Paolo Fabrizio
May 1, 2016

Boost relationships with Social Customer Service

An increasing number of conversations between customers and brands take place on social networks, thus publicly. At the same time many other consumers enjoy the show by listening and judging how your brand interact with customers. Like it or not, they will take their next purchase decisions upon your brand’s online behavior: speedy and effective responses will appeal them; late responses or no response at all, will turn them away. 

So are these lurkers going to buy your products/services?

Lack of trust

Nowadays relationships matter more and more, regardless of the business you’re in, and social networks amplify customer experiences (positive or negative they are). There’s a problem though, since people tend not to trust brands

Moreover, a recent research by Hubspot analyzed consumers willingness to purchase and compared it in relation with their level of trust towards information given by brands. The results have been pretty shocking (or interesting, depending on your point of view); however two aspects of these results need to be stressed:

  1. Few consumers considered the information given by brands as ‘very trustworthy’
  2. Consumers rated customer service as the most trustworthy department amongst all others

See Hubspot’s infographic below:

Customer service and marketing trust

Image credit: Hubspot.com

Leverage social conversations to build stronger relationships

In this new scenario, brands need to re-think the way they communicate with customers in order to ignite their trust.  Customers share experiences online and influence each other ↔ brands have to raise the bar by delivering an outstanding experience.

The only way to achieve that is investing in customer service: 

HERE’S HOW → leverage social customer service conversations as marketing tools to boost your sales results (increase new business/reduce churn). The key is being able to deliver a superior, seamless customer experience with an integrated proactive, pre-emptive and reactive approach. Briefly speaking by:

  • Add days/business hours
  • Providing customers with useful content (e.g. blog posts, infographics, guides, etc.)
  • Anticipating questions then adding relevant information across all your social channels (e.g. add links to FAQ pages)
  • Responding promptly to customer queries, taking into account that customers using social networks expect faster answers, especially when making a complaint

The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is the key professional and personal competency of our time – Stephen M.R. Covey

How major brands are doing Social Customer Service

SCSS16

One of the best ways to learn is sharing experiences…

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend the Social Customer Service Summit (#SCSS16) in London. This yearly event is one of the most interesting in Europe about this topic because brands such as HP, IBM, Vodafone, TSB Bank, Travelex and O2 share with the audience how they managed to successfully integrate social/digital channels into their customer service/contact centre.

Such events are very important both for brands and consultants in order to stay abreast with continuous technological innovations and rising customer expectations. During this summit, the main topics were:

  • Integrating social into an omni-channel strategy
  • Online customer service to improve customer experience and brands efficiency
  • Social Customer Service to reduce internal costs and boost agents productivity
  • Listening to the voice of the customer (VoC) to prevent crises
  • First response time as an important metric for SCS, but not the only one to look at

Read more with this great recap of #SCSS16 → 14 Essential Social Customer Service Strategy Insights

Your Turn

Social conversations are crucial to boost customer relationships so that handling them at your best it’s neither an option nor a ‘customer service thing’ anymore: it’s just doing good business: when you help your customers you are also doing marketing.

So take care of social conversations > nurture customer relationships > be consistent across all your channels.

Have great social conversations.

 

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

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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