Excellent, proactive customer service on social media is a differentiating factor for brands.
People’s expectations are increasing – they want almost instant resolutions to problems, on the channel that they choose – and they are more prepared to accept some degree of automation if it delivers, fast.
In the 2020 State of the Connected Consumer report from Salesforce, 84% of consumers said that the experience a company provides is as important to them as the quality of its products and services. Accenture reports that 47% of people say poor customer service is enough to make them stop doing business with the company altogether.
So while automation might well take some of the routine, reactive tasks off a customer service team (for example, queries such as ‘where is my order’, or information on how to return a product), great social customer service that deals with more complex issues, or that requires more conversational engagement will always require human skills and interaction in order to create genuine human connections with customers.
Proactive customer service is something that we’re seeing greater demand for, too.
This means actively seeking out opportunities to engage with customers, rather than waiting for them to come to you, and it needs the best team of people to do it well. Proactive customer service on social media involves creating personalised content for customers, based on data insights that tell you what your customers want, so you can provide them with the right information at the right time, and on the channel that they choose. It’s almost as if the brand knows the customer needs something before they actually do.
This can be a challenge for brands. It requires the right tools, so you can track a customer across different channels, and understand all the different interactions they’ve had with you, no matter what channel they contact you on. Most importantly, it needs the right human skills of empathy and understanding, of being able to go the extra mile to solve a problem and to think creatively to surprise and delight the customer and encourage further sales, without being intrusive.
We know this proactive approach to social media customer service has a real impact on the bottom line.
One study, published in Harvard Business Review, found customers were willing to pay $8 more for a wireless plan when they had received a response from a brand on Twitter. Enkata’s research reveals that businesses which implemented a proactive customer service strategy saw calls to their customer service team drop by 20 – 30% over a year, lowering call centre costs by up to 25% and increasing customer retention by as much as 5%.
In our updated white paper, How to Create Value from Social Media Customer Service, we look at how brands can make the most of their customer service, and outline the biggest trends in social media customer service this year.