Social Customer Care is Scary, But Inevitable
I won’t lie to you: there’s a lot that can go wrong when you are interacting with customers online.
But more and more customers are turning to social media when they’ve got a problem or complaint. If you aren’t there to offer that social customer care, things can easily get out of control and you might not even know that a tsunami is about to hit you till you’re drowning.
But according to today’s guest, Dan Gingiss, author of the new book,
Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, not only is social customer care inevitable, it can actually be a really good thing for your business.
How Social Customer Care Can Help Your Business
- Social customer care, done right, can convert people from angry to advocates.
- It is cheaper than telephone-based customer service.
- It can make your contact center staff happier. Nobody ever calls with praise, but they do offer praise in social media.
- It can give you insight into customer frustrations that might not be big enough to call you about, but are annoying enough to share on social media. You can get a competitive edge by proactively solving them.
- Sometimes a picture can help you spot and solve a problem way faster than a telephone conversation. (In the interview Gingiss talks about a company that realized, once they saw a photo, that the customer had two cords plugged in to the wrong places.)
The Main Difference in Hiring for Social Customer Care vs Traditional Contact Center Staff
As with traditional customer service staff, having traits like empathy are crucial.
You can train them on the tools, but if they don’t have the right attitude, you’ll soon have problems.
The big difference, though, is that they have to be good writers, says Gingiss.
It is so easy to misinterpret the written word, especially when it has to be short enough to Tweet. Good writers are less likely to be misunderstood.
At the same time, you also want them to be able to respond quickly; they don’t have time to compose the perfect 140 characters.
And to make it even more complicated, they should be able to show a little personality in their writing. People don’t want to think they are being answered by a bot.
Also Discussed In This Interview
- How to choose the right tools for managing social customer care (including things like ensuring “collision avoidance” — when different staff respond to the same comment — and tools that let you route higher priority people on social media to the front of the queue).
- Social listening secrets (like looking for misspellings of your brand name).
- How and when to use humor in responding on social media.
- Budget allocation between marketing and customer care.
Get a Free Report on Twitter-Based Customer Care
We studied 104 companies that sell online to see how well they handled a simple help request on Twitter. In this free report on Twitter-based customer service you’ll find out:
- What kinds of responses work (and which just irritate customers)
- Actual examples of effective and ineffective replies
- The 10 Commandments of Twitter-based Customer Service