1 Aug 2019, 10:11 — 7 min read
Background: Social media has dramatically altered how businesses interact with their potential and existing customers. It offers a viable platform for timely, cost-effective two-way communication between the business and its customers. In his previous article, Ramana Reddicharla talked about the importance of customer service for startups. Here he explains why social media can be an effective channel for customer service.
The initial purpose of businesses utilising social media platforms was to market their brands, ideas, products and services.
However, due to the two-way nature of social media, businesses began hearing back from their customers – sometimes even instantly and with no filters. This simple, though highly effective attribute widened the relevance of social media from a mere marketing tool to a customer service mechanism with multiple functions.
As of 2019, there are 3.5 billion social media users globally. India has over 250 million social media users, a large portion of which prefers to interact with brands via social media platforms. This is more relevant to the younger lot, but it does not rule out the more mature sections of society.
Due to the two-way nature of social media, businesses can hear back from their customers – sometimes even instantly and with no filters.
So, why do consumers prefer the social media avenue and what makes social care or customer service via social media a highly effective tool?
Advantages of social media as a customer service tool
1. Convenient and comfortable
If your customer prefers to use social media as a tool to express and react, s/he is already registered on platforms of choice and is an active user. For consumers, its familiar territory which makes it easier for brands to meet them on social media. It is also comforting for a consumer to know that a brand has taken the effort to connect on his or her page, wall or message box.
2. Quick and easily diffused
Many customers prefer social media due to the quick and helpful responses that they get. That’s how social media works… You post, they like, they comment, you respond, there’s more, and then it’s over! Very few ideas expressed via social media go on for months or years!
Likewise, if there are negative opinions expressed via social media, a quick, sympathetic and helpful (forward action) response can diffuse a heated matter before it has time to annoy. But in order to do this, your customer service team needs to be alert, present, positive and responsive at all times.
3. Options to choose
Customer Service via social media has grown out of customer preferences. They chose this mode to interact with brands and which is why they feel more in control.
There are not only various social platforms for them to choose from but also various ways in which they can undertake the communication. Everything doesn’t need to be displayed on walls for the world to see… some of the concerns can be resolved privately. That’s a convenience that suits both customer and company, whether to post, chat or send as a private message.
Also read: How to build customer loyalty
4. Ongoing and long-term
Each time your customer service team interacts with your end users, it adds towards developing a long-term bond with customers. It’s a slow, ongoing process that works primarily due to the customer feeling that he or she is being heard. That’s important. When customers feel this, your brand benefits from positive word of mouth, testimonials and organic marketing.
5. Personalised and special
When a consumer posts a message on the wall, everyone is able to see their names and profile pictures. Most responses to these posts are personalized as that is the nature of social media. As a company when you respond to a customer by name, it’s human nature to feel a bit special! It’s even more gratifying when the buyer is addressed by name and offered a courteous response in front of everyone to see! That kind of effect can’t be achieved via any other customer service method.
6. Easily monitored
Most customer care companies utilise social customer service tools to monitor consumers over many various platforms. This function can be overlooked by a single customer service agent or even a team, depending on the complexity of the account.
One can track all the places in which your brand name appears, can get notifications or alerts each time a reference is made to your company, brand, product names or service offerings on any social media tool.
Over time, your interactions with customers over social media can be recorded, analysed and used to improve on your manufacturing, branding, packaging, distribution or any other weak function within the company.
Many companies find it costly and time-consuming to set up full-fledged, 24/7 customer support teams who can be there to respond to every consumer query or feedback. Handling multiple social media and other customer service avenues requires Omni-channel expertise, highly trained personnel, technology and training of the best quality.
Hence, outsourcing the customer service function to an experienced BPO is a more viable and profitable option.
At Syrow we offer a complete suite of Customer Care Services to manage your customer service function efficiently using quality processes and services. By adopting a research-led approach, Syrow equips organizations with powerful insights that can transform the way you perceive business challenges. Our teams consist of domain-specific experts who can help companies develop innovative strategies in order to compete and win in the industry segment they operate.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted byRAMANA MURTHY REDDICHARLA
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