Customer service has gone through a complete evolution! Back in the day (we’re talking early 90’s), customer support was done purely through phone. Companies would have external call centers or internal departments dedicated to handling customer inquiries.
Next up, the emergence of the internet paved the way for two-way communication channels such as email, chat services, and of course, mobile apps. While this new landscape enabled greater customer service efficiency, something was still lacking – a personal focus.
Social media brought something new to the table. It democratized customer service, creating a free space for customers to speak up, share their feedback, express their struggles, and recommend brands they like. More so, social media waved goodbye to the “corporate talk” and allowed companies to engage in genuine and direct conversations.
From 1:1 to 1:Many
One of the greatest breakthroughs in terms of social customer care has been the shift from 1:1 to 1:many. In other words, your conversations are no longer private. Instead, every customer interaction is amplified to hundreds of people across the world.
So if David asks IBM a question on their official Facebook page, IBM’s employees are going to have to be very cautious and careful about formulating a response that’s personable, authentic, and transparent.
How Can You Properly Make the Shift?
First, you need a formal social customer care strategy, which allows you to listen and learn from your customers, ensuring that every interaction is a positive one.
The importance of social customer care cannot be overstated. Here are just a few interesting facts from SocialMediaToday that stress this point:
Next, you need a social media management platform that will help you do the following:
- Easily manage all incoming social conversations. Make sure all of your mentions, comments, and private messages are aggregated into one place for more efficient and scalable customer support.
- Gain a complete picture of every social media conversation. It’s important that you can view in detail how every customer inquiry was handled – and by which employee – so you can understand your customer needs and in turn, build stronger customer relationships.
- Provide immediate and personalized responses. By assigning social conversations to relevant team members, you can ensure that everyone is working together to tailor responses to customers’ unique needs.
Social media made it a whole lot quicker and more convenient for customers to reach you, complain to you, and ask you questions. This presented a shift in customer service from 1:1 to 1:many, where everything you say on social is amplified to huge crowds. With a formal social customer care strategy, you can engage your customers in a more personalized fashion to sustain long-term relationships.