As customer service increasingly moves on to social media, it is now more important than ever to have a good strategy if you want to offer great experiences.
Starting with a good strategy can be the difference between generating an army of loyal customers and a horde of trolls.
Here’s what I’ve learned from a few companies that provide great customer experiences on their social media channels.
1. Be Generous – It Pays!
There’s countless examples of companies showering their customers with gifts – either in gratitude or as an apology, knowing full well the impact of such gestures on their social media presence.
Here’s two companies that used this strategy to reap bountiful rewards.
Samsung Mobile Canada
The global electronics company had an amusing exchange with a cheeky customer who asked if he could have one of their newly released Galaxy S-III phones for free. After an initial refusal and the customer posting their colorful conversation on Reddit (where it consequently went viral) Samsung saw the merit in yielding to the persistent customer’s demands and gave him what he asked for.
Another cheeky request by a loyal customer granted true by a company, receiving praise from one and all on the internet. This restaurant chain received a bizarre request from a customer on their Twitter account.
A request most people would have thought would go unanswered. Surprisingly the restaurant was quick to act and the customer was greeted by a smiling server when he arrived at his destination.
You’ll find many more examples of companies being super generous to their followers on social media, and with good reason.
A closer look at the Tweets in the examples above will show you the kind of engagement and brand presence these interactions generated, not to mention the subsequent mentions of the story by other online and offline publications.
It is important to note here that generosity isn’t heaped on anyone that asks something from a brand on social media. The two gentlemen that had their requests indulged had a pretty decent number of followers and engagement on their profiles.
2. Setup a Dedicated Support Strategy
This may sound like an obvious one – you couldn’t possibly run social media for a multinational organization without a social media support team – or could you?
Top organizations like Nike, Coca-Cola and Microsoft have dedicated social media accounts to support their primary brand accounts with customer assistance.
Some companies go as far as having dedicated support teams for different regions (in regional languages)
Depending on the characteristics of your audience base (spread, size, language etc.) you’ll want to allocate your resources accordingly and decide how many account handles you are going to need
Invest in a Social Listening Tool
Depending on the size of your organization (and Twitter account size), you could receive anything from a handful to thousands of notifications on your account every day.
Increasing the size of your social media team may not always be enough.
Invest in a social media listening tool that can help you identify, organize and respond to mentions, comments and any other activity you need to be on top of.
Tools like Mention, Sysomos and Crimson Hexagon are examples of some premium platforms that can help you do this.
3. Set The Ground Rules – Get Organized!
This is the part where I tell you all the things they teach you at school:- define your goals, know your strategies, set your KPIs and setup your measurement metrics.
You may be tired of hearing this, but it really is the first step of setting up any social media marketing program.
Here’s a few things you’ll need to check before launching your campaign:
- Set your measurement KPIs: Set certain metrics that you’d like to measure and monitor specifically for the social media support team. Some useful ones can be:- response time, overall brand sentiment, churn rate – here’s a more detailed list.
- Determine your “tone” and “voice”: These refer to characteristics of the language you’d like to use on your company’s social media accounts.
- Define your SM support guidelines: Once you’ve allocated your resources to handle social media support you will need to consider things like setting up an average response time, protocols for handling abuse/negative comments, setting up a channel for relaying feedback/concerns to management, assigning tech personnel to assist with customer support.
Depending on who you ask, social media managers will have a difference of opinion in the strategies that they follow and believe in.
One thing you can do is learn from the best. Social media can be a great testing ground for ideas and you’ll be quick to know whether a campaign was a win or a flop.
As customer service increasingly moves towards social media and other digital platforms, the need for brands to learn how to offer better customer experience on these channels has never been more crucial.