Whether a solopreneur startup or a fast-growing corporation, the most successful businesses today have identified and understand their customers' wants and needs and constantly work to meet them.
But is investing in customer experience (CX) strategy really worth the effort?
Yes—in fact, according to Watermark Consulting, brands and companies focused on customer experience get 80% higher returns than those who lagged behind with CX efforts. Yet, 55% of marketing execs told eMarketer that they lacked confidence in their company's understanding of the customer experience.
Relationships between companies and their customers are evolving rapidly in the digital age. And social media can be a valuable tool to help you to better understand your customers, map their journey and improve customer service.
Looking beyond marketing products or services, here are 4 ways to use social platforms to boost your CX efforts:
- Engage Your Audience
According to JD Power, 67% of consumers have engaged a brand or company's social media account for customer service needs.
So, the power of social extends beyond its ability to help you reach your target audiences; it helps amplify your outreach strategy, allowing you to connect with your followers, customers and prospects.
Smart businesses use social media to cultivate and strengthen relationships with their customers, while growing their audience through social word-of-mouth, keeping in mind that the way they treat your customers and how they are perceived you can mean the difference between success and failure.
To boost engagement through social channels, share informative, interesting and entertaining posts to connect with your customers. Before posting content, ask yourself:
- Who (specifically) will it help?
- What problem(s) will it solve?
- Why should your target audience care?
- How will it improve their lives or businesses?
- Engage in social listening
Closely monitor social platforms for any mentions of your brand and its competitors. By keeping an ear to the ground for when your company is talked about on social media, you can provide immediate feedback or customer support to customers with problems, issues or concerns, even if they didn't contact you directly for assistance.
By monitoring mentions of other brands and companies in your space, you can take advantage of customers' dissatisfaction with the competition. After listening in on social venting to determine their gripe, consider how you could offer a better alternative. Even if you don't contact them to try and win them over from your competitors, at least you'll gain insight into how to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Use social media market tools, such as these four, to monitor social mentions for customer service on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, providing you with the ability to easily listen to followers and customers across platforms:
- Respond to complaints, questions or concerns as soon as possible
Unlike phone and email customer support, which generally lacks true round-the-clock availability, social media comes with the expectation of 24/7 service, which is common in our always-on world.
Research by Convince & Convert shows that 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes. Facebook, which considers five-minute responses to be ideal, even publicly displays your response time rate on your Facebook business page.
That means it's important to quickly respond to all social media inquiries, reviews, complaints and comments as a customer service strategy.
Just how important is good customer service. Well, according to one survey, after a poor customer experience, 56% of consumers said they will NEVER deal with a company again.
And it doesn't stop there. Slow response time on social media can result in customers taking the following actions that can be more damaging than the loss of a single customer:
- Tell family and friends about their experience, further damaging your reputation.
- Complain publicly with bad reviews on third-party websites and platforms.
- Use other online channels to escalate their issue, bringing more unwanted negative attention.
In our digital world, social media is playing an increasingly important role in customer experience, which can a strong impact on your bottom line. Social media-based customer service is no longer optional. It's a vital part of doing business online that can no longer be ignored.