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How to Improve Customer Experience Using Social Media

social-media-open-24-hours-sign.jpgMany brands are drawn to social media because they can create a profile, hammer out a few posts, and let their customers find them. However, just because you can let your social accounts do most of the work with little effort on your part, it doesn’t mean that you should. These days, social media plays an important role in customer experience. Savvy companies are not only building brand awareness online, but they are also learning to improve customer experience using social media.

If you are going to do social media right, you must be willing to invest the necessary time and effort. Remember, it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – even if your business isn’t. Creating an effective, positive customer experience means working within the parameters of the platform as opposed to confining it to business hours and keeping your customers at arm’s length.

Optimizing your social media is not only what you put on your Facebook business profile and posts; it is also what you put into the effort. Take a page from the books of these four companies that are killing it on social media by providing exceptional customer experiences. 

Business Doesn’t Have to be All Business; Have Some Fun!

Canadian Shane Bennett reached out to Samsung via their Facebook page, identified himself as a longtime customer, and asked for a free phone. Who wouldn’t love that right? But Shane decided to sweeten the pot, he included a drawing he’d done of a “RAWRing” dragon. Samsung’s polite reply basically said, “If we did that for everyone who wanted a free phone, we’d be out of business.” But they did soften the blow with an offering of their own – a drawing of a kangaroo on a unicycle.

Shane was amused by the exchange and shared it on Reddit where it went viral. Then one day, out of the blue, he was contacted by Samsung and told the company appreciated the positive media he’d generated – and to expect 

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his new phone in a few days. It arrived as promised, fully customized with his own dragon drawing. Rawr!

Takeaways

  • While there is a time and place for “being serious,” your social media doesn’t have to be one of them - have some fun!
  • Let some personality shine through in your interactions with customers.
  • Social media is, first and foremost, a relationship-building arena. The very nature of all the platforms center around conversations, communities, and sharing.
  • The stuffier you are, the less likely you are to connect with the people who are interested in your brand. Lighten up!

Incorporate Customer Onboarding into Your Social Strategy

Bryan Haines was looking at Contextly to provide content for some projects. After he signed up for a trial account, he shot out a quick tweet about how easy the process was. Contextly responded with a tweet of their own letting Bryan know that they were available if he needed help. They even included an email address for questions, needs, and comments as well as a link to Contextly products. It impressed Bryan to know that Contextly was listening.

Takeaways:

  • Use your social media to reach out to clients to let them know you’re there to help.
  • Social media is often the first direct contact that customers have with a brand. Capitalize on that by being responsive and helpful. Remember, you are building relationships.
  • Include relevant links to your product or service pages, or to a help page.
  • Monitor your social media regularly so you can identify and address these opportunities as they occur.

walk-in-customers-shoes.jpgWalk a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes Before Responding to a Complaint.

Esaí Vélez was on a four-hour flight with Jet Blue when his seatback TV malfunctioned. While his fellow passengers were happily watching their perfectly functioning TVs, he stared at a screen full of static. In his frustration, he took to Twitter to gently let the airline know he was disappointed.

Jet Blue could have ignored the tweet, been defensive, or made an excuse, but instead, they empathized with him. They put themselves in their customer’s shoes and took his side, issuing him a credit for the faulty TV. Just 23 minutes after his initial tweet, Esaí tweeted again, thanking Jet Blue for their fast, excellent customer service.

Takeaways:

  • When responding to customer complaints, put yourself in your customer’s position and look at the situation from their point of view.
  • Address the issue head-on. Don’t try to excuse it away or downplay it. Keep in mind that the issue is very real to your customer.
  • Monitor your social media constantly. Many customer issues occur outside of business hours.
  • Act quickly. The faster you can respond to a problem and take care of it, the less likely it is to blow up on you.

Create a Social Listening Strategy; Customers Won’t Always Tag you in their Conversations

Mike McCready was in Vancouver attending the #PSEWEB conference when he tweeted that although he liked his Delta Hotel room, he wasn’t crazy about the view. It was just a comment, an observation. He did not request anything; he didn’t even tag the hotel.

Delta apparently had their ear to the ground though, and within the hour they had offered Mike a room that had a more attractive view. What’s more, after the conference when he returned to his room he found a plate of sweet treats and a handwritten note from the hotel staff. He was so impressed he posted about it on social media that same day.

Takeaways:

  • Social listening is different from social monitoring in that monitoring focuses on individual data points in conversations while listening seeks out patterns and themes to find what’s meaningful.
  • Create a social listening strategy so you can stay tuned in to your customers’ conversations.
  • Look for certain words or phrases as you track online conversations to analyze and gain valuable insights.
  • Use social listening to find opportunities for customer support, to build brand affinity, and to identify influencers.

Socially savvy brands have realized that social media monitoring is essential for providing a great customer experience. All of the interactions that you have with your customer, from onboarding new customers, repeat purchases, and even handling complaints, are opportunities for you to delight your customers and create loyal brand advocates.

Understanding how to use social media to improve customer experience can help give your business the edge over your competition. Want to learn more? Get your free copy of How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day and start optimizing your social media for customer-centric relationships. Call us, we’ll help you pull it all together.

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