Social media are quickly consuming every aspect of life. Access to consumers through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms gives businesses an edge in building relationships.
What does it mean for exceptional customer care?
This https://websitebuilder.org.uk/ The Rise of Social Media
Customer Care,” provides a useful rundown of the ways social media
is transforming customer care. Here are a dozen reasons social
media customer care (SMCC) is taking over the field:
Effective customer care requires communicating with people where they want to be reached. In 2005, the social media adoption rate in the U.S. was at 5%. A decade later, it had reached 69%.
Calling social media an “addiction” might be a stretch, but it is certainly a deeply ingrained habit. The average person spends nearly two hours a day on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and others.
The results are in: Consumers love to be on social media.
For those social media users (i.e., the vast majority of people),
SM is the preferred way to contact their favorite companies. Ninety
percent of them have reached out to a brand through social media. A
third of social media users say SM is the way they want to receive
customer service. To meet these customer wishes, social media
customer care isn’t just an option, it’s a requirement.
Social media can connect people on opposite sides of the planet, yet is accessed by something everyone carries. Smartphone technology has created a channel for constant contact – including contact with consumer brands.
And the brands have noticed. Customer care is now offered through social media by 81% of brands.
With 79% of adults on the internet using Facebook, this platform is an attractive choice for providing customer care. Brands get 39 messages per month across Facebook for each 1,000 followers.
Even so, other social media have their advantages. Twitter users submit 80% of all SM requests for customer service. Brands average 60 tweets from customers per month for every 1,000 followers on Twitter.
Instagram’s power is connectivity: The rate of consumer engagement for followers on this platform is 58 times that of Facebook and 120 times that of Twitter.
Snapchat reaches younger demographics, with 85% of the 13-34 crowd
using this medium. Pinterest’s design orientation matches the needs
of 65% of the population, which prefers to learn
Consumers want responses to their questions – and they want them now!
SM customer care has the potential to satisfy this demand, but so far, many companies are missing the opportunity. Although a Facebook customer service response is 44% faster than email, some brands have been slow to capitalize on this speed advantage.
On the other hand, some big names are leading the way in rapid response. TurboTax is a monster in Facebook customer care and Amazon Answers dominates Twitter response time and rate.
Sometimes great customer care doesn’t require personalized
information, just instant results. Companies have discovered the
unique features of Snapchat make it the perfect venue for quick
demos of how products work. These short videos and snaps have
increased in number by 400% in the last two years.
Among the promising opportunities SMCC offers, personalized service is high on the list. However, companies often focus their efforts on marketing messages. The result? Consumers receive 23 promotions across social media for each direct brand response.
Yet the benefits of personalized customer care through social media are clear. Consumers are 30% more likely to recommend a brand when they get responses to their inquiries through social media. They demonstrate 65% greater loyalty when the brand reaches out to them directly.
An SMCC strategy which sees the person behind the message can turn
an unhappy customer into a brand advocate. People
share their good experiences
on social media.
Not all companies extend their customer care into social media – and people notice. There are expectations to be met: 63% of social media users assume companies will offer customer care through the platform.
This popularity of SM for customer care has surpassed live chat and
email – and is nearly double that of the good old
Complaints come with commerce. The causes vary, but resolution can strengthen the relationship and grow the brand.
Providing an answer to a customers complaint boosts advocacy by 25%. Yet, companies ignore a third of all complaints on social media.
Monitoring broader SM posts for complaints also seems obvious but
appears to be rare. Ninety-five percent of customer complaints
don’t reach the targeted company.
As with many new media opportunities, some companies have jumped in without much planning – and the results aren’t pretty.
Almost three-quarters of consumers expect a response to their social media complaint in less than an hour. Unfortunately, the average response time is closer to five hours – resulting in a lot of disappointed customers.
Too many companies fail to recognize their SM customer care is a problem. Eighty percent of businesses believe they provide excellent customer care on social media, but only 8% of consumers agree with them.
Disappointed customers tell others and they don’t have to go far to do so. In the 18-34 demographic, 47% have used social media to complain about customer service. Even 12% of those over 55 have posted on SM about a bad customer care experience.
Just as doing SM customer care wrong can be a big problem, doing it
right can be a huge advantage. Companies that provide the best SM
customer service see a 92% retention rate.
No one likes to hold for the “next available representative.” Calling after business hours can be even more frustrating – many customers will not leave a message.
Social media customer care gives consumers 24/7 availability. They will use this channel if available. The key, as always, is to provide a response. Industry-wide, less than 13% of SM requests for information get a response. However, companies which do respond effectively improve customer satisfaction by nearly 27%.
The value of a response adds up. Looking at only responses on
Twitter, airlines see a 3% potential revenue increase per
transaction, telecom companies witness a 10% jump and pizza
companies watch their revenues rocket up by an incredible
When a customer has a question, they often go to social media for the answer. In fact, 31% of customers will request more information through social media prior to making the purchase.
Great SMCC also provides a wealth of information for companies.
Thirty-nine percent of consumers offer their feedback through
online venues. In 2012, Starbucks used customer ideas received
through Twitter to launch more than 300 improvements to their
Sure, social media is popular, but does it pay? What’s the return on investment for companies offering customer care through SM?
When people are contacted through social media, they are 70% more likely to use that brand’s product.
As with most things in business, companies need to execute social media customer care well to maximize ROI. A positive experience on social media makes referrals as easy as hitting the share button – top customer care companies see income through referrals jump by 81%. Quality customer care boosts spending as much as 40%. Dutch airline KLM’s social media customer care increases company revenue by $25 million annually.
The savings are also impressive. It costs just a dollar to resolve
a customer inquiry on social media; running the question through a
call center costs six times as much. SMCC agents are efficient –
167% more so than call center agents. Overall, social media
customer care costs 63% less than telephone customer
Management of social media customer care can be daunting, particularly for smaller companies. However, as with most new fields in this interconnected world, new players have entered to pave the way.
The social media business software market is anticipated to reach $37 billion by 2019. Names like Lithium, Sprinklr, Hootsuite, Spredfast, and Sprout Social now provide SMCC to hundreds of brands, companies, agencies, and individuals through their software.
Social media management software (SMMS) users witnessed a 74%
increase in customer satisfaction through mobile customer
relationship management (CRM). Sixty-one percent of these users
choose one SMMS for all their social media tools.
Social media responses improve the relationship with each customer. Social media customer care grows the brand.
In fact, 71% of consumers who are treated to a great customer care experience through social media will recommend that brand to others.
In the world of gaming, fast response is crucial. XBox boosted its brand image by setting the record for its customer care response speed on Twitter – just 2 minutes and 42 seconds!
Domino’s Pizza went a different route in 2015, accepting orders on Twitter using a pizza emoji. Media interest skyrocketed, promoting the brand far beyond this simple initiative.
Customer service really never ends. Social media customer care takes that truth and applies it to the way today’s consumer lives. Now that the evidence is in and there are software platforms to manage that service, do companies really have any excuse not to provide great customer care through social media?