Archive for Social Media Customer Service

3 Ways to Manage Customer Expectations

Let’s face it- if we knew our customers’ expectations every second of every day, we would work hard to meet them. In today’s diverse, ever changing world, it is nearly impossible to know that. Consumers today have so many choices that it becomes difficult to stand out from competitors.

What do your customers expect?

Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.”

Neil Patel

Steps to Start Today to Understand Customer Expectations

  1. Listen: It sounds so easy to say, but harder to do. How do you listen to your customers? Is it by survey? Mystery shopping? Social Listening? I once spoke to a leading retailer’s VP of Operations about creating a mystery shopping program for their stores. They knew they needed it because their district managers were being pulled in too many directions and didn’t have the time to devote to each store in their district. They never started it. The reason? They were trying to figure out who their customer was. A few years later, they were out of business. They were never able to keep up with their customers’ expectations because they never knew who their customers were. They never learned how to listen.
  2. Get Feedback From Customers: Customer Experience for Dummies said it best. “When it comes to getting feedback from customers, annual surveys are out, and constant listening and providing real-time dialogue is in. That means you need to inventory where you are listening effectively today, prioritizing your highest-value listening and dialogue touchpoints, and creating a governance model for managing and responding to customer feedback. The end game here is to be able to converse with your customers in near real-time and to respond to customer concerns, problems, and suggestions as they are happening.” Omni-channel listening is key.
  3. Demonstrate to Customers Your Level of Commitment to Them: The chart above is from Neil Patel’s “Why Understanding Expectations is Crucial for Customer Experience.” Great article about backing up the bus to first and foremost understand what your customers need from you and then determine how you and your team will meet those needs. Neil writes, “Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.” Making sure you are delivering top notch customer service has never been more important. Years ago Zappos helped a customer who called them by mistake order a pizza. This became an infamous story of the day and everyone wanted to deliver service like Zappos. Zappos began to develop an entire philosophy around this by expanding it in their social media marketing. Help the customer with whatever they need. What does it take? An extra few minutes? They will sing your praises. Always try to under promise and over deliver whenever you can, especially in social media.

Ann Michaels & Assoc. provides you the resources to make data driven decisions associated with your customers and branding. Give us the opportunity to help you grow margins and revenues.

Social Media and Customer Service

Customer Service

The secret is out in living color on the cover of Consumer Reports – how to use social media as the last chance way to get some attention when unhappy with a product or service. This issue shares secrets to great customer service, and social media use is one of them.
Consumer Reports states that 84% of consumers who posted complaints to social media used Facebook.
The report goes on to suggest that social media can be a highly effective way to resolve customer complaints, even when other approaches fail.


JCPenney is one retailer that was cited as having great customer service via Twitter.


When a customer reached out by phone and learned of the hold times, she quickly went to the company’s Twitter page. She said that their phone wait times were “nuts” and within minutes a representative quickly tweeted a reply. After a bit of back and forth, the issue was resolved.


As the chart indicates, the under 25 demographic shows an indication that they will be the ones who will expect this type of service moving forward, so making sure those wait times are on target will be well worth the effort.

Ann Michaels & Associates, a leader in Customer Experience and Social Media Management, conducted a study on this very topic

How long is too long when it comes to receiving an answer to a product or service question in social media?As the Consumer Reports article shows a consumer expectation, Ann Michaels & Associates set out to look at the disparity between what consumers expect as far as wait time for brands to respond to consumer concerns vs what is actually happening.on social.
The study was initiated when it was evident social would serve as a customer service channel – take a look at consumer expectations vs brand response and learn how response time on social shifted over a three year period.
Click here to find out the results

How Social Media Can Enhance the Customer Experience

With the explosion of social media, customer service is more important than ever and businesses are taking steps to create memorable “customer experiences”.

Social media has put the power back in the hands of the customers and given them a voice to share their experiences. Companies now have huge opportunities to build relationships with their customers through multiple social media channels.

According to Dan Gingiss, podcaster and author of the new book Winning At Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, customer experience is how people feel about every interaction they have with a company. A customer who has a bad experience at a store or restaurant can quickly take a picture or video of the incident and share it on social media, which can create a firestorm of negative publicity for the company. Conversely, positive experiences can lead to great growth and promotion for a brand.

Walk a Mile in their Shoes

In order to best utilize the power of social media for customer experience, companies need to put themselves in the customer’s shoes by walking through their store, website, or service with the eyes of a customer. Observing things that happen from a customer’s point of view can reveal the challenges and roadblocks in the path and what it means to be a customer of your company. The key to a good customer experience is fluidity—everything should be smooth for the customer and work together to create a cohesive experience for them.

Social media also allows brands to be more authentic and transparent. Today’s customers can see right through automated responses and canned replies; the best way to reach out to people is to take the time to connect with them and build a relationship of trust and authenticity. Customer experience has changed greatly with the growth of social media, and it plays an important role in reaching out to customers and starting a conversation with them. In the future, customer experience will become the major differentiator between brands, so it will be more important than ever to provide customers with a high-quality, seamless experience.

Javed Matin, a sales and marketing consultant, adds: “Companies that truly understand social media are also truly customer-centric.  They understand the real needs of their customers and treat them like family. Social media is like talking to your mother: you can’t get away with anything, so you better be truthful.”

Do Your Research

Social media can also be a useful research tool for understanding the problems in the customer journey and an opportunity for improving the customer experience. Involve yourself in the numerous conversations on social media featuring your brand and turn that data into a research opportunity, highlighting customer grievances and what you can do to stop them from happening.

You can learn a lot from social media, including understanding your audience. Online conversations are a great tool for uncovering consumer insights and social media research allows you to ask interesting questions to get an in-depth look at your audience.

 

Get Creative

Think about the customer experience of following your brand on social media. If all a customer sees is a stream of advertisements, it distracts from the genuineness of your brand. Use a mix of content: share information from other sites, company news and culture, ask questions, be interesting, and have a personality.

 

Customers are people, just like us. Follow the golden rule: treat them how you want to be treated. Only then will you experience success in both social media growth as well as customer experience.