Delivering an Omni-Channel Customer Experience through Social Media
Love it, hate it, or simply live with it, there’s no denying that social media is everywhere and it’s here to stay. From photo sharing and 140 character statements to career building forums and dating services, social media has seeped its way into nearly every facet of our world.
So what does all this mean? Businesses must embrace and adapt to the changing digital social sphere by evaluating the effects and opportunities across their organization. Different functions to consider include: sales/marketing, customer support, reputation management, talent recruitment/management, research/development.
As customer experience continues to grow as a differentiation strategy, it’s important for businesses to meet the increasing demands of consumers, which requires an omni-channel approach to customer engagement, including… you guessed it… social media!
Monitoring Mentions and Discussions
At a minimum, it’s important to be aware of the conversations going on around you, and when your brand is involved, quick response is paramount. Obviously we can’t spend all day in our Twitter feeds trolling for mentions of our brand/product/industry, so luckily there are tools, such as Hootsuite and HubSpot, that make it easy to monitor social streams and post on behalf of your company.
SnapEngage also offers plugins for both Facebook and Twitter (see below) that enable live chat directly within these social streams.
Knowing When to Join the Conversation
The keys to social media engagement are relevancy and timing. Today’s trending topic on Twitter could Iikely involve Kim Kardashian, but just because millions of people are talking about her doesn’t mean your business needs to comment (unless of course you’re in the entertainment industry). Use common sense and only join the conversation if it either directly involves your brand, or you are adding value for your audience.
Beyond relevancy, timing is critical. Social media is about immediacy. Use the monitoring tools mentioned above to set up notifications for mentions of your brand and relevant topics so you can respond in a timely manner.
How to Handle Customer Issues and Negative Remarks
Social media can offer a tremendous opportunity for brand advocates to sing your praises, but the downside is that it also provides an instant megaphone for haters to tarnish your reputation. When dealing with negative remarks about your brand in social media, be sure to practice the following: Recognition, Empathy, Privacy and Action.
RECOGNITION: Immediately respond (publicly) to let the user and your audience know that you’re aware of the issue.
EMPATHY: Be sure to take a compassionate tone that invites constructive conversation, even when you think (or know) you’re right. It’s important not to react defensively with heated emotion.
PRIVACY: Try to redirect the conversation to a private channel, such as live chat:) The SnapEngage App for Hootsuite (see below) is an excellent example of a quick and easy way to establish a direct line of communication with the individual.
ACTION: Be sure to follow through in resolving the issue. In many cases, simple conversation and resolution can turn brand detractors into loyal advocates.