Social media customer service can have a very strong impact on the running’s of a business. When properly utilized it can greatly promote customer expenditure, improve efficiency as well as generate data that improve the general services offered and help benchmark against your businesses competitors. However if poorly utilized, a company is likely to spend a lot of their limited precious time and resources to prevent their business from going under.
Research published in Harvard Business Review found that customers who received a response to their query on social media were more likely not just to remain a customer, but to spend more money with the brand, and recommend it to others. And research from Sprout Social shows that answering a customer’s question on social media prompts 49 percent of consumers to purchase.
To be able to deliver that exceptional customer service on social media, companies must understand (and focus on) three fundamental areas that can elevate your brand from backstage oblivion to front stage stardom. The fundamental areas include, but no limited to:
- Bots and humans working together to improve efficiency, but not at the cost of satisfaction
Forrester Research predicts that blended AI tools will “help improve sales outcomes and reduce customer-servicing costs.” In the future, however there is a downside to this. Forrester also says that this could lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction as brands adapt their customer-service offering to work with chat bots. This presents a new challenge for many brands. Bots will undoubtedly help in the quest for faster response times, sifting out more mundane queries and providing automated responses. But if brands don’t ensure the quality of that response, the price of speed and efficiency could be dissatisfaction.
AI Bots may help with basic queries, which will free up time for humans to do what we do best—build relationships and delight customers; however, we need the intelligence and empathy of humans to respond engagingly and to deal with detailed or complex queries with the customers. Experts suggest that it is always bots that power human engagement, and nowhere will that be clearer than in delivering social media customer service.
- Rapid response time is now standard
The demand for rapid response is and has been steadily on the increase over the past few years and is only going to increase more in 2018: In its second-quarter-2017 report, Sprout Social found that 48 percent of respondents valued a quick response on social media above any other action a brand could take.
A good example of a social media platform that is setting the standard for rapid response time is Facebook Messenger. Unless a brand replies to 90 percent of queries, and—crucially—does this within 15 minutes, it is less likely to get the coveted fast responder status from Facebook, and it could, potentially, lose customers to those brands that respond quickly. Brands have a lot of work to do to meet these expectations. According to Sprout Social, the average brand response rate is just 12 percent. On average, a response takes 11 hours. That’s a long way short of the Facebook-recommended 15 minutes, and a lot of potential sales lost.
- Customer service data is very important
Social media customer service can deliver more than just a happy customer for a company. It can create and collect valuable data that will give your company important insight into what your customers want as well. Analyzing the data can highlight things like product or service issues, common problems or regional differences in customer demand.
You can spot patterns in customer behavior that could be invaluable in informing your strategy. Insights based on that data let you make data-led decisions on everything from product development to customer-service strategy. And you can benchmark your performance against that of your competitors to ensure that you’re staying a step ahead.