Social Media Changing Customer Service: What You Need to Know

Scott StoneCustomer Service

Twitter Marketing

Social media has, without a doubt, changed how businesses interact with their customers. Companies who take advantage of social media generally experience increased customer satisfaction.

According to Nielsen’s “State of the Media – The Social Media Report 2012“, almost half of U.S. consumers use social media to ask questions, express satisfaction or address problems with products or services. One-third of social media users prefer “Social Care” to the phone. Social media should be considered a major element of customer relationship building.

To read more about developing relationships, check out our article about “Building Online Relationships”.

What is “Social Care”?

According to TELUS International, social care is defined as:

“… the efforts employees make through social media to care for customers”.

The methods we use to connect and communicate with others has evolved. Many businesses have realized this and have begun to adapt to these changes. Social media plays a big role in this evolution. Social care is transforming customer service and business who wish to provide the best service for their customers should be taking advantage of this transformation.

There are several notable benefits to social care. If done right, social care can result in positive brand awareness. Of course, there is value in providing traditional customer support channels, such as telephone, email and chat; however, these methods can be expensive to implement, operate or maintain — especially for small businesses.

Who Uses Social Care?

Many businesses have already invested in social care. Big name brands such as American Express, Nordstrom and Verizon have realized the value of social care and are actively investing in expansion of their social presence.

There are many great reasons why these companies invest in social care. According to a report from the Aberdeen Group, businesses have seen a +5% year-over-year increase in first-contact resolutions. These companies also experience fewer customer complaints. This is great news for businesses who experience significant amounts of chargebacks.

Where Social Care is Important?

Having a social media presence is vital for today’s businesses. With respect to providing the best social care experience, not all social media services are equal. The best social media platform for your business depends on the nature of your business and where your customers are located. By targeting social networks where your customers are located, your business can deliver the best possible support at a minimal cost.

For a business that specifically provides business-to-business (B2B) services, social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram may not be the ideal location to provide social care. A professional network such as LinkedIn may be the best option in this instance.

If your business is Business-to-Consumer (B2C), where your market consist of general customers, Facebook may be the platform to utilize for your social care solution.

Twitter is the only exception to this rule. Generally, regardless if your business is B2B or B2C, you can find a major presence of both consumers and professionals on Twitter’s network. As a result, it’s a good idea to utilize Twitter as a major element of your social care platform.

When to Use Social Care?

Understanding when your customers need help is key to a successful social care platform. There are a few useful inexpensive tools available that make it easy for businesses to track discussions and social activity regarding their brand. One such tool is Social Mention. As a real-time social media search and analysis tool, businesses can gain a good amount of insight into their brand strength and trending topics around their services or brand.

To learn more about these tools, check out brandwatch.com’s article  “Marketing: Top 15 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools.

With respect to chargebacks, social care is a great way to encourage customers to reach out when they have issues regarding your services or products. Generally, great customer service — of which social care is a major focus — can help reduce the occurrences of chargebacks and chargeback fraud. To read more about tips for improving customer service, check out our article “15 Tips For Improving Customer Service“.

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