Social MediaHow does a business the size of most countries create a personalized and human social strategy?  This was the subject in an interesting post on Brainzooming.com, brought up by Mike Brown discussing Walmart’s social strategy.

Walmart discussed two distinct focus areas for social media both of which stress personalization.  It was interesting to see that over 10,000 individual Walmart stores have their own Facebook pages which create a local flavor and possibly a local response for customer service issues.  The focus of the article however, was on the Corporate Affairs group who are trying to influence the public’s perception of Walmart such as stressing corporate giving.  They are using social media to connect with customers and create a positive perception for the company.

The biggest opportunity to influence customer perception

Statistics show that the biggest opportunity to raise customer perceptions through social media is through providing social customer service.  Social customer service can change disappointments into positive experiences for a very wide social audience and change corporate perceptions.

Customer service as a mostly wasted opportunity today

The social customer service opportunity is big.  62% of consumers want to use social media to communicate with customer service, but the bad news is that 75% of social media inquiries to service are actually ignored today. So well over ½ of all consumers want to use social media as a service channel but most of these are ignored?

If you don’t offer social customer service today, it seems like a huge wasted opportunity to turn customer perception around. Should your company offer social customer service?  A rule of thumb is if your customers use social media, then you should be offering social customer service.

Creating long term relationships

Communicating with a customer about a service problem is a wonderful way to begin or strengthen a relationship.  Positive experiences or problems solved can be experienced by all the people following the conversation.  Knowing that someone is actually concerned about my problem is the #1 factor in the customer relationship.

Create strategies for resolving issues

Make sure the people who are responding to service issues are empowered to solve problems.  Problems that dissolve into lengthy back and forth communications can increase frustration and produce the opposite perception desired.  Timely response is also important.  Most customers expect at least an acknowledgment of their issue quickly and that you will be in touch in a relatively short time.

Is there a business case?

Providing social customer service is an investment, but is it worth the cost?  The business case around social customer service revolves around churn, willingness to buy more and recommending others to your brand.

  • Churn: 91% of unhappy customers will simply leave the brand
  • Spend: 57.5% will spend more when receiving excellent customer service
  • Recommend: 80% are likely to recommend based on a social media friend’s recommendation

The numbers appear to be support the question of social customer service as a valid investment.  What are you doing at your company?

Learn More about Social Customer Service: Get the white paper:

Bridging the Great Divide: Best Practices for Integrating Social Media and Customer Service

And visit the Genesys Social Customer Service pages:

http://www.genesyslab.com/products/social-customer-service.aspx

Follow me @dlarus

Dudley Larus

I'm passionate about improving the customer experience Dudley Larus is a senior principal consultant in the Genesys Professional Services organization working with customers on their cx projects as a business analyst. Previously, he was part of the Genesys Product Marketing...