The 1960s brought about Volkswagen buses, MadMen advertisers, and the first call centers. For the next 40 years, these support farms led our customer service needs. Then came the gatekeeper, the automated voice trying to streamline the customer service process, but only succeeding in leaving you as a consumer saying, “there has to be a better way.” Nowadays, we have other, more successful, customer experience platforms like Social. Sixty-seven percent of consumers now tap networks like Twitter and Facebook for customer service, according to JD Power.
As a first line of defense, how can you ensure a good customer experience on Social? Putting focus on these three things will put you on your way to a first class customer experience.
1. Speed: I performed a Twitter survey of 155 people, and nearly one-third said they received no response at all from a particular brand — Nearly 50 percent received communication within the day. If you consider a customer service opportunity similar to a website sales lead, you should look to respond within the hour. According to a study by HBR, responding to a lead within an hour generates seven times the conversations. Ideally, you should shoot for a response in under 15 minutes with Social, but within the hour is a worthy first step.
2. Experience: How can you make sure your brand stands out? If someone tags you on Social, they are either trying to get customer service help, complimenting you on something, or mentioning your brand or product related to their thought. This creates an immense opportunity to produce a raving advocate from just a normal consumer. According to a report I did previously, eight percent of loyal shoppers produce 41 percent of revenue. The quicker you can get regular consumers into the loyal category, the quicker you can produce more revenue.
A few years ago, I had an experience where I randomly tested the Zappos customer experience. I had a hard time contacting a different retailer to exchange some shoes. I knew Zappos sold the same shoe and had the size I needed. I tweeted them, they got my information, and then they gave me instructions on how to exchange the shoe with them even though it wasn’t where my purchase originated. It is examples like this one that can help create a loyal customer on Social.
3. Personalization: A best practice I have seen different brands implement is making social interactions conversational. You can do this by addressing the person by name (if available) and then signing the response with who is responding. This makes the interaction feel more like a face-to-face interaction and creates a good image in the eyes of the brand you are reaching out to. Personalizing your communications also helps to validate the mention and find a resolution that shows your brand in the best light.
We live in a fast paced mobile world where the slower you are to respond, the more difficulty your brand will face in expansion. If you can put focus on speed, experience, and personalization you may find that Social can be the next wave to future customer service success for consumers who prefer interacting with real people, in real time, and in a real way.