Are you ready to make the jump to social customer care?

By: Sofie De Beule

February 8, 2016

Just a few years back, there was only a select group of forward-thinking companies (the KLMs, Zappos and Kate Spades of the world) that decided to take on social customer care. Their plunge into providing quality service through social media was seen as visionary and cutting-edge among industry leaders. Nowadays, a lot of businesses have jumped on the social customer care bandwagon as it has become a standard. However, even today it can take a critical event to trigger a company to get fully on board.

When do companies usually notice the importance of social customer care?

1. They have their own moment of crisis. Unfortunately, many businesses only fully understand the importance of social customer care when it’s already too late. There is an old business expression: “It takes years to build a strong, confident image, and just minutes (or even seconds) to destroy it.” In social media’s public eye, the impact of a crisis has quadrupled that effect.

Countless businesses across the globe can attest to the fact that disgruntled customers are merciless when you ignore their complaints on social. When a crisis catches them off guard, they quickly drum up the resources and tools to help support their efforts out of fear of causing more damage.

2. A competitor deals with a crisis that disrupts their business. Another key motivator that usually wins companies over is when a competitor deals with a huge crisis. Let’s take the example of the recent Volkswagen falsified emissions scandal: for the automotive industry, the scandal has been a huge trigger to leverage social media to manage customer sentiment.

Handling a crisis is not about pulling out the big guns, it’s those small actions and one-on-one conversations that prove you’re willing to go the extra mile for each customer. When businesses notice competitors are lagging behind, alarms bells go off and they no longer neglect the power of using social customer care to gain an edge over competition.

3. They want to prepare for when a crisis strikes. Luckily, there are companies that don’t need a wake-up call in the form of a worst case scenario turned into reality to help recognise the importance. Beyond using social to handle customer queries and complaints, they acknowledge the value of social media to provide customers with real-time information during a moment of crisis.

For those companies, instead of having one specific trigger, it’s usually a mix of elements (e.g. large inflow of mentions, heavy competition, likelihood to churn, etc.) that gets them on board.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start allocating resources and building a social customer care team. To take the leap, make sure you’re calling the shots instead of having a crisis become the trigger.