Social Media Strategies to Improve Your Customer Experience
The newest metric of importance for businesses is the customer experience. This is different from customer engagement or customer service. Experience contains both of these elements and then some. Every time people interact with your business in any way, whether they’re buying or not, that is part of the customer experience that you should be managing.
Your job is to make sure customers are getting a consistently positive experience in every interaction they have with your business. While it sounds like a tall order, social media is one of the key secrets to making this happen for the modern consumer.
Embrace Online Customer Service
A majority of younger consumers expect brands to provide customer service through social media. They don’t use email as often, and they’re less likely to call a business. Social media has essentially replaced email in the minds of many consumers. If they want a quick response online, they’ll head to your social media accounts. Keep in mind that quick to this group means within 30 minutes or less!
Don’t shun the newer generation or customers. Embrace customer service through social media to stay on par with industry expectations today. Have your staff connected to your brand social media accounts and designate a few people to respond to customer interactions as quickly as possible once they’re received.
Today, social media is just another channel to connect to people and brands online. It’s more direct and simpler than email. It’s also multi-functional. You can do a lot to market to your target audience and get the word out through social media. Providing customer service is the natural next step.
Start a Listening Campaign
Social media platforms have a lot of different conversations going on at once. Some people might be talking directly with your brand, but more people will be talking about your industry, marketplace, and potentially even your products without involving you. Get yourself into the right position to hear what’s going on and to keep your finger on the pulse of your target audience.
What’s important to them? What are they discussing? Are they dissatisfied with the industry? What are their biggest observations, complaints, praises, etc. that are related to your products/services?
Start listening on social media. Check out hashtags related to your business, industry, and audience. Follow relevant sources that your audience are following. Become a part of the conversation so you can respond appropriately and avoid getting blindsided by trends or shifts you should have seen coming. Customers love when brands listen and respond to them!
Chatbots present an interesting dilemma for businesses. They’re very convenient when you can’t keep up with customer communications, or if you want to make that a hands-off process. However, they’re not always able to provide what the customer is looking for, and they’re not known for amazing service.
Today’s chatbots are leagues ahead of the first marketing chatbots that were introduced. They’re great at doing simple functions, and they’re very efficient as a sort of virtual receptionist or a source for simple answers to common questions. With chatbots, it’s not an all or nothing discussion. You can use them in creative ways to cover a few weak spots in your customer contact strategy.
Chatbots can be integrated with a VoIP service plans to work over the SMS or messenger channels. Most VoIP phone plans include both talk and text. Leave the text portion to a chatbot and give people a live chat or texting option on your social media accounts and website.
The other way to use chatbots is to use them for your after-hours communication. As a small business, you may not be able to provide service 24 hours a day. Man your social media throughout the day and turn on chatbot support on all your accounts once you’ve signed off for the evening. This way, you won’t leave people hanging and you’ll give a better customer experience after hours without having to be tied to your social media 24/7.
Engage, Don’t Intrude
Social media isn’t the place for a constant stream of advertising pamphlets and promotional posts. You can mix those in with other posts and content, but keep your accounts creative and useful above all. You want to engage with your customers and start or continue a conversation. By providing content that’s entertaining or valuable to your target audience, you’re more likely to keep them interested and engaged with your brand.
Having that constant presence in people’s social media feeds keeps you front and center. When people already enjoy your content, they’re more likely to interact favorably with your brand in the future, whether it’s through a purchase or recommendations. You’re improving their overall experience with your brand by creating positive interactions at every opportunity.
Train Your Team
Social media management isn’t just a job you throw to your interns or you jam into the last few minutes of the workday. Make sure your team understand how to use social media for the biggest impact. A central strategy should be put into place that keeps your brand voice consistent, no matter which team member is working on the accounts at any time.
Training is essential for social media success. Be protective of your social media presence and make sure anyone on your accounts knows what they’re doing and how to interact with your customers. A consistent voice and a commitment to excellent customer service through social media will be a game changer for your overall customer experience.
Focus on providing a consistently good customer experience. From first impressions to purchase and beyond, your brand voice and care for the customer should remain steady. Use every tool you can to make it happen, including leaning on social media to help you with interactions involving a younger class of customers.
Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer, specializing in Outreach strategies, International SEO and Influencer Marketing. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called DigitalNovas and joined GetVoIP to provide them his SEO and outreach expertise.