With the continuous evolution of technology and dynamic innovation in the industry, expectations of customer experience are constantly on the rise. Today, 48% of consumers expect a response to social media questions and complaints within 24 hours.
Social media, especially, has played an instrumental role in the power shift to customers. It is a goldmine of opportunities for businesses looking to strengthen their relationships with their audience throughout their journey.
Think about how immensely connected the world has become since the introduction of social media. Had a bad experience at a store? You can post a review online. Want to praise a business on the latest product they launched? Post a video review on YouTube or Instagram.
Whether the experience was positive or negative, many customers use social media as a medium to express their feedback. It’s important that businesses use this to their advantage to be more transparent and honest with their customer dealings.
Customers can access a world of information at their fingertips. When they see an authentic brand, they value the time taken to build that connection, which can later transform into customer loyalty.
So how do you begin to foster this relationship and manage the impact of social media on customer experience? Read on to find out.
What Is Customer Experience on Social Media?
Have you been tracking the engagement levels of individual posts with your target audience? Do you have parameters to measure the effectiveness of your customer loyalty program? Do you regularly invest in social media marketing campaigns to engage and stay connected with your customers?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have a good baseline understanding of customer experience management (CEM).
CEM refers to the various processes you use to oversee your customer engagements and manage their relationship with your business. This can be done through a number of ways, for example by offering customer support services.
The end result is an increase in customer satisfaction, and an overall boost to your relationship with them.
By extension, CEM covers the social media domain as well. Managing CEM as a whole can be a complex task but when you break it down to the various touchpoints, you can better focus your efforts.
Even within the social media landscape, there are a number of avenues to consider. From visual platforms like Instagram and YouTube to network-based models like LinkedIn and Facebook, there’s a great variety and using the right tool to collectively manage customer care on each of these platforms is recommended.
Businesses need to develop a strong understanding of how to use these touchpoints across social media to provide their customers with an effective end-to-end experience.
How to boost customer experience management on social media
While there are a multitude of strategies you can take up to improve your customer experience management, here are four strategies tuned specifically for the social media landscape to get you started.
Engage, don’t bombard your customers
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think of a brand you really love that you follow on social media. What do you like best about their engagement tactics? One thing is likely that they don’t continuously bombard you with over-the-top ads.
If there’s one thing customers find annoying, it’s that endless stream of ads that can mess with their social experience. Think about the message you’re trying to deliver to them and frame it in more innovative ways that stimulate mutual interaction.
For example, you could use a mix of content forms, such as interactive quizzes on your blog, fun interviews as customer testimonials, or sharing informative news. Find better ways to create a personality for your brand that can stick with your audience on social media.
Some companies view social media as a golden ticket to envelop customers with ads. But you have to think ahead of that in order to ensure customer success and keep your follower and engagement count high.
If you already have a good following, your strategies will have to account for continuous and rolling engagement focused around retaining your audience. For example, through giveaway campaigns.
Source: Social Media Examiner
The key here is to find ways to connect with your customers that encourage a two-way conversation. Your social media engagements should be used to boost CEM in this way and not barrage customers with ads they don’t want.
Improve your customer service
This is an obvious strategy and one that, surprisingly, some companies fail to take seriously.
How you respond to your customers’ concerns and queries speaks a lot about how you view them. Is their satisfaction a priority to you? Do you respond to them within a reasonable amount of time?
Looking at other companies’ success in providing good customer service can help you brainstorm and inspire ideas for your own.
Social media provides an amazing opportunity for businesses to take their customer experience to the next level. For example, live chat services can not only reduce your costs but customers too will be happier with the easy accessibility to your brand.
Here are some tips on how to solidify your customer service on social media:
Rely on AI: using an AI-powered tool, like Socialbakers, helps you stay on top of the landscape and automate when possible.
Train your representatives: if you opt-out of using AI-based software or bots for live chat queries, it’s important you select and train the right reps for customer care.
Keep tight response times: if you take over 24 hours to get back to your customers, they’re likely to get impatient. It’s a competitive landscape, and time really is money here.
Respond to positive feedback: customers may reach out when they’ve had a good experience with your business. Capitalize on this by re-sharing their comments or rewarding them for their loyalty!
Research and mine data for insights
Your CEM strategies should also account for your competitors. It’s worth remembering that your customers are exposed to a large number of attractive brands on social media.
It’s a good idea to do your research and know what the best practices are in your industry. Collecting data on different competitors, using them as a benchmark, and comparing against your own engagement levels and performance can help you gain a better understanding of your areas of improvement.
For example, if one of the pain points is your inability to effectively manage all your content, then your next plan of action would be to start automating the content space.
Maybe your Twitter posts aren’t targeting the right audience, which could mean you need to reconsider your keywords. Your Instagram posts could be lacking engagement as you aren’t using it together with the Stories feature.
How do you find out? Conduct surveys on your website or on various social media platforms to evaluate customer satisfaction and build out relevant responses.
It’s also good to cover your bases by simply learning from the basics. There are a lot of resources out there like informative blogs and books you can read to brush up on social media marketing tactics.
Develop a CEM-focused brand culture
Purpose drives action. Likewise, identifying the key components to your brand and what it stands for can have a great impact on how it is perceived by your customers.
Social media allows you to flaunt your efforts to your customers by showing them the human side to your brand. This makes you relatable and they will feel more connected to your business.
No matter how many technological tools you employ to help boost CEM, the effectiveness of it all boils down to how personal you get with your customers. Having a smart sales funnel is important, but taking a customer-centric approach can go a long way in differentiating you from your competitors.
Customer experience management may sound like a complicated affair, but you’ve already got the basics mastered without knowing it.
It’s all about being conscious and mindful of your customer’s needs. And with social media there to open the conversation, it’s made even easier!
At the end of the day, you have to remember to keep the social in. Respond to your customers the same way you’d want to be responded to and treat them with equal respect. If you want them to hear from you, you have to be willing to hear from them, too.
Cultivating that two-way relationship can take time and effort. But by reflecting on your CEM strategies after reading this article, you’re already one step closer.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.