Do you want to improve your social customer service skills? In this article, you will learn the techniques used by four of our favorite brands.
You will gain insight into the social methods they use to engage audiences and why you should use them too.
Traditionally, we know customer service to be a post-sale activity, but this is no longer true.
The roles employees fill are also different. At one time, they used to be pretty straightforward.
Everyone knew what to expect from marketers, sales reps, and customer support.
Today, the service we provide is more complex.
Not only do employees need to fill multiple roles they must also connect with customers on a deeper level.
A newer component to the customer service process is how long it must be present. It needs to be there during the buyer’s journey and beyond.
The service employees provide needs to exist long after the sale. That is if they want to keep customers from going elsewhere.
Unfortunately, some businesses are unsure about how to provide social customer service methods.
As older techniques continue to no longer work, you need to learn newer, more modern ones.
Before you can dive into using social customer service methods, you need to learn what it means.
What is Social Customer Service?
Customers are no longer comfortable with only one way to reach you to address their concerns. Typically they would pick up the phone and call, but there are more options available.
Introducing, social customer service.
Social customer service is when businesses help and support customers using social media.
With customer expectations growing, you need to meet them where they are, which is on social media.
If you remain outside the realm of the online world, it becomes even more challenging. It becomes almost impossible to keep up with customer expectations.
It is your duty to research about social customer service to enhance your skills.
And, with the help of our favorite brands, we can learn how to.
With every comment, tweet, and message, there is an opportunity for customer service. You must be willing to accept these social opportunities to expand your abilities.
But, if you are ever in doubt, be sure to check your favorite brands out. Otherwise, your lack of social customer service could be costing you.
5 Significant Reasons to Improve Social Customer Service Skills
Improving your social customer service skills is more than a task to complete. It is a significant component of your business model, which you need to adopt.
And, it must exist as long as the business does.
If you are an employee, it is vital to not rely solely on the business you work for to provide training on customer service. Take it upon yourself to advance your skills.
Learn better and diverse ways to respond to customers. Branch out from the same old response and add personality.
Not only will it improve the reputation of the business, but create word of mouth marketing. Even more so, it saves your business from losing a lot of money in the long run.
Sub-par customer service is unacceptable and the numbers show it.
Here are some statistic (below) for you to review. Use them as reminders on why business social customer service skills must be a priority.
3 Customer Service Statistics
1) 47% of respondents reported a personalized experience as the most crucial aspect of a satisfactory experience.
2) A 2017 survey reveals companies lost $75 billion from customers switching to competitors due to bad customer service.
3) Only one out of 26 unhappy customers complain; the rest churn. A lesson here is that companies should not view the absence of feedback as a sign of satisfaction.
It is important to note that over the last few years customer service has seen improvement. Most businesses understand that customers are now the ones defining customer service.
One of the main issues in customer service is the lack on uniform channel for all communication tools. You have VOIP products where customers call you and leave a message on, Chat clients where they chat with you, Chatbots, Email. It’s very hard to keep all of these synced and in line with each other. You must commit to improving the customer buying journey. Use the various social media channels to provide help.
If you are ever stuck, examine the techniques your favorite brands are using and why they work so well.
Social Customer Service: Lessons From Our Favorite Brands
No brand can escape the wrath that comes from not meeting customer expectations. Big or small, businesses are susceptible to receiving judgment and criticism from customers.
Although there is no such thing as “Perfect” customer service, you can always become better.
Through research and observations, you can discover new ways to increase customer satisfaction. You will also learn other ways to gain engagement, trust, and loyalty.
As Adam at Loganix points out:
“Improvements in your customer service skills lead to favorable retention rates, reputation, and profitability.“
Watch your favorite brands on social media to learn what they do. In doing so, you will gain valuable insights necessary to outshine the competition.
Four of our Favorite Brands Social Customer Service Examples
One way to improve your social customer service is to uncover why you love your favorite brands.
The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.
Remember, customer service is a combination of a couple of things. It is about treating customers well and providing exceptional buying experiences.
You need to look for long-term and long-lasting techniques. Stay away from quick-fix trends, and results that are fleeting.
The goal is to create continued ROI (Return on investment). First, become familiar with the three stages of the buyer’s journey.
1. Awareness – Finding a problem
2. Consideration – Looking for a solution
3. Decision – Choosing the best solution for their problem
Then, apply the techniques our favorite brands use to provide social customer service.
The Social Customer Service Technique: Brand Personality
Social Media Site Used: Instagram
Photo via: FastCompany
Social Customer Service Example:
The people at Netflix developed a persona for their brand. By using, “I” when posting on Instagram, it creates an identity.
The team also uses words to express feelings. They show that “Netflix” has emotional connections with specific shows. Making it less business-like and more human-like.
