The enormous snowball effect of social media has fundamentally transformed the buying cycle. Businesses need to be equipped to answer and discover the best methods for working with today’s customers. Digital innovations coupled with the tremendous increase of social media has driven the evolution of social customer service and the appearance of a new consumer, one who can tumble even the largest brands. This undeniable authority is the social customer.
Who is the Social Customer?
Social media provides a private, intimate connection between all consumers. More than one million people view tweets about customer service weekly, and roughly 80 percent of all customer service tweets are critical or negative. The social customer is changing everything that businesses thought they knew about establishing customer relations by:
- Listening to peers
- Bloging complaints on social media
- Researching heavily online
Expectations are high, and the social customer expects constant connectivity and instant solutions at any hour of the day.
Paying Attention to Your Customers
The social customer is found everywhere because at least 20 percent of the world’s population uses social media. Here are five colossal reasons that companies should focus on various ways to prioritize social customer services.
1. Social customers listen to their peers, not to your business. Online review sites and forums have replaced marketing and PR efforts, and these reviews are completely out of the hands of business owners. Social customers no longer listen to company messages. They listen to peers instead. The power has shifted from the brand to their customers.
2. Unhappy customers tell their friends, who tell their friends. The words of the customers have become the new trusted voice, so listen to your customers and build relationships with them. On average, one social customer will tell 42 other people about a company. Have a detailed crisis-management plan in place to respond.
3. Ignore the social customer and you’ll lose their business. If a company fails to respond to a question or post on social media, many social customers view this as a breakdown in trust. Select one or more employees to be available 24/7 on social media.
4. Adjust to the social customer’s expectations and you’ll make them happy. The social customer’s expectations are extremely demanding, regardless of whether it’s the weekend, holidays or during peak seasons. Smart companies are scrambling to make necessary adjustments to meet these demands.
5. Actively engage with the social customer and you’ll see better results. Social customers no longer call or email customer support when they have a problem. Now they just post their issues publicly on social media. Intelligent brands that thoroughly acknowledge the authority of the social customer and engage with them can use it to their advantage by providing exceptional customer service.
On the average, businesses that engage with customers over social media will see a 20 to 40 percent increase in sales.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of how you feel when a customer complains about your company on social media, you should always respond. When reacting to the social customer, remember to do it quickly, be human, don’t be defensive, thank the customer and always suggest a solution to the problem.