Is your business’ Facebook page or Twitter handle tagged in multiple posts on a daily basis by customers who’ve simply stopped ‘requesting to see the manager’ – to take their displeasure at your establishment public?
Yes, it’s a reality.
There are even dedicated social media groups where people can complain about companies. But, what if you forge such a close relationship with your customers that they message you directly instead of rallying others who’ve suffered bad service?
Considering that 58% of consumers who tweet about a bad customer experience won’t receive a reply from the company they have an issue with, engaging directly with customers can help you build a sound reputation for your company.
Here’s how to set your company apart from others when it comes to irate customers on social media:
1Know who your customers are
“The reality is, you no longer drive company and brand messaging – your customers do,” says Corinne Sklar, chief marketing officer at Bluewolf.
So, you have to get to know your customers intimately because they, along with your followers, will help you with your content and messaging and ensure you stay relevant.
How? “Social listening tools enable you to know where your customers are located and what they’re saying about your business on Twitter, blogs, Facebook, videos, and the news,” advises Kim Andrews, of consultancy Karabina.
“The right tool will enable you to pick up on what’s trending, as well as who your key influencers are.”
2Choose a suitable platform
You cannot be fiercely active on every social media platform in existence, so it’s vital to monitor where most of your customers are active. Marketing consultant Anand Srinivasan notes that YouTube and Instagram work for visual engagement while LinkedIn is ideal for a business audience: “Facebook brings together all these benefits into one platform with the highest engagement levels among social networks.”
Since 52% of companies say Facebook is the most effective social channel for customer engagement, service and support, it should be your main focus.
Consider these two factors when picking a platform of high engagement with your customers:
- The social media tool must be popular among users within your target demographic profile
- You must formulate a strategy to engage with your audience in the specific medium.
3Become customer-obsessed from the top down
Companies miss or mishandle up to 80% of customer engagement opportunities. A missed opportunity means lost revenue, resulting from a decline in customers.
Be customer-centric, instead of focusing a role or function within your franchise. This means more flexibility and therefore more customer-oriented processes and systems.
“Customers are more informed and have more choice than ever before, so if their expectations aren’t met, they’ll move on quickly,” says Sklar.
“Engaged customers, however, reward consistently strong service by spending more and becoming influential brand advocates on social channels.” No one is a better salesperson than a happy customer.
4Monitor the value of conversations
Craig Dean, Gautrain’s online digital communication specialist, says social media is important in the organisation’s strategy to communicate disruptions such as cable thefts and strikes, adding that social media also enabled the company to monitor the value of conversations.
Getting it right is local chicken franchise Galito’s. With over 23 000 followers, Galito’s have managed to build brand evangelists who tweet about how great the Galito’s chicken tastes. This builds trust and has a ripple effect.
People buy from people, 90% of peers trust their friends for brand recommendations and only 14% trust advertising.