Buyer’s Journey: Consideration Stage
This helps potential customers considering letting go of cable. And those wanting to add a new streaming service.
Instead of it feeling like a business, Netflix makes it feel like watchers are talking to a friend. This connection is inviting and will make people want to join in on the conversation.
For them to effectively do this, they will need to become a customer first.
2) Starbucks Example
The Social Customer Service Technique: Responsiveness
Social Media Sites Used: Twitter and Facebook
Photo via: Starbucks Twitter
Social Customer Service Example
Starbucks changed the mindset of coffee drinkers everywhere. As part of their strong customer service standards, responding to customers is a priority.
If you need help waking up or addressing a concern, Starbucks is there for you.
Starbucks Twitter account, @Starbucks, has over 11 million followers. Impressively, they respond to questions, comments, and complaints tweeted to them, quickly. Although it seems like a lot, Starbucks manages it splendidly.
The company also encourages customers to send their ideas and opinions for improvement. Starbucks is not only on Twitter, either. They also have an active Facebook page with millions of likes. Within in hours of a customer complaint, Starbucks responds.
Starbucks excels at maintaining customers happiness with their responsiveness and caffeinated drinks.
Buyer’s Journey: Decision Stage
Coffee drinkers worldwide are sticklers when it comes to the kind of coffee they will drink.
It is a hurdle to change people’s “go-to” coffee place. Yet, Starbucks social customer service is a game changer.
Before prospects will change companies, they will look at other businesses customer service. They will use their social channels to do it.
If a competitor provides better customer service, this can be the deciding factor to make a move.
People will go to where employees treat them better.
3) Spotify Example
The Social Customer Service Technique: Take Public Conversations Private
Social Media Site Used: Twitter
(Photo: Spotify Twitter)
Social Customer Service Example:
Online engagement is vital to customer service, but not all comments need to remain in the public eye.
Nor should they.
Some of the information customers provide is sensitive. The business needs to take specific conversations to a more appropriate place.
When a Spotify customer reached out via Twitter, their response was excellent. They let the customer know they are available to help and provided the customer with a solution.
They did not ask them to take an extra step of having to launch a private conversation. Instead, Spotify used the built-in Twitter tool to make the conversation private. They included a call-to-action button in their tweet to the customer.
On Twitter, you can include a “Send a Private Message” in your tweets. Allowing customers to contact you through a D.M. (Direct Message) by merely tapping the button.
Spotify’s Twitter customer service account, @SpotifyCares uses this feature. When they ask customers to provide personal information, they can go there to submit it. This makes getting to the root of the issue and providing a solution even quicker.
Buyer’s Journey: Awareness Stage
When users have a problem with your company, they look for solutions.
Once a customer becomes aware they have a problem with a business, they will want them to fix it. Customers want businesses to resolve issues and protect their private information, as well.
4) Uber Example
The Social Customer Service Technique: Multiple Support Methods
Social Media Site: Use alternative contact methods – Mobile App.
Social Customer Service Example
Uber saw the pain points that came with using taxi services — trying to hail one down, not being able to find one, waiting in long taxi lines, and so on.
Uber is still relatively new to the social media game, but it does promote its app to address issues, quickly.
The company does want to address each pain point directly with its easy-to-use mobile app. It is the fastest way to receive the customer support you need.
Sometimes customer service comes from an app. Even before social media sites (and vice-versa), but having only one or the other is too restricting. It should not be the only way customers can reach you.
Have several social customer service methods available or your business will miss opportunities.
Buyer’s Journey: Awareness Stage
Sometimes, people become used to frustrating tasks because they are rituals. Even more so, some are simply unaware alternatives exist.
When it came to the taxi industry, there were no viable alternatives. Hailing taxis is frustrating, but for a long time, it was the only option.
That is until Uber came along.
Create alternate solutions to end existing customer pain points. Also, offer numerous ways to solve them. When you do, you will see a definite switch in customer satisfaction. You will also collect more profits.
In 2018, Uber revenue came to $11.3 billion – a 43% increase from 2017, while gross bookings were up 45%.
As you can see, Uber’s changes to the “taxi and customer service experience” have made a difference.
As a business owner or employee, you know providing customer service is not an option. It is best to know exactly what customers want and how to meet their needs. These four brands show some of the techniques to use to improve your customer service skills.
What customers want:
1) Brand Identity and Personality
2) Fast Responses
3) Solutions and Privacy
4) Elimination of Existing Pain Points and Alternative Methods
Of course, these are only a few of what customers want from your business as they have many expectations.
But, you will want to use these techniques to improve your customer service skills. As a result, you will see an increase in customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.
These newly developed skills will allow you to provide customers the experience they deserve.
Otherwise, you can really satisfy your customers with great customer service by signing up for a hands-on customer service training. Trust me, it is the best way to learn!