Building connections with customers through social media channels is a vital element of any brand’s success. Social Media can positively influence revenue generation, sales, and to a large extent, trust, brand loyalty, and customer relationships.
Although social media platforms were initially used mainly for personal use and to keep personal relations and interactions, with their development and growing popularity they’ve become a valuable tool for brands to build a community around them.
What is the role of social media in customer service and CX?
Social media platforms play a significant role in a customer’s life. The mutual advantages of easy and comfortable brand accessibility via social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more allow effortless customer contact and engaging social interaction, delivering brand building and an omnichannel presence through multiple channels.
The current world we live in is largely moving towards a digital way of life, with e-commerce changing the face of selling and purchasing commodities. As such, people today are spending a considerable amount of time online. With over 4 billion internet users worldwide, brands need to engage with their audiences better and work towards creating a better presence online.
As such, digital marketing is essential for any brand. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed customer behavior and made online channels a must-have, companies that were early adopters of digital technology have always been ahead of the competition.
But in 2022, just being online or having a website / social media page is no longer the differentiator. Ultimately, brands that succeed can connect, engage and help their audience, making it crucial for brand managers and marketers to have a practical social media approach.
In this article, we will explore why digital platforms are the ideal channel to engage and connect with the customers:
Customers want self-service rather than talking to a support agent
Gone are the days when customers waited in line or on a phone call to get help with their queries or issues. Today, customers use online channels to get in touch with the brand. With more brands using online channels to resolve customer queries, one receives quicker and more concise answers to their questions.
According to the Harvard Business Review:
→ 65% of customers want their problem resolved the first time
→ 62% of customers think that having knowledgeable employees is the third most important aspect needed for a company to provide good customer service.
→ 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.
Brands need to focus on helping customers find answers to their queries, using self-service content creation. Consumers today are increasingly tech-savvy and use Google or other platforms to get their queries resolved.
Over 75% of respondents to a survey mentioned that self-service is a convenient way to address issues and preferred this over speaking to a company representative. The same research points out that 40% of customers are more likely to contact call centers only after they have looked for the answers to their questions online.
So if you are creating a brand presence, plan to have a section on FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), Knowledge Center, Blogs, and even Walkthroughs available for your customers.
Easy to provide a review or feedback on the brand
Brands today know the value of customer reviews, and a good or bad review can make or break a brand. According to BrightLocal, 85% of customers trust online reviews and recommendations over the word of relatives and friends. As such they are likely to provide post-purchase reviews. In addition, since customers know that brands value their online reputation, many new users use social media to reach the brand.
How brands should ask for a review?
→ Find the right points to ask according to their customer’s journey
→ Select a strategy that works for your brand
→ Add a human touch to the reviews by asking the customers in person
→ Leverage the moments of customers’ happiness
→ Start with an open-ended question rather than giving them options
→ Decrease the friction in the customer journey wherever it is possible
→ Let your customers know how long it will take to get their issues resolved
Customers now have multiple channels to express their views on a brand. Social media provides them with the ideal gateway to share and connect with like-minded folks, many of whom they may not know personally. As such, brand managers need to ensure that there is a fast resolution of queries and the customer always has a good experience with the brand, since higher ratings reflect more trust for the brand.
Moreover, brands can even incentivize customers to provide feedback on social media channels, thereby increasing their overall ratings and reach. Customer feedback and reviews are credible inputs for your brand, which even help improve your overall reach.
Similar to customer referrals, reviews can act as a validation of your brand or its products. An example of this is McDonald’s or Subway providing special discounts or vouchers to customers that provide feedback through surveys or posts online.
Customers can go beyond the norm on social media communication
Communication between a brand and the customers mainly focuses on answering questions and resolving any issues the latter may face, but there are no restrictions online.
Customers can share their experiences and put an honest word out if they like the product or the service. They can even interact with the brand to provide inputs on a particular advertisement or offer, initiating a direct interaction that feels personal. Social media channels allow digital marketers and brand managers to directly interact with the customer, which is an opportunity to take full advantage of.
Leveraging social media channels for social and behavior change communications is a genuine and honest way of understanding the customers and potential target market. Also, it’s a much-needed next stage for addressing and managing large-scale challenges.
Customer opinions help brands improve their product and pivot in the right direction. Brands can leverage these to make amends to their products or even their online branding. Often, through customer reactions and engagement, brands understand precisely what their audience wants, which creates a solid two-way communication channel.
It is easier for customers to get answers online
Brands that focus on creating a stellar online presence can provide a better experience. This is mainly because customers can choose and make decisions, getting information based on what they want. For example, if you have multiple products or services, customers can navigate according to their interests and receive granular details on what they need. Websites with exceptional content and navigation will thus appeal to customers, and they can quickly get more information using social media or the in-website chat option.
Specifically, depending on which social media channel and what product the customer has viewed, your sales agent can even make personalized recommendations focused on customer needs.
Social media is a sales tool
Brands want to increase sales through social media. Customer service is a way to leverage social media for a boost in sales in the long term through the brand’s social media activities. Brands should be ready with their customer service arm on social media channels
E-commerce platforms are already using both Facebook and Instagram to provide potential customers detailed information about the products and to sell effectively.
The role of social media channels is often building brand awareness and driving traffic on the site. They can help you support and strengthen every step of the way that a customer goes toward making a purchase decision and eventually increasing sales.
In short, brands can leverage social media to intently push leads to the final stage of customer acquisition.
In the modern digital era, customers and brands usually operate online. Brands can leverage this opportunity to collect, analyze, and make decisions based on customer feedback.
With digital marketing, brands can easily understand what customers are talking about using specific keyword analytics and other brand metrics, improving your products, increasing brand awareness, and creating a much stronger online presence.
Social listening is a crucial step in crafting a strong online presence. Brands that value and engage with their customers will have an edge as our dependence on the internet only increases.
Tags: customer experience, Customer feedback, Customer Service, Social Media, Social media channels, Social media communication