Happy customers are central to a successful business. That holds true whether you run a mom and pop shop or a national retail chain. So it should come as no surprise that social customer service has the power to impact your bottom line, for better or for worse. Your presence and engagement on social media can be a powerful tool, setting your business apart from the competition.
Here are four ways a strategically planned and carefully executed social customer service program can better your business and positively impact your bottom line:
Grow Your Business
It’s no secret that a growing customer base is good for business, but you’ll need to be able to reach new customers in order to achieve that growth. That’s where social media comes in. Not only do these platforms allow you to engage with existing customers, but they also allow you to reach new audiences and share information about your brand with an expansive network of consumers.
Social customer service also gives you an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. If your organization operates in an extremely competitive industry, the level of service you deliver is key to differentiating your business. Engaging with consumers in their own territory and answering questions in real time is a great way to stand out from your competition.
Cut Customer Service Costs
Social customer service presents a huge opportunity for business to not only provide a better customer experience, but to also reduce costs. According to HBR, responding to a customer on social media costs less than $1 per interaction, whereas telephone support is typically at least $6 per call.
What’s more, many popular social networks are making their platforms more business friendly, which means engaging with customers and taking full advantage of social channels is only getting easier. For example, Twitter recently added a new Direct Message feature, allowing brands to initiate direct message conversations even if the customer and business aren’t following each other. That means brands can now provide customer support extending beyond 140 characters without having to direct that customer to a call center. The result? A quickly serviced customer and money saved by avoiding a potential support call.
Build Meaningful Relationships and Customer Loyalty
Give your brand a voice through social customer service. These channels offer up a unique opportunity to engage with customers in an authentic way, using language that resonates with your audience and builds lasting relationships with your target market. Connecting with customers in a deep way amplifies your brand, increases loyalty and allows you to upsell.
Social service also allows you to maintain your customer base even when problems arise. According to VB Insights, there were over 879 million complaints on social media directed at brands last year. With a solid social customer service strategy in place, you’ll be able to solve issues quickly, respond to complaints and keep customers informed. Doing so cuts down on churn, which means you’re less likely to lose customers in times of crisis.
Optimize Products and Services Based on Candid Feedback
Last but not least, social platforms offer a wealth of information about your customers and how they feel about your brand. These insights are essential for optimizing your products or services. Customers often share candid feedback, questions and complaints that brands can track to capture a customer’s authentic voice. This allows you to stay ahead of the curve and provide the goods and services that your customers truly want.
Additionally, you’ll be able to create more effective marketing campaigns if you have a solid understanding of who your customers are and what they want. Tap into social to quickly identify trends and initiate strategic promotions, deals and campaigns in a timely manner. In other words, social allows you to give customers the products they want in the format they prefer. Now how’s that for a competitive advantage?
Elizabeth Clor is Senior Director of Content Marketing for Clarabridge.