Larry lives in the great big ocean.
He is much smarter than people think – in fact, the smartest invertebrate in the world!
He can open childproof bottles and enjoys decorating his home with small jewels and ornaments. Being color-blind doesn’t stop Larry from distinguishing one human from another.
His four arms, eight tentacles, and giant size might frighten you, but Larry is actually a really gentle creature with three huge hearts!
Can you guess who Larry is?
Larry is an octopus.
Why Every Department Needs a Larry
If Larry was to look for a job, he would most likely be in marketing. His eight tentacles allow him to handle every aspect of social media. From social publishing, to social analytics, social listening and monitoring, Larry would be able to do it all.
But what many companies fail to realize is that every department needs a Larry, or in other words, every team needs social media.
Like Larry who camouflages with his surroundings, social media can perfectly blend into every department. Marketing, sales, customer success, and even the product department are all key parts of the organization where social media is relevant. Within these departments, social media becomes a central pillar for customer service – or as I like to call it, customer care.
Not surprisingly, social media has become a safe and convenient place for customers to express their thoughts about your company – for good or bad. Your job is to turn these customer interactions into positive experiences. You can start by understanding the role of social customer care in the following departments:
1. Marketing: Friendly & Personal Larry
Ideally, the first department that comes to mind when thinking about social customer care is marketing. Marketing plays a defining role in monitoring social posts that praise your company or provide new ideas.
When it comes to positive comments, it’s important that marketing are always responding with a very personal and authentic touch. For example, if you take a look at Oktopost’s Tweets & Replies feed, you’ll notice that we try to engage with customers as much as possible. Signing the team member’s name at the end of the reply also helps to personalize our conversation.
Listening to what customers are saying is another great way for marketers to harvest new ideas. For example, you can turn frequently asked questions into amazing blog posts. If you’re noticing that there are certain keywords being used, you can also weave those into your articles or social media content.
The bottomline is to treat your customers with respect and kindness. Be personal, include your names (yours and the customer’s) and show your appreciation for their ongoing support. The moment you acknowledge their feedback is the moment you foster stronger customer relationships. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously. A sense of humour and a few emojis never hurt!
2. Customer Support/Success: Helpful & Proactive Larry
Especially in the B2B sphere, customers frequently face issues relating to product implementations, integrations, setting up features etc. As a support team, it’s crucial that you pay attention to every customer complaint, confusion, or pain point in order to provide immediate and helpful answers.
Salesforce have a strong social customer care account on Twitter. This dedicated account works around the clock to answer any support-related questions. In addition, they refer their customers to guides, how-to-videos, and articles to learn new skills and solve common problems.
An example of their approach is seen in this customer interaction: a customer complained to them about their platform going down. Nothing inflammatory, but he was clearly frustrated. Minutes later, Salesforce resolved this problem, replying apologetically to the customer and offering further assistance.
Apologize for the inconvenience caused, Matt. Please share the case number & I’ll get it checked. ^PK
— Salesforce Support (@asksalesforce) June 29, 2017
Even when issues are unsolvable or noninflammatory, always make sure to empathize with your customers’ problems and demonstrate your commitment to helping them.
3. Product: Attentive Larry
Always and I mean always listen and learn from your customers’ problems in order to make improvements to your product or service. While it may seem like common sense, a lot of product teams consider themselves out of the picture when it comes to customer support. It’s time for them to come out from ‘behind the scenes’ and speak to customers directly via social media. As you can see in the Tweet conversation below, Intel not only made a customer very happy in the long term, it used its customer expectations and feedback to guide future endeavours.
Hello luke! we apologize for the convenience. We are aware of this issue and working to re-establish the website as soon as possible. — Intel Support (@IntelSupport) June 19, 2017
Keep in mind that these comments are public. Customers can easily see how you’ve handled a customer interaction and perceive you in a more positive light if you handled it well.
4. Sales: Always on the Lookout Larry
While every prospect or customer comment is important, some are going to be more valuable for sales. Your sales professionals are most equipped to handle questions relating to pricing, capabilities, features, or competitors. Like lions looking for prey, sales should be hungry for any opportunity that could help them close more deals and generate more revenue.
Here’s an example of a sales-related inquiry. Squirrels was contacted by a prospect regarding a licensing package. As you can see, their response was very short and helpful, giving them the information they need to make a decision.
Yes – we offer bulk licensing. Here is some initial pricing info for Reflector that might help: https://t.co/rsEjHlTAbv
— Squirrels (@Squirrels) June 2, 2017
As a salesperson, it’s important that you respond immediately and move the conversation to a more private medium like direct message, email or phone, making sure the transition is smooth. In the case of Squirrels, a smooth transition could sound like “Hello Garret, kindly provide me your email address through DM so I can better answer any questions you have”.
Take Home Message
Social media is like a octopus Larry – his tentacles can reach, touch, and travel through every department in your organization, not only marketing. Sales, customer success, and product teams are all relevant departments for a social customer care strategy.
Whether a customer complains, asks for technical support, or praises you, it’s the job of social media managers to route these messages to the most appropriate representative in your company; the team member who is going to provide the best response in a timely and personal manner.
With the Oktopost social customer care solution, you can stay connected to customers at all times. Our team collaboration tool ensures that everyone in your company works together to deliver 100% positive customer experience.