Sharing and Caring: Customer Love Pays Dividends

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Sharing and Caring
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Happy Saturday BGB’ers!

Here’s a little reading snack to brighten up your weekend consumption.

It’s often said that social media is an outlet for natural conversations.

If that’s the case, folks complaining about customer service was just bound to happen.

Call it fate.

Call it destiny.

Call it a regular propensity to be a douche.

You can even (sometimes) call it a truly valid right to complain.

But let’s face it, it’s really the only way to relieve ridiculous, maddening, total Hulk-style rage stress after dealing with seemingly incompetent customer service drones.

You know who I’m talkin’ about!

“How did they get a job? Could they be any less interested? What’s happening with the world?”

In past years, such bickering was reserved mostly for friends and family (yay us). Now social media gives disgruntled consumers a megaphone to voice their outrage.

Companies have caught on to these complaints and, according to a J.D. Power and Associates report, social care, the newest branch of customer service, is paying big dividends.

A study of 23,000 online consumers revealed that 87 percent of consumers say online social interaction with the company “positively impacted” the chances that they’ll purchase from that brand.

Businesses looking for a brand boost can kill two birds with one stone by engaging in social care.

What It Be?

(What Is It for you slang- challenged grammar Nazis.)

In a tiny little nut, social care addresses consumer issues across social media platforms. Rather than waiting for customers to call or email customer service departments, social care representatives reach out to consumers to solve customer service issues.

For example, a customer seeking identity-theft protection might tweet questions or concerns about prices, services and plans from LifeLock.org.

Instead of noting this comment for an upcoming website review, a LifeLock representative engaging in social care would connect with the Twitter user directly, offering pricing information and giving them the chance to ask any other questions.

Convenience is paramount for the modern consumer.

Social care enables businesses to reach out to consumers across a free platform. The results are increased customer loyalty and brand strength.

Let’s Talk Benefits…

Unlike traditional customer service, which aims to salvage a broken relationship, social care has the power to turn a sour customer into a loyal advocate.

Conventional customer service is still the benchmark, meaning most consumers looking for support are forced to wait in lines or on hold. Social care saves consumers the hassle of contacting customer service departments.

Businesses have the potential to gain more than just one loyal customer, however.

Social care takes place on public platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As businesses interact with consumers, the network of users connected to both parties can see the interaction.

As a result, quality social care is able to strengthen brands and naturally market to potential new customers.

Get It Crackin’

It doesn’t take expensive equipment or time-consuming training to launch social care support.

Start by creating business pages on Facebook and Twitter, arguably two of the biggies when it comes to social platforms.

Also, it’s pretty much fruitless to scour social media pages looking for your brand, so don’t waste your time.

Consider a site like Socialmention.com to help you monitor brand mentions. It will alert you when a user comments and give you a nice little warm and tingly if someone’s talking nice about you.

From there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a kiss to giving your customers the tender, lovin’ care they’ve come to expect as de rigor from their favorite brands.

Also, keep in mind your presence on social media platforms doesn’t have to be limited to social care.

Original content, engaging promotional materials, and simple human outreach can all co-exist in a kick ass social media strategy.

Need an example or two?

J.D. Power and Associates have listed businesses that consumers have recognized for a commendable balance of social media marketing and social care.

Among them: Southwest Airlines, Chase, Ford and Florida Power & Light.

Look to these companies’ social media interactions for a teensy bit ‘o guidance as you tailor your own strategy.

Over to You

Do you use social media to be proactive about addressing customer complaints? Do you feel your clients are more connected to your brand because you actively engage them on social media? Drop your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to share this post with someone who needs to read it. 🙂

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