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Paolo Fabrizio
March 6, 2017

Use Social Customer Service To Nurture Your Business

nurture business relationships

For many years, customer service has been underrated. Most brands have considered it ‘a post-sales activity’ or worse ‘just a necessary cost’. This ignores the inner value of customer service for overall business. Well, if you still have this kind of approach in 2017, it is no wonder that you struggle to retain your customers! In this high-speed, competitive world, if you want to attract and keep customers in the long term, you have to invest in the quality of your customer service, and nurture relationships every day

In this post you’ll get the answers to the following questions: 

  1. Why should I integrate digital channels into my customer service / call-centre?
  2. How to better understand the benefits of Social Customer Service?
  3. How to choose the best Social Customer Service platform for my brand?

So without further ado, let’s go straight to the answers…

A1. Customers are using social/mobile channels to get support

The spreading of mobile devices and social networks have respectively increased and amplified customer experiences in public. Smartphones in particular have contributed a change in customers behavior, since they are much more comfortable and faster to use than traditional channels such as phone calls and email. Newer channels circumvent long ‘on hold’ time before speaking to an operator, or delayed responses to emails. They are far better and more satisfying solution for urgent cases.

This shift is especially affecting phone, as witnessed in Dimension Data‘s ‘Global Contact Centre Benchmark’. This study annually analyzes which channels are being used in contact centres. By 2015, over 35% of interactions were already taking place via digital channels, with a constant decrease of the phone channel – as you can see in the infographic below (green circles):

Global Contact Centre Benchmark

Time has become the most valuable currency for customers. So don't let them waste it.Click To Tweet

A2. Broadcast the benefits of Social Customer Service 

Unlike saying how ‘awesome’ or ‘wonderful’ Social Customer Service may be, offer prospects the opportunity to get closer to this topic without asking for their money. A great way to do so is hosting Q&A live video events during which whoever is registered can ask questions and get useful tips and replies almost in real time. When SCS vendors and experts join forces for these events, it’s a real blast!

EXAMPLE Sparkcentral broadcasted a Q&A live video event hosted by Jay Baer (BTW, thanks again Jay for answering my question at minute 33:51 😉 ). The main benefits of such initiatives are, in a nutshell:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Spreading the word about Social Customer Service (education)
  • Building trust by answering in-depth, related queries
  • Getting valuable feedback about customer’s expectations 
  • Getting in touch with new prospects while nurturing relationships with existing clients

Brands need to market their customer service

Jay Baer 

A3. SCS platform: set your budget, know your needs

DashboardImage: Unsplash.com

When it comes to investing on a Social Customer Service digital platforms, the temperature is always rising. That’s mainly due to the fact that brands are worried about not making the right choice. They do not want – can’t afford to – waste time and money. Such caution is obviously not misplaced. However, in my experience, sometimes that’s enough to hold entire projects up for months (with consequent extra effort and costs when it’s time to make it start over again). 

SOLUTION: if you want to choose the best Social Customer Service platform for your business, you have to identify  your needs beforehand. That means being able to answer the following questions:

  • What are my main Social Customer Service goals?
  • Which KPIs do I need to track to measure my efforts?
  • How many agents will be initially involved? (i.e. in my first small SCS team)
  • What’s my budget this year?

TIP: the above mentioned are prerequisites to take the best decision re. investing in the SCS platform that best suits YOUR specific needs.

Social Customer Service platforms should leverage sales generated thru customer service interactions.Click To Tweet

Your turn: Nurture Customer Relations

Deliver excellent customer service and turn it into your competitive advantage. Take advantage of social/mobile channels to nurture customer relations and – most of all – fix any issues quickly and effectively. 

LET YOUR CUSTOMERS AMPLIFY THEIR HAPPINESS.

So, save customers time and make their lives easier if you want to keep them away from the bad guys (your competitors).

Have great social conversations.

 

Lead image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_violetkaipa‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Profile photo of Paolo Fabrizio

Paolo Fabrizio

Paolo Fabrizio is Social CRM, Blogger, Speaker. He is a pioneer of online customer service, taking part of insurance start-ups since the 90's. An eclectic gentleman obsessed by Social Customer Service. Multilingual professional, passionate about rugby and serial smiler