Written by: David Pennington
Customer care professionals are challenged these days to identify and resolve customers’ issues through an ever-increasing array of communication channels. They want to know: How can I make my customers happy and bolster our brand?
The service professional has always played a critical role in driving positive customer experiences. Often the service professional is the only human touch point to the customer. Today’s social customer will use social networks to air opinions and find out if an organization is listening, wondering if they will respond quickly — or at all. The proliferation of mobile devices means that customers can air their thoughts just about anywhere, anytime—including “in the heat of the moment.” This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the service professional. The challenge is how to capture and analyze the thousands of conversations in the social universe to identify the right issues your care team can and should address. The opportunity is to determine respond in real time and demonstrate that company is listening, turning negative experiences into positive ones and winning your customer’s trust.
Furthermore, service organizations can analyze these opinions and views to provide a valuable “early warning” system that identifies emerging problems before they become larger in severity and scale.
Today, social listening and analysis tools can help organizations identify an escalating issue. Often when the issue has been surfaced via social media, then one of the response channels needs to be social media as well. Businesses gain kudos and credibility when they acknowledge and respond to problems through social channels. Social avenues provide an opportunity for the business to proactively address issues at scale—including quickly reversing a negative situation.
Customers who have great experiences will also use social networks to tell those positive stories, amplifying affirmative feelings about your brand. Since most customers listen to and trust peers more than advertising and collateral, a glowing recommendation is incredibly powerful in sustaining customer loyalty, building equity in your brand, and strengthening your community. In essence, your social customers can become an extended service community for your business. Ideally, you’ll be able to identify advocates and champions and work with marketing to incent influential customers to be brand and service “ambassadors,” with the help of business tools that tap into the social stream.
Social communities represent a constant source of real-time feedback that can give business leaders valuable information to improve future products and services—information that previously would have taken considerable time, effort, and expense to collect. We look at social experiences not as destination, but as a way to accelerate your business strategies.
Post originally written for Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/microsoftdynamics/2013/03/15/making-your-customers-happy-through-social-media/