need to build robust customer care platforms on social media

This post was originally published on LinkedIn

While most organisations use some form of CRM tool or another, and use social media for marketing, it has become extremely important in these days to have an equally strong team taking care of your customers online or on social media. For every piece of content you post on social media, be ready to answer a product issue on the same thread. Customers of your product are increasingly becoming tech savvy and hope to have their issues sorted quicker on the social platforms. In a way, this is the place they come to as an escalation of their existing grievances, not to mention for lodging new complaints.

In 2015, Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, had reported that ‘by 2018, more than 50 percent of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience.’ It seems that in 2016, companies are already in the process of changing business processes to improve customer experience, especially on social media.

So who takes care of your social media handles?

If you have outsourced it to an external team, and not a dedicated care resource, you are, may be, losing out on a stellar chance to improve on your online reputation. And that may have long term repercussions that you may not have thought about. A recent research by customer engagement company, Genesys Interactive Intelligence, suggested that 87% of consumers claim that their brand loyalty is affected by how a brand responds to them in the social media.

Online customer care plan

Yes, no matter how many customer contact points you may have, you will need a robust plan in place for dealing with customer queries on social media. It will need dedication and empathy of a care executive to plan and execute the offerings that will be part of your online care strategy. Some of the things you will need to put in place for this will be: who will answer the queries, how many times a day will the executive be online, what are the platforms that will form the crux of this care outreach programme, what will be the turnaround time for an executive to answer a customer query, what will be the escalation process etc.

Choosing the right platform

So what can be the most important platform for dealing with customers on social media? The common consensus is of course the private messaging services offered by the platforms. From Facebook to Twitter, platforms are experimenting with ways of engaging with the audience through direct messaging, and it’s time for you to jump into the bandwagon, if you haven’t already done so. As more and more customers are choosing social media messaging to talk to the brands, at this time private messaging is seen as the preferred choice of communication between organisations and their audience. As suggested by a report, over 90% of the conversations on social media are one to one.

Using social care data

Another important part of social care offered online is of course the data. Social care data can help brands in pre-empting potential crisis situations, and understand customer preferences. Social media data is also relevant in understanding what your customers are talking about competition, industry, and many things more. Your social care strategy needs to cater for data management and analysis as well as integrate it with your overall business objectives.

 “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” — Zig Ziglar

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