In an earlier blog on the CHCG website, I talked about the impact of social…
- Christa Heibel
- Customer Experience
The Impact of Social Media on the Customer Experience
- Christa Heibel
- 12 June 2018
There’s no escaping the fact that social media is here to stay and that is has forever changed the customer landscape. While it was initially used as a marketing channel, it quickly evolved into a powerful customer experience tool. There may be a handful of companies that don’t use some form of social media for their marketing or as a customer service platform, but an overwhelming majority of companies across the globe understand on some level the importance of leveraging social media. For the companies that are using social media effectively, they get to experience many benefits that greatly impact their customer experience:
- Customers have immediate access to the brand. This can reduce the amount of time that they need to spend on the phone with agents, or possibly having to wait for days for an email response to an inquiry. Given that social media is accessed so often by most people on a daily basis, it is also one of the easiest ways for a customer to connect with your company. Therefore, it is worthwhile to invest in social media customer support for your brand to fully make use of this opportunity and show your customers that you care.
- You have opportunities to gain valuable feedback by listening to the conversations that take place on your social media pages. What do customers complain the most about and what are they absolutely raving about? Use the feedback to upgrade your products and services to really thrill your consumers.
- When you respond to customer complaints on social media positively, with a clear focus on problem resolution, you are essentially leveraging the power of social media to promote your customer service to a much wider audience.
Think Before You Text
Responses by a brand on social media, whether good or bad, get amplified in terms of impact on social media, which is why knowing what to say and when to say it is just as important as responding promptly to customer questions and comments. In one example, a customer took to Facebook to berate Pigalle, a Boston based restaurant, for a dinner gone horribly wrong. Pigalle, rather than use the opportunity to highlight exceptional customer service skills, decided to go on the offensive and throw out some equally choice verbiage from their side. Big mistake!
A quick lashing out may make you, as the brand, feel temporarily righteous and justified. However, to your many other customers on the same social media page who are watching the interaction, it can look like you are not effective at dealing with customer concerns. Further, your negative reaction can fuel more negative reactions from others. Never insult the customer. Always respond with class, professionalism, and genuine caring about the customer’s concern. Your customers and followers will respect you for it.
Let’s take a look at JetBlue, an airline known for setting a very high benchmark when it comes to customer satisfaction on social media. This is especially impressive considering JetBlue is an industry that is notorious for terrible customer service. JetBlue aims to not only respond quickly but to also add value to organic interactions with their customers.In one particular example, a passenger had tweeted about feeling upset about going home and had (jokingly) asked for a welcome home parade. Well, with JetBlue – ask and ye shall receive! They proved they were listening to their valued customer and went as far as arranging a welcome home parade at the airport for the passenger. While it did not take much effort for the staff to do, it really sent a message to the world that they are willing to go the extra mile for their customers.
I am an advocate of leveraging an effective social media strategy for your contact center, but I also believe that social media is not your be-all, end-all customer experience solution. It is a great tool to use, but should be used in addition with other channels. As I’ve preached before in the past, an omni-channel strategy that integrates platforms such as social media, phone, e-mail and chat will allow you to provide the on-demand customer service that your customers desire and the insights that you need to serve your customers. At CH Consulting Group, we can help you take a look at your customer experience strategy and see how it aligns with your contact center. For more information, contact us today for a free quote.
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