New Year’s Resolutions for Your Social Customer Care Team

By: Sofie De Beule

December 16, 2014

Forrester research
Social Customer Care
social customer service

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back at the past year to see how your brand and social customer care team can achieve more success in 2015.

Social customer care has become a true business necessity. New investments in technologies and organizational changes in support of this evolution are inevitable for companies that want to outsmart the competition. While it’s easy to get confused about what really matters, take time to evaluate where you can keep providing value to your customers.

Organizing your social media team will continue to be important. Companies agree that social customer service is the new standard and the level of service has increased and will continue to rise in the future. In the next year, stakes will get higher. According to research by Forrester, consumers will increase their interaction with brands, especially for customer service issues.

Your social customer care team has evolved a lot over the past year, so here’s how can you make sure to stay relevant in 2015:

1. Use your common sense. Contrary to popular belief, social media and providing customer care is not rocket science. Brands underestimate the power of using your common sense to handle your customers’ issues. Fortunately, social media has opened up the opportunity for brands to act human again and forge one-on-one relationships.

Every time your social customer care team sends out a tweet and responds to customers, they represent the face of the brand. So make every interaction count. Brands need to find a way to maintain the authority they already established for themselves, and be human and relevant at the same time. When you are in doubt if something is appropriate or if you’re using the right language, quickly run it by someone on your social media team and don’t overthink it. Social media should be a ‘no fear’ zone where team members can rely on each other to trust their gut instinct.

2. Stop working in silos. Although you’re talking to people on social media, companies often forget to be social in the workspace as well. Companies often believe customer care is only the responsibility of customer service or marketing. Social media should be embedded in the entire company and shouldn’t be seen as a department. Social media is often handled by the marketing department, which means they don’t know what the other departments are doing. Don’t shut other departments out in establishing your social media presence. Every department (e.g. PR, Sales, HR, R&D, etc.) has something valuable to bring to the table.

3. Leave no complaint unattended. In 2015, make sure you can keep a complete overview of your brand and customers, and don’t let anyone or anything slip through the cracks. Show how much you care, and prove it’s your mission to leave no complaint unattended. Assist your customers throughout the customer care process, follow up, and make sure to swiftly address an issue. When it’s resolved, tweet back to them to let them know you handled the situation. Effectively managing that process of the “ping pong” back and forth is key. Timing will be key in 2015. Word travels quickly, so make sure to respond quickly, especially during crisis situations. In 2015, each minute will count. Slow responses will dramatically affect your brand’s reputation.

4. Start reaching out proactively. Instead of just responding reactively, reach out proactively. This is not only a great way to manage your reputation, but also to increase traffic to your website, and boost sales. To really have your head in the game, don’t do the bare minimum with your customers by only interacting with them when they have complaints. Seize the opportunities where people talk about topics related to your brand, and add value to the conversation. Don’t ignore review sites, branded communities, etc., and engage your team members in helping your customers out. Having a knowledge hub that is easily searchable will be crucial to serve as a type of self-service customer care, and directing people to these pages is effortless.

New Year, New Start

With every New Year comes a fresh start. The key to great customer service in 2015 will be to actively and proactively provide customer support. Great customer service truly is great marketing for your brand. In today’s business world, customers have the power to make or break your company. They will easily flock to a competitor if your service isn’t up to their standards. In 2015, premium-level social customer care that results in a better customer experience will not only improve customer satisfaction, but also increase loyalty and boost customer retention as well.

This article originally appeared on Maximize Social Business.

Sofie De Beule is Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. She helps establish Clarabridge as a thought leader for Social Customer Service and Customer Experience. Sofie’s an Engagor expert,  Clarabridge’s best-in-class social customer service solution, inspiring brands on how to manage and get their social customer service program off the ground. Sofie holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & International Marketing from Artevelde University College Ghent. Read more from Sofie on Twitter @sofiedbeule.