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Social media has already revolutionised the way online users stay digitally connected, share content and interact with one another. These dynamic networks have even helped online businesses to expand their reach and improve conversion.
And now companies are finding that social media networks enable them to master customer care services both pre and post-sale. Essentially, social media networking can become an integral channel as part of a purchase path together with customer support for aftercare services.
But social can be more than that – with the right tools. Let’s say you have a disgruntled customer who tells a friend how unhappy they are with your product and services. This kind of social sniping could damage your reputation and online creditability.
Online tools are available that enable companies to monitor discussions on social media so that when somebody mentions your brand or products associated with your company you will be alerted.
Therefore, if an unhappy customer moans about you on their social media account rather than coming to you directly, customer services can swiftly look to resolve the complaint early and rectify the matter – thus protecting your creditability and saving your reputation.
Customer sales services
One of the key benefits of using social media to manage customer care services is that it allows you to interact with customers in real-time. From a sales point of view, this can be the difference between securing a sale or losing a customer to your competitors.
This type of technology is already being used on-site. You have probably noticed the rise in virtual assistants when you visit a website which allows companies to interact in real-time with visitors.
Social media networks can be used in a similar way. And according to this survey, 81% of consumers prefer to interact with an online assistant if it reduces waiting time to get the help they need.
How can social media networks improve customer service?
There is no one social approach that will suit every company. The way in which you utilise social platforms will depend on the size of your company, how well-known your brand is, how many followers you actually interact with and whether you can afford the manpower to have a dedicated customer service on social media.
Large companies with a high volume social interaction for example, will benefit from round-the-clock customer care services, especially global brands that are household names.
Small businesses on the other hand need to determine how they can make a customer service platform on social media networks raise their online profile and establish a reputation.
Do You Need To Be More Responsive on Social Media? Here’s How!
If you are using social networks to launch content marketing campaigns to drive traffic and improve conversion, you can easily implement an aftercare service and make the first approach to customers to get them talking about your product.
It should be noted that you do not need to respond to every thread which you are mentioned, particularly if you are fielding a high volume of customer care responses. However, a quick thank you to praise only takes a moment and does you no harm.
Social media gives you the power of instant connection and visibility, both of which work in your favour for improving conversions and your online creditability. It does not matter what size your business is, if you can make social media work for you, get to work on social media.
The importance of social media networks cannot be underestimated. They enable you to cast your marketing net further afield and connect with customers on a personal level – well virtually at least.
But the emergence of social networks as a marketing platform has changed the way companies connect with customers in the digital sphere. Essentially, you have been invited into their personal world and they demand respect.
Customer service has always been high on the agenda of consumers, and even though shopping is switching to the digital realm, the needs and principles of people have not changed.
The modern day consumer still expect companies to provide great customer service, and on social networks this means being more responsive.
The key principles of social media marketing
Connecting with customers works both ways. Your customers can take the initiative and approach you with questions first. This gives you the opportunity to serve them by offering advice online as if they were in your physical store.
What you have to consider, is the device a customer is using. The majority will use a mobile which means they could be within 5 minutes reach of your store. Quick responses are required and that is what customers expect.
One of the bugbears for your social connects is receiving content they have no interest in, especially if it is a promotional ad. Therefore you should group customers into specific categories based on their personal interests.
Take note of what kind of content your customers are engaging with, the type of questions or comments they post and what content they share with friends. This will enable you to build a profile to fit your categories.
You should also be taking note of which content you post is performing well. Which titles are attracting the most click-throughs, likes and shares? Is there also a particular time of day or day of the week that content performs better?
Performing analysis on your content and social connections is a time-consuming and lengthy process, but you can make the task quicker and easier by using tools.
Social listening apps can be programmed to alert you when specific words are mentioned among your followers whereby you can react immediately with advice, a bit like a social knight with shiny products.
Analytic tools can help determine which titles are receiving the most engagement which gives you a stack of data you can use to put together a content marketing strategy.
Tidying up your social media accounts and culling your band of followers to keep the corn and cull the chaff is also a worthwhile exercise to keep your account more manageable and reach out the valuable customers.
There is an emphasis on customer loyalty and social media networks can help keep you in favour with your audience. Use social media marketing wisely and it will work for you, neglect the demands of your followers and you lose conversions.