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Social media • September 2016

Social Customer Care Best Practices

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Social Customer Care Best Practices

Rational
This article was contributed by

Let's get a @handle of the new era of customer service.

Gone are the days of customer hotlines and hold music. Customers want more, especially when they’re mad—and sub-par customer service just isn’t going to cut it. We’re entering the era of Social Customer Care: where customers engage directly with brands on social media to resolve their issues, and brands provide personalized customer service in real time.

When it works, successful Social Customer Care can help brands transform dissatisfaction into loyalty, and care into profit. But when it #fails? At best, brands can lose customers, and at worst— one tweet can spark a wildfire of outrage, and tarnish a reputation.

So what’s the secret to #winning Social Customer Care? Here you can access a field guide with original data you can use to create and maintain a successful customer care program.

At Rational, we create Social Customer Care programs customized by industry, social volume, product, and about a million other variables. But, what always remains constant are Rational’s tenants to customer care success. Below, we’ve provided a few of these tenants:

Always-on 

Your brand doesn’t operate on the 9-5 clock, so why should your customer support? One mistake we see brands commonly make is turning off their social support, leaving their customers without care for large periods in the evening. For global brands in particular, this can lead to a lot of missed opportunities and many unsatisfied customers.

In today’s digital age, customers expect brands to be available 24/7. And so at Rational, we recommend putting a team in place that can handle an always-on approach. The level of around-the-clock care depends on the brand, but ultimately the goal is simple: be available when you customers need you to be.

Real-time engagement 

When customers are upset or need help, they expect an answer right away. And often, waiting can only intensify their dissatisfaction. As stated in our field guide, 53% of customers who reach out to a brand on social media expect a response within the first 60 minutes. And that figure skyrockets to 72% for those with complaints. What’s more, 38% of customers will get angry if a brand fails to respond, and 60% will express that angry on social.

So how do you @handle these expectations? At Rational, we always recommend a real-time engagement strategy. This means having the crew in place to field and triage questions as the come in. It’s a first-line-of-defense that means that the right questions get answered by the right experts at the right time. The number of team members we would recommend in this role would depend directly on the brand’s social volume, but ultimately the goal is simple: get a response to the costumer, and get it fast. This kind of strategy can make a response rate of an hour shrink to 8 minutes or less.

Be personal(ized) 

There are few things that will anger customers more than feeling like they’re talking to a robot. In personal of canned responses make customers feel unvalued. Social media is a place for people to engage. So customers expect a brand to feel human on this channel. In Social Customer Care, we always recommend that brands take a personalized approach, and tailor their engagement to feel human-to-human, instead of brand-to-consumer.

 

 

Following the above best practices can help your Social Customer Care strategy evolve from flat to fabulous. Have more questions on Social Customer Care? Want us to evaluate your current strategy? Give us a shout: socialcustomercare@rationalagency.com