In our previous blog on Digital Customer Service, we discussed what digital customer service is and the benefits of adding digital channels to your customer support strategy. We also talked about the benefits of chat customer support in the second part of the blog series. Another digital channel that has seen tremendous growth and maturity in the customer service space is Social Media management and messaging.
What is Social Media CX?
Forrester predicted that digital customer service interactions would increase by 40% in 2021 with 64% of consumers preferring to message a business than call a business. There are many different options available to send a direct message or private message to a business over social media channels to solve customer inquiries. There are also customers that will take to social media to post public complaints about a brand. Regardless of whether the social interaction is public or private, brands need to provide immediate social support responses to their customers.
There are a variety of social platforms available to customers to communicate with brands via social media interactions. The social media platforms and social channels include but are not limited to:
Facebook - this refers to a company's Facebook page for public social media messages as well as Facebook Messenger direct messaging. 1 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses every month on Facebook Messenger yet 16% of companies still don't respond to comment on their Facebook account.
Twitter - similarly to Facebook a customer can interact with a brand on their public Twitter account or send a private Twitter message to the company. 59% of companies reply to user Twitter messages within 15 minutes making it a quick way for customers to resolve issues.
LinkedIn Profile - more common to B2B companies, Linkedin is a popular channel to communicate with customers and potential customers.
Instagram - many companies have Instagram accounts which they use to promote their brand, but don't respond to their customers over their Instagram channel.
WhatsApp - popular messenger for sending text and voice messages, the messenger app also allows video calls, image, document, and location sharing. In 2018 WhatsApp released WhatsApp Business to allow companies to communicate with their customers over the messenger app.
Snapchat and Tik Tok - like most social channels, Snapchat and Tik Tok started out being used primarily as person-to-person communication but quickly switched as businesses saw the channels as a way to build brand awareness. Similar to Instagram, brands saw it as a means to promote themselves in front of a large and growing audience.
YouTube and more - there are a large number of social media channels available to customers. These channels change based on location, industry, and customer preference. For example, Facebook and Twitter may be the most popular social media sites in the US where social media options like WhatsApp and WeChat are more popular worldwide.
Benefits of Social Media CX
70% of people expect to message businesses over social media more in the future for customer service and sales questions. If that statistic alone isn't enough for you to launch a social media customer service plan, below are some of the top benefits of social media customer service.
Quick Response Time - Customers expect brands to answer their social media questions in a timely manner. Unfortunately, many companies still rate poorly for their response time over social media channels with 45% of brands taking more than five days to respond to messages through their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Positive Comments / Word of Mouth - today, people go to the internet to review products and services. If you have positive word of mouth from customers on your social media sites, you are more likely to gain new customers.
Public Problem Resolution - when handled correctly, a brand can harness positive customer experiences to receive positive public recognition, but even a problem being resolved publicly can help build trust between companies and their customers.
Customer Loyalty - 40% of holiday shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that they can message over social media channels. If you can impress a customer over their preferred channel, they will be less likely to leave your company for another option. Additionally, 36% of customers said "great customers service" is a motivation to recommend a company online.
Add automation for 24/7 Support - take your social media strategy to the next level by adding AI automation and bots to support customers 24/7 regardless of your support team hours. Bots also provide real time responses to customers.
VIPdesk’s Best Practices for Social Media CX
Adding social media to your customer support strategy can be a great opportunity to improve customer experience and brand loyalty while empowering customer service agents and even automating some of your customer service conversations by using AI and bots. Below are some of our best practices for social media support.
Bring Social Media to Your Customer Support Team - in many organizations, social media is only handled by the marketing team. This is typically because the customer support team doesn't have access to social media profiles or tools that make it possible to interact with customers over social media channels. Make sure your social media customer support agents have social media tools integrated into an easy-to-use omnichannel platform. If your marketing team wants to maintain some control over the social channels, you can set up a dedicated handle or hashtags for social customer service inquires. That way your customer service team can address client questions in a timely manner.
Find and monitor mentions of your brand - instead of only having conversations with clients via direct or private messages, monitor conversations and social media mentions in your industry and containing your company handle and hashtags. Respond to all mentions of your brand. This can also help you find positive word of mouth which can be used in marketing campaigns.
Create guidelines for your social customer support agents - because customers expect immediate reply over social media, make sure your team members are aware of a maximum wait time. Agents should also understand how communication styles and tone of voice (ie: use of emojis) differ over social media and how to escalate issues to a different channel if they are too complex for social media.
Take public conversation private - frustrated customers may take to social media to make negative public customer complaints. This is typically done to get a more immediate response from your customer support team. The best approach is to respond to the negative comment publicly as well as start a private chat. This way, you can solve the issues privately while making it known publicly that you are working with the customers to resolve the issues. Additionally, make sure that you are always responding in a timely manner, the last thing you want is someone making a public complaint only after failing to connect to your team privately.
Add chatbots for an immediate response - if your employees are struggling to meet the maximum response time, adding a chatbot could help your business improve wait times. Bots can help customers over any messaging channels 24/7 365. Chatbots can also completely handle simple questions.
Always respond - this may seem obvious, but like mentioned above many companies are not responding to customer inquiries over social media, and many of those who are take up to five days to respond. If you are not responding to social media messages, you risk lowering customer satisfaction and losing potential customers.
Use AI and Knowledge Bases for Immediate Response - you can improve response times by implementing a knowledge base and utilizing AI for agent assistance. Make sure your employees know how to access the knowledge base for quick responses to common questions. Additionally, AI can provide recommended responses to agents by pulling from the knowledge base and responses from previous interactions.
Use the right channels for your business and industry - Facebook and Twitter are common channels for consumer-based products, whereas LinkedIn is more commonly used for business-to-business products and services. For your social customer care, take into consideration the age of your customers and how complicated customer issues tend to be, to determine the best social media platforms for your company as well as other channels which could be used with social media to provide an effortless and personalized customer experience.
VIPdesk Digital Customer Service
VIPdesk offers elevated remote-based customer care for iconic brands. We offer tailor-made solutions for traditional channels as well as innovative digital channels for an excellent digital CX. VIPdesk offers the right solutions for medium to large enterprises looking to improve their digital CX by outsourcing their customer service needs to a trusted professional with over 20 years of experience.
It can be challenging to embark on a digital transformation and add new channels to your traditional call center channels. VIPdesk is here to take your customer service to the next level.