Customer service has always been a key element for the L’Oreal Group’s Active Cosmetics Division. Traditionally, this attention is given in a very close and individual way in the physical stores, where specialised professionals (dermo-advisors) help the customers in the qualitative care of the skin.
The challenge in Mexico for two of the L’Oreal group’s brands in the dermocosmetics division, La Roche-Posay and Vichy, was to transfer this customer service from physical stores to digital channels without losing its exclusive and personalised qualities. To achieve this, it was necessary to implement a methodology that would integrate exhaustive knowledge of the product with efficient communication into the brands’ digital identity.
People always in the centre
The key concept around which the entire social customer care strategy was to revolve was empathy: an attitude that allows one to put oneself in the customer’s shoes to understand their problems, doubts, demands or complaints, and to attend to them in a personalised manner rather than simply offering a standard response.
Above all, we wanted to convey the perception that they would be attended to by a team of open-minded professionals with a high degree of expertise. We knew that the consumer has empowering tools at their disposition, which give a new (more dynamic and fluid) dimension to their relationship with brands. Consumers can publicise everything (positive and negative) about a product or service, and it’s essential for the brand to develop active customer service that understands and optimises this relationship.
In this way, using an informal but respectful and close tone, and adopting a proactive rather than just reactive attitude, we listened to the voice of the community to transfer the concept of skin care experts that consumers have always associated with L’Oreal’s Active Cosmetics Division to the digital environment.
All departments of customer service
How can this idea be put into practice? In collaboration with the Customer Service and Communication areas of the L’Oreal group and the marketing areas of each brand, we designed an action protocol organised around a colour-coded system, which classified the priority and type of response that should be given according to the nature of each query or allusion to the brand:
- Green: within 24 hours, Good Rebels’ social media team would answer questions and comments related to the product, promotions, etc.
- Yellow: customer complaints and negative comments (incidents related to product packaging, efficiency, quality, etc.) would be answered by brand specialists in less than six hours.
- Red: reputational crises or brand attacks would be responded to in a maximum of two hours by the team specialising in corporate reputation.
Skin care is a very personal matter, so the key to the whole system was a personalised response within the established deadlines. L’Oreal, Good Rebels, and all customer care and contact points had to be perfectly integrated and in permanent communication to ensure the success of the social strategy, distributing and sharing responsibility to the customer between different departments:
- Marketing: area of coordination of all responses related to products, prices, promotions, etc.
- Communication: responsible for interactions related to the brand’s reputation
- Contact centre: the agency in charge of managing the call centre would contact Good Rebels in case of allergic reactions or other situations that require immediate attention; these cases would then be followed up from the social network channels.
- Good Rebels: the team responsible for customer service at La Roche-Posay and Vichy received specific training on the different products, enabling them to respond autonomously to any questions. Communication with the marketing team was constant.
“We saw an increase in positive feeling towards the brands as we worked on the personalised relationship with the community”.
The colour priority system proved to be tremendously effective in organising daily interaction with the community. We evaluated the results of the social care strategy by assessing the messages received through the different points of contact on a monthly basis (including responses to social media campaigns), passing on the most outstanding insights to the brand.
Since we started working with the brands and providing customer service via social networks, community activity increased significantly. We saw an increase in positive feeling towards the brands, as well as improvements in engagement as we worked on the personalised relationship with the community.
Prescription, whether from professionals to patients or the recommendations among consumers themselves, plays a fundamental role in qualitative skin care. When classifying the comments within the conversion funnel, we saw that approximately half of these were located in the final stages of prescription and loyalty.
Through the different KPIs developed, we saw how the positive response of the community was translated not only into improvements in reputation, but also in sales figures. The optimisation of direct attention through digital channels also had the effect of reducing the number of calls to the contact centre.