Social care in the world of "now"

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Within one hour. That’s the amount of time by which 53 percent of people who tweet your brand expect an answer. If it’s a complaint, it goes up to 72 percent.

If the ’70s was the “me” generation, this decade can make a claim to being the “now” generation, a trend that’s reflected in social care (the act of responding to customer-care needs via social media). The portion of US online adults using social care grew 68 percent from 2012 to 2014, and now 15 percent of companies claim more than 25 percent of service requests come via social.

But is investing in social care worth it? Our analysis highlights suggest it does, specifically in three areas:   

  • Savings: It costs as little as $1 to solve a customer issue on social media, which is nearly one-sixth that of many call-center interactions.
  • Satisfaction: Best-in-class social care companies improved customer satisfaction by 19 percent, versus 5 percent for all others. And 82 percent of customers who have a good customer experience on Twitter are likely to recommend the brand based on their interaction.
  • Sales: Companies that developed social care capabilities improved year-over-year revenue per contact by 6.7 percent through effective upselling, cross-selling and customer-churn reduction versus a 12.1 percent decline for those without that capability.

Capturing this value requires a clear strategy that highlights the value opportunity and how social care fits into the organization’s overall digital and business goals. At the same time, companies need to invest in tools that can automate and speed up analytics and processes.

While strategy and tools are important, we want to focus on three areas that are often overlooked when discussing social care but are foundational to delivering a service that delivers value:

Find your voice

A company’s brand has a voice that encapsulates a way of interacting with customers and stakeholders as well as a clear sense of what the company stands for.  Many brands, however, don’t have a clear sense of their voice on social media, often defaulting to “chatty” or “informal.” To clarify voice, consider your brand persona, with human attributes that help your agents get a sense of tone and conversational style.

Once you have that voice, though, you need people who embody it and are skilled at engaging people on social media.  That boils down to intrinsics—the personality of the social media agent—and skills. Agents should be passionate about solving issues, empathetic to the customer, strong writers, and imbued with a deep understanding of social-media etiquette.

While providing scripts and protocols for how to respond to issues is important, companies should also consider providing guidelines so that agents on the front lines have the flexibility to respond as needed. Trusting and empowering your agents is what allows them to go “above and beyond” to solve customer issues.

Read the full article on Forbes