By Anita Matthews, Marketing Manager, Sentiment
Good customer care shouldn’t just happen when a customer has a complaint. It also pays to engage and reach out to customers on social media when they’ve indirectly mentioned your brand or product or are sharing a good experience. In the long run proactive customer care can reduce the number of customer support enquiries by solving issues before the customer reaches out.
- According to research from Sabio and the Customer Contact Association between 25% and 40% of calls to UK contact centres are either unnecessary or avoidable.
- 57% of all inbound calls to a contact centre could largely be attributed to a customer not being able to find what they were looking for on a company’s website (CEB).
- 87% think proactive service will save on inbound contacts to their organisations, potentially equating to millions of pounds saved each year (UKCCF Proactive Customer Service Survey).
Taking a proactive approach to social customer care empowers your customers and provides them with the right information to help themselves. It also helps turn customers into social brand advocates which support new business generation.
Why does proactive social customer care matter?
- Improves customer loyalty – A proactive approach can reduce the need for a customer complaint and yield real financial impact. It shows your customers you care.
- Provides valuable customer insights – Understanding how customers talk about your brand and their expectations and experiences gives you important information about areas for improvement. For example if customers are having issues with items out of stock that still show as available on your website then it might be time to look at your ordering or stock management system.
- Creates a meaningful competitive advantage – In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace unique competitive differences are rarely associated with pricebut with customer experience.
- Protects against a social media crisis – Early identification of growing negativity surrounding your brand enables you to get involved in the conversation and take steps to communicate the correct information and manage the issue.
How to deliver proactive social customer care
The customer of today is informed and wants to be in charge of the experience they receive. They expect companies to know their needs and streamline the support experience. If customers can easily see how to address their problems on their own they will increasingly choose to do so. Proactive service is increasingly seen as an efficient path to resolution because customers don’t have to wait on a business to respond.
Here are 7 ways you can deliver proactive social customer care:
1 – Monitor social channels for brand mentions. Ensure you are using a social customer service tool like Sentiment which provides visibility on @mentions of your brand, so you see all mentions not just those who’ve used your @handle.
2 – Create YouTube videos or guides for all your common queries and questions and encourage your agents to share the links to help customers self-serve and get the answers they need. @NatWest_Help use Twitter to prompt customers to download their app and tell them when they are travelling abroad.
3 – Post useful how-to tutorials or product demonstrationsto show people how to complete tasks or use a particular product. Visual content is much easier for people to digest and follow.
4 – Post service updates regularly if you have a service outage or crisis. People are hungry for information and will feel frustrated if you keep them in the dark. They want to know what you are doing to resolve the problem. Make sure they know who to contact if they have further issues or questions.
5 – Make sure your website information corresponds with any campaigns or promotions you are running. Ensure you have relevant items in stock ahead of time, especially in the run up to peak season or Christmas.
6 – Encourage teams to engage with positive feedback. This creates potential for on-going dialogue and can uncover potential good news stories for Marketing teams to use.
7 – Share knowledge and data about the queries customers are asking across the business so that common problems can be identified and rectified to improve the customer experience. If it looks like there is an issue with your website or app an early fix can be made which should reduce complaints or queries in the long-run.
While many businesses are starting to understand the benefits of proactive social customer service there are still more opportunities to use it to deliver value to both the business as well as the customer throughout the customer life-cycle.
Find out how Sentiment helps all types of organisations be proactive in serving and supporting customers on social media – request a free demo>>