Decades ago, the advent of the internet transformed the way organizations chose to conduct their operations and developed a new avatar of representing themselves on a global platform. Since then, the introduction of social media left another revolutionizing footprint by bringing in a change in the current business landscape.
While the internet breaks down global boundaries, it is social media that has made its impact ratio felt even more explicitly in the realm of two-way communication. Not only that, social media today has become one of the key customer communication tools between businesses and their patrons. No wonder the State of Service 2017 report by Salesforce states that 64% of consumers expect businesses to respond to their queries instantly.
The Relationship Between Brands and Social Media
Building trust between your brand and customers is essential. The key to accomplishing this herculean task is through the exploration of new communication processes via digital channels. This has driven businesses towards adapting to more innovative methods of interaction and customer communication.
With 80% of customers using social media to engage with brands, consumers expect the brand voice over these channels to be authentic and honest. This gives it the much-needed credibility and amplification that drives home the importance of social media in communication for businesses today.
This potentially transforms the brand from an unfeeling entity to an organization that is genuine, humane and relatable.
Strategically Design Your Customer Communication
How well you strategize and design your customer communications will impact how your consumers receive your content. Begin with a survey of your existing customer base to gauge their expectations in terms of the brand messaging that you should be developing.
Do some research online for survey question examples before you curate your questionnaire. These will help you frame your customer satisfaction surveys and get a better understanding of how customers perceive your brand. While this research is necessary, you can also create survey questions by taking into account the customer journey. You can ask questions about the areas they felt needs improvement or whether they enjoyed their experience with your brand.
Other than that, there are some online survey maker tools that provide beautifully designed survey templates and inclusive of question examples.
Once the questionnaire is ready, share it on all social media channels and request customers to send in their responses that can you can analyze later.
Practicing Social Customer Care
Communication in the digital age led by social media has been greatly characterized by shifts and progression.
A survey carried out by Q2 2016 Sprout Social Index found that approximately 34.5% of customers preferred conversing with businesses via social media channels as opposed to traditional mediums like phone and email.
While promoting your business is fine, enterprises must ensure that the customer queries are responded to within reasonable timelines. A typical customer reaches out to brands across an average of seven social channels. Brands need to respond to customer outreach every day through a range of social communication in business.
This firmly establishes the foundation for social customer care.
Social customer care is no longer a concept. It is the reality of any modern-day business enterprise.
Social customer care is an invaluable form of customer communication in the digital age, with 69% of consumers expecting a quick resolution of their queries and grievances via social platforms. It has its challenges, but doing it right can, in turn, have a significant impact on business revenue and developing long term customer loyalty.
Being a Social Media Rock Star
You cannot be a social media rock star in a day. Being active on these platforms is vital because you need to be where your customers are. Reach out to them and start building comprehensive customer profiles by learning from their conversation across channels.
Here are some of the social media communication benefits:
Meet your customers where they socialize the most: Driving traffic to specific social channels is fine, but you need to smartly focus and allocate resources to targeted social sites that are frequented by your customer base. Look for brand mentions to feel what your audience is talking about you. However, if such an activity is missing, then you need to assess the conversation to weave yourself in it skillfully.
With 88% of consumers stating they are less likely to engage with brands that leave queries unanswered, make sure you are quick with your responses that add value.
Follow customer conversations: The Institute of Customer Service reveals that 1 in every 3 customers turn to social media to seek advice or communicate with a business. It is for the business to follow these customer conversations to then collect and analyze patterns in customer activity to understand the type of issues being raised over social media platforms.
Establishing this helps in planning your resources, prioritizing issues, and defining critical criteria for immediate actioning. There are tools to automate this process. Alternatively, for small businesses, it can also be done manually. The idea is to generate a picture of what your customers demand of you.
Mind Your P’s and Q’s: Regardless of which social channel you choose to develop, ensure that you follow social etiquette. This generally covers:
- Do not neglect your customers
- Do not hide or delete negative comments unless they are spam or violate policies of the platform
- Do not be overly eager to defend yourself over a customer grievance
- Do not interact with customers who only intend to argue to bring disrepute to your brand publicly
- Do not overwhelm your customers with information
Adhering to these guidelines has a significant impact. In essence, it goes on to determine the social media effects on customer communication that your brand chooses to engage in at the end of the day.
Social media is the new frontier for customer care. This is the platform where you can build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with your customers that can set you apart from your competition.
Customer communication that showcases what your brand stands for will help position businesses as trusted partners. And this can happen if brands allow their culture to shine around a vision of striking a balance between persuasive phrases instead of merely having a conversation.
Angela White is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using eLearning software. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, she has been writing for ProProfs: a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as...