Now more than ever, marketing and customer service are feeling the pressure to come together to improve engagement on social media. And it’s customers who are at the heart of what can either be a forged or forced relationship depending on the brand – but at the end of the day, brands will depend upon these two teams working more closely together. Consider these statistics:
- 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response. ~ NM Incite
- When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. ~ Bain & Company
- Companies delivering customer support through social media achieve superior gains – 7.5% vs. 2.9%. ~ Aberdeen
- The average number of people a social customer will tell about a bad customer experience: 53. ~ American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer
Notes Gartner Distinguished Analyst Michael Maoz in a recent blog, “Marketing has done a good job of seeing the power of social media, and ran fast to seize the initiative and engage customers in new ways.
“And now something else is happening. As marketing engages more deeply with customers, you move beyond the ‘dating phase’ and sort of settle into a relationship. Who picks up the laundry, and did you take the dog to the vet?
“In the case of social media engagement,” says Maoz, “this is: ‘I told you that I was unhappy with your service on Twitter, but when I called in or logged in, there was no knowledge of my Tweet. What’s up? Or, you saw my post on Facebook, and you said how sorry you were, but the same problem is still there. What are you doing about it?”
In most cases, marketing doesn’t know the answer to these questions in real-time, so it will need to rely more on customer service, especially as Nielsen reports that more than half of all U.S. consumers now turn to social media to air questions and complaints about products and services.
Building the Relationship
A newly-released e-book by Microsoft Dynamics CRM discusses the growing need for engagement between marketing and customer service on social media and provides best practices from managers and thought leaders representing some of the world’s best-known brands including LinkedIn, the Altimeter Group, HootSuite and Parature, which in 2010 introduced one of the first solutions for directly engaging with customers on Facebook.
In the e-book, LinkedIn’s Senior Content Marketing and Social Media Manager, Jason Miller, talks about the growing power of customers on social: “The voice of the customer is bigger and louder than ever before,” he says. “Social is their telephone which can quickly turn into a megaphone. If your customer service team is not monitoring the conversations closely and responding promptly, then your brand will suffer.”
And when customers complain? “It’s all about responding promptly and sincerely,” says Miller. “Many times, they (customers) simply want to know that they are being heard and responding quickly and offering to help can very often turn a negative mention into a positive one.”
Echoes John Andrews, President of The Katadhin Group, “If there were one area to excel at, social service would be it. There is no bigger fail than having an active social stream and producing crickets when someone has a problem or question.”
According to a survey featured in Gartner’s 2014 Social for CRM Vendor Guide, marketing currently controls the social strategy in 41% of enterprises, while customer service only in 7%, but look for these percentages to begin to equal out as marketing and customer service come together over social and get engaged.