Customer service is usually associated with a bad experience with a product or service of a business. These days requests carried out by clients using a company product or service they’re starting to tap into social media channels. Today a new infographic by Visual.ly, the findings suggest about 80 percent of businesses will incorporate social networking platforms into their customer service strategy in 2013.
Businesses before the explosion of the social sphere forced customers turn to more traditional platforms. For example clients would meet with a representative face to face or call by telephone. It is no mystery or even a myth-customer service by phone isn’t always effective.
“Social media isn’t the preferred method of customer service yet, but it’s certainly the fastest growing. Customers’ vocal and visible complaints online mean they have more power than ever-and high expectations to match,” according to the Visual.ly infographic.
Business or companies present on social media channels have to be ready to respond to customer complaints. The unpresented danger for any business is any negative experiences published on a Facebook page or negative Tweet sent out online could turn into a viral nightmare.
The obvious disadvantage of phone support is an experience-positive or negative-will stay buried in a call center with hundreds if not thousands of recordings stored away. The other problem with calling by telephone the operator maybe a third party instead of the actual institution who handles the account. So depending on the situation your request is usually better resolved in person along with a response published online.
Voice and reach of social media
Social media users are five times more likely-word of mouth-to tell their stories about a positive experience. Furthermore, this same particular group of users are three times more likely to inform others of a negative experience.
When a customer wants a direct response what platform will they turn to? In this scenario Facebook, a company blog, Twitter and YouTube will be the channels they will communicate their concerns, according to the infographic.
Below is a list of stats (customer seekings a response through a company or personal channel) of how social networks are becoming part of the customer service process:
Company 29 percent
Personal 28 percent
- Company blog
company 15 percent
Company 13 percent
Personal 14 percent
Company 12 percent
Personal 11 percent
Age groups in social media
An increasing number of older users are turning to social media to respond to a product, service, or announcement. Social media is evolving beyond the reach of younger users, therefore, forcing companies to develop social care strategies.
Customer age groups by the numbers turning to social media channels:
18 to 24 37 percent users
25 to 34 35 percent users
35 to 44 31 percent users
45 to 54 26 percent users
55 to 64 24 percent users
65+ 17 percent users
The use of social media care or social care
When using this term it suggests a far different image in customer’s mind than the plain old ‘customer service’. In a detailed article by Business2community.com titled “Why Social Media Care is the New Customer Service” lists three strategies or principles businesses should practice beyond the numbers:
Be transparent. If a user posts something negative on your brand page, many want to delete it immediately – but don’t! By answering the negativity, you’ll show other users that you’re taking control of the issue and are able to resolve it quickly and efficiently.
Be genuine. You’ve spent time developing your brand voice and personality; use it! When responding to consumers, listen to them and answer with a realistic response. By doing so, you’ll prove that brand loyalty goes both ways.
Be reliable. If you’ve replied to consumers within a certain timeframe before, you must do the same for others so nobody feels you’ve been unfair. Treat every user the same and show them your brand can be counted on when issues arise.
Social media care the new frontier
Companies along with businesses should understand the ‘social’ component in the social sphere. They should build an identity for themselves rather than go off scripted responses.
Be sincere during the social care process with a client, and most of all respond in a timely fashion. A reply within minutes is golden. A response hours or days later will leave a permanent footprint for consumers to shy away from your company’s brand very quickly.