Customer Experience News & Trends

How to make proactive social customer service work better

Social media has made proactive customer service easier than ever. Are you capitalizing on this opportunity to boost customer loyalty?

Traditional proactive customer service efforts — such as FAQs, knowledge bases, automated notices and online videos — can increase customer retention rates as much as 5%, an Enkata study found.

Social media offers an even broader ability to stay ahead of customers’ needs, questions and concerns. It allows companies to reach out to customers (or would-be customers) when they’ve directly or indirectly mentioned a brand, product or key term related to the business.

By listening and monitoring social media, customer experience professionals have more chances to engage with customers. The opportunities abound: Almost 40% of tweets are customer service-related, new Conversocial research found. Specifically, here’s the breakdown:

  • 15% occur because of customer experiences
  • 13% are about products
  • 6% are about services and facilities, and
  • 3% are related to dissatisfaction.

Here are Conversocial’s top five ways companies can improve proactive service in social media to strengthen loyalty and engage new customers:

1. See all the issues

While 37% of tweets are customer service-related, just 3% of those are tagged with the important Twitter @ symbol. So many issues aren’t made obvious to companies. Customers post indirectly, and it takes a little more than monitoring for the use of your handle.

Twitter offers solutions that can help customer experience professionals access more filtered data. That will help drive customer conversations based on keywords, locations and certain language a company selects.

2. See a problem, share the fix

You know it’s almost always better to tell customers about a problem before they have to report it to you. Social media provides possibly the fastest way ever to notify customers of a problem. More importantly, you can tell them you’re fixing it.

Use your social media presence as a sounding horn when there are issues that affect a large number of customers. Once you explain the issue, include:

  • what you’re doing to fix it
  • an estimated timeline to fix it
  • how they can contact a person more directly with questions or feedback, and
  • what they can expect once the dust settles.

3. Share the good stuff, too

Social media is a powerful platform for letting the masses know when something’s wrong. Don’t overlook it as an equally powerful tool for communicating good news and valuable information.

For example, PlayStation regularly posts a variety of information: links to relevant information (that may not even be produced by the company), invitations to watch company meetings and informative videos. Plus, once it engages with customers, PlayStation will sometimes retweet what customers have to say.

4. Reward loyalty

Remember Blue Light Specials? Kmart’s flash sales on items customers actually wanted were rewards for loyal customers shopping in the store. They still use them online today.

The same kind of proactive rewards can happen on social media. Put up discount codes or special offers for short periods of time. Encourage customers to share them with other customers who will join your social media following.

5. Educate customers

Show customers how to use your products or services even better before they get bored or lose interest.

Whole Foods does this by regularly posting tips on how to cook better. They include recipes that can be pulled together with products they sell.

Post Planner, which helps people manage their social media accounts, has more than 600 blog posts dedicated to educating customers and followers on how to use social media more effectively.

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