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How to Build an Awesome Social Media Customer Service Program: Part 1 Philosophy and Approach

Customers want awesome social media customer service. As customer service expectations rise, the need for a solid, well planned and executed program is table stakes if you want to compete. This is a great time to make great social customer care your competitive advantage. We are discussing how to build an awesome social media customer service program in three parts. This is Part 1 – Philosophy and Approach.

Awesome social media customer service doesn’t just happen

Begin with the end in mind to build an awesome social media customer service program. First, think about what you want to accomplish. Then, think about what your customer wants to accomplish when they reach out to you. Focus on designing creating the customer service experience that meets their needs and yours will be met as well. 

Don’t create a separate social media strategy 

Social customer service is only one facet of company strategy. The way you interact with customers in social media will move you toward achieving the same goals and objectives as every other part of your business. For example, if increasing customer lifetime value is a goal, create customer experience that drives repeat purchase and word of mouth recommendations. If the goal is to build brand awareness, educate and inform in your social interaction. Is Social Media a Missed Opportunity for Customer Service at your company?  You don’t have to miss the opportunity. CIO magazine says if you respond fast and provide helpful answers:

  • 75% of customers are more likely to share positive reviews
  • 65% will be more loyal
  • 25% are less likely to switch to a competitor

Think of social media as an engagement channel

Remember that social media is social. Use it to converse and build relationships. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 social media consumers, 90% said they had contacted a brand using social media. Unfortunately, only 11% received a response. The Q2 2016 Sprout Social Index says companies post 23 promo messages for every 1 response. That is a terrible ratio. 36% of customers who are shunned in social media say that they will shame you in public for ignoring them and 1 in 3 will switch to a competitor. Don’t view social as a broadcast channel. Make it an engagement channel. 

Decide to measure what matters 

Measuring what matters to your customers will put you on track to exceed their expectations. Customers want more: 5 new expectations you must meet now, tells us they want a more personalized, flexible, option-rich experience with empowered engagement teams that listen closely and respond quickly. Metrics that align with these desires are speed of answer, first contact resolution, net promoter score and customer satisfaction. Use this info to change focus to measure and deliver what customers care about. 

Now that you know what you want to accomplish, are integrating social customer service into business strategy and have metrics in mind to measure progress toward your goals, what’s next? You are off to a great start, next we’ll look at Part 2: Talent and the Team; then Part 3: Process and Technology. Stay tuned. 

How to Build an Awesome Social Media Customer Service Program: Part 2 Talent and the Team
How to Build an Awesome Social Media Customer Service Program: Part 3 Process and Technology

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