Thanks to Parature for their recent white paper on “Five Trends in Social Media for Response Management and Customer Engagement” (http://bit.ly/mlLKka).
The web has changed the way consumers interact with providers. Where the provider used to control how and when customer service issues would be handled, the customer is now in control.
Well-timed feedback broadcast through the right social media channels can be more valuable to a brand than the most expensive marketing campaign. Likewise, negative feedback can be more destructive than an ill-timed or misspoken CEO statement.
Social media gives CSRs the opportunity to interact with customers in an unprecedented way and actually build engagement that will improve the brand relationship and convert customers into “raving fans” or “brand detractors.” Do your CSRs realize the power they have?
To maintain relevance and brand control, companies must make social engagement a cornerstone of their CRM efforts.
In order to do so, everyone within the firm, including service and support, customer experience, marketing, sales, social media and product management, must be on the same page with regard to the value of the customer, the importance of their feedback and how they will be treated.
CRM stakeholders should take the following five initiatives to ensure optimum customer engagement:
- Be where your customers are. Provide service across multiple channels in a timely and accurate manner. Customers have moved from the telephone to: social networks, chat, self-service, email, dedicated forums and communities, and web case submission.
- Get responsiveness right. Respond quickly. Resolve problems. Engage customers in a dialogue. Set and meet, or exceed, expectations. Zappos actively monitors Twitter 24/7 and the CSR signs on and signs off and lets you know who’s coming on board. Comcast Cares is only online from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. but they have set that expectation for their customers.
- Ensure cross-company integration. Social media strategists should come from multiple business units to help tear down, or build bridges across, silos to ensure consistent, high-level engagement and experience.
- Measure social media engagement. Identify the quality and financial value of social media users over time, as well as social media initiatives. Create a “sticky” social media experience by having: 1) an engagement platform that attracts social influencers; 2) clear workflow that provides for easy escalation of content knowledge; 3) ticket submission and resolution; and, 4) live chat through social and traditional channels.
- Be consistent across all channels. Regardless of the channel, identify and follow best practices to provide outstanding customer experience. Messaging and problem solution should be consistent whether the user sends an email, searches a self-service knowledge base or posts a question on Facebook. Social media must be integrated with your CRM infrastructure.
Through how many channels of social media are you prepared to engage your customers?