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Archive for March 27, 2018

How would you Rate your Social Media Customer Service?

Customer Service and Social Media

Why is it that negative comments on social media always generate more interest than positive ones? You know what they say, misery loves company! It is imperative for businesses to have a plan in place to respond to complaints in the right way and via the right channel. Social media has become a customer service venue for your customers.

Customers are flocking to the platforms where they know they’ll be heard and, more importantly, where they know they’ll get a response. This is why Twitter has become a prime avenue for customer interaction with companies. According to research most customers consider three things: where the brand is active, where the customer thinks he will get the best response and how important response time is.

So let’s make a game plan for responding to irate customers.

 

 

1) Not responding is not an option

Edison Research and Jay Baer, author of “Hug Your Haters”, conducted a study about the responsiveness consumers expect from businesses. During their research, they discovered that customers get a response on social platforms about 50 percent of the time, which means companies are doing themselves — and their customers — a disservice. According to their findings, failing to respond on social media can trigger a 43% decrease in customer advocacy; a reply, however, can give you a 20% bump.

2) Find instances where your company is mentioned

Many companies believe that Twitter has become the primary sounding board, but in actuality 71% of all complaints on social media are actually posted on Facebook. Only 3% of tweets about customer service issues call out the company’s so to find all your mentions, employ a social media listening software, and always set up Google Alerts for your company.

3) Empathy is key

You can’t change what happened to upset your customer, but you can control over what happens next. Adopt the BEET strategy: Be Empathetic Every Time.

 

 

Follow this example by Wink Frozen Desserts:

 

A customer bashed Wink’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free frozen desserts on Facebook so CMO Jordan Pierson replied with a sincere apology and offered a refund. “While we hope that everyone will love and enjoy Wink as much as we do, we realize that not everyone will. If we can help, please send us an email to info@winkfrozendesserts.com. Thanks for giving Wink a try!” His response put a positive spin on the product with empathy that makes you feel great about the brand.

4) Only reply twice

The rule is to never reply to a customer more than twice in a public forum. Further conversation should take place behind the scenes. First, apologize and show empathy to the first complaint. Second, if the customer complains again, apologize again and offer to discuss the issue in private. Your goal isn’t to satisfy the unhappy customer; it’s to go on record so your whole audience can see you care.

If you answered the headline with a yes – give yourself a major pat on the back. You are out there setting the standard for others to follow (And please, get in touch so we can get you signed on for a guest blog spot). If you answered “no, our social customer care is most definitely not kicking ass” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated five thought-provoking blogs that will help you get on the path to best-in-class social customer care. Whether you’re working with an outsourced strategic partner or whether you are operating with an in-house customer service solution, these posts are must-read content as you work on improving your customer experience on social media.

 

social media stats

5) Watch your characters

Certain social media platforms only allow for a certain number of characters, which could cut off your response and lead to misinterpretation. Make sure you include links for the full response or provide a contact email for customers to voice further concerns.

Is good customer service really valuable? A study from Harvard Business Review asked that question and their findings were fascinating. A response, even with an angry customer, can boost the amount the customer is willing to pay for services. So get your customer service plan in place and start responding today!

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How Mystery Shopping can Improve the Customer Experience

mystery shopping

We’re all familiar with the term Mystery Shopper. So why don’t more businesses rely on them? Most companies incorporate surveys, ratings and reviews, but actually hiring mystery shoppers can reveal underlying problems affecting the customer experience. Additionally, Video Mystery Shopping is now available at a more affordable rate and is a valuable tool when evaluating the in store customer experience.

Mystery shopping is a strategy used to study the customer experience by actually interacting with a brand and evaluating it from a customer’s viewpoint. While mystery shopping used to be implemented by businesses to monitor employee behavior, it is now used to for numerous factors ranging from how friendly employees are towards guests to how long it takes for customers to be helped. These tactics are beneficial, however, there are many more other contact points to consider.

Think more Mystery Experience, less Mystery Shop

An effective mystery shopping approach needs to encompass the entire range of experiences customers might have, not just at the checkout counter. Why? Because a recent Episerver survey of more than 1,000 consumers found that 92% visited a retail website for the first time for reasons other than to make purchases. Consumers are researching products and services, looking for contact information, and even searching for inspiration.

 

An effective mystery shopping program needs to evaluate a consistent customer experience across all channels and departments, whether shopping in-store, browsing a mobile app or contacting customer service via phone.

 

The Pros and Cons of Technology

 

Rapid advancements in technology enable businesses to improve their customer experience. For example, live chats with actual employees can quickly resolve customer service questions or filter complaints. However, the employee must show empathy and put themselves in the shoes of the customer. Emotion is hard to convey via chat versus having an actual phone conversation and the businesses that thrive will empathize with their customers along every step of the way.

 

Branding, Merchandising and Customer Service Are Becoming More Meaningful

 

Customers want strong impressions from brands, and many are delivering. 44% of businesses offer unconditional free shipping, a factor that customers critically value, while only 2% of brands don’t have any free shipping promotions whatsoever.

Merchandising is also improving, with 86% of brands highlighting products with “what’s new” features, 54% using themed/seasonal promotions, and 22% offering loyalty programs.

Brands are also prioritizing excellent customer service by providing several options for shoppers to reach out. Call centers remain the most efficient way for shoppers to solve problems and ask questions, with an average engagement time of 4.60 minutes. Live chat is available at four out of 10 global brands, and 14% offer customer help through Twitter. Some brands were able to resolve customer concerns on Twitter within minutes.

Customers Want In-Store Tech, But Not All Brands Are Keeping Up

 

In-store technology gives consumers and sales associates a huge realm of flexibility and reach. With tablets, kiosks and other digital screens, associates can quickly check inventory across stores, place orders for delivery, and more.

However, 83% of store-based brands access inventory information through the register, which can be more time consuming for shoppers than using dedicated devices like tablets.

For the handful of stores that use technology (17%), only 40% of those brands used tablets and digital screens in-store.

It’s critical to integrate technology into physical locations to create seamless transitions across channels for customers. Brands that can master both digital and one-on-one interaction will give consumers greater convenience, choice and satisfaction.

 

Some brands are learning the hard way that no matter how much they invest in a better customer experience, a single mishap can have disastrous consequences. With customers more empowered than ever to share their feelings on social media, one negative experience can spark the outrage of thousands online.

 

With stakes as high as they are, no brand can risk the fallout of a poor customer experience strategy. The simple but critical fact is that good customer experience can only come from an intimate understanding of what it’s actually like to be a customer.

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