Why your social customer care needs to evolve
1 February 2018
How does Social customer care fit in within your brand’s digital transformation program?
With the experience we’ve gained over the past 9 years in over 300 social media related projects with clients varying from banks to supermarket chains, we have tracked the evolution of social media and its relevance for our clients. Evidently, the functionalities that are now available to brands today are not the same as a decade ago when social media was used by a limited group of geeks.
It has evolved from a tool for unidirectional communication, an outlet for egos and alter-egos, into an extension of our daily means of interacting with others. And, it’s not just a millennial thing. Who is on Social Media? Almost Everyone. In 2017 there were 2.46 billion social media users, this number is predicted to rise to 2.77 billion by 2019.
Who do people follow on social media? According to Global Web Index, users follow people they know in real life. The second most followed type of profile on social media are “brands I like”, above even celebrities (including artists and musicians) and news organizations. Moreover, as we mentioned in our previous Rebel Thinking piece on Messaging Apps, time spent on mobile apps increases 69% yearly, with time spent on Messaging and Social increasing by 394% from last year.
What are people doing on social media?
According to the latest statistics, users are predominantly sharing pics, updates and videos with messaging close behind. In fact, 3 of the top 5 social networks are a part of Facebook (Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp).
As this data shows, social media is an integral part the need to feel connected, entertained and informed. What does this mean for brands? It means that those who are present on these platforms have a privileged seat in consumers’ daily lives. They have been invited to a space which empowers consumers to feel connected with brands on a personal level. However, the reality is that most brands do not treat the members of their digital communities as individuals.
Well, if you haven’t heard it already, we’ll say it until we are blue in the face: people are already talking about your brand online. If you are not part of the conversation they will determine your brand value proposition for you.
Our hope is that these statistics compel you to reflect on your use of social media to connect, understand and inspire people. Is it integrated into your business strategy as a key component of the consumer experience? Are you proactive in how you resolve questions and possible incidents? Or is the C-suite still in fear of the repercussions this new transparent and direct relationship.
We’ve discussed the importance of social media in your brand value proposition and now we’d like to make the argument for social customer care. By 2020, experience will be a more relevant factor in purchase decisions than price. This means that customer service has to become more than processing returns, answering questions about payment or tending to complaints. Our digital habits have heightened the relevance of each interaction online, each with the potential to become an online review or viral content.
This requires a fundamental shift in our approach to attending to consumers. The great opportunity brought on by the digital revolution in reshaping organizations goes beyond the integration of big data or automating processes. It requires more internal alignment than ever and has placed a premium on a people-centered vision.
As we can see above, the new approach to customer care is a reflection of the liquid experience demanded by consumers. There is yet much to explore by way of artificial intelligence and other digital tools, but the starting blocks are composed of shared vision, flexible processes and fluid information.
There is not a one size-fits-all approach to integrating social media in your customer experience strategy, but there are some tools you can use to understand how to develop your own, and we’d like to share them with you.
Evaluate your social care strategy and learn from 3 best practices.