According to research from Sprinklr and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 12% of enterprise managers and executives fully integrate social media with customer experience management, while 27% don’t integrate the two at all. This select, leading companies( 12%) do not just deliver more value; they also dominate the market, increase revenue, and reduce costs.A social media interaction costs 1 dollar compared to 6 dollars for a call center interaction.
(Incite).31% of customers turn to social media to make pre-sales enquiries. (Institute of Customer Service).90 percent of social media users used social media to communicate with a brand(Conversocial). These facts indicate how intricately social media is woven today into the customer experience matrix. It is in fact difficult to distinguish the two from each other.
It is more than a marketing or selling tool
Gone are the days when social media was used to stream advertisements and marketing messages. It may be highlighted, 2/3rd of consumers have used social media for support, while only 1/3rd have used it to find marketing content(jdpower). Its scope has been redefined and broadened. Social media care has evolved as a big space besides social media marketing in delivering customer satisfaction. Customers turn to social media for query, complaint and feedback too. Let us look at the following points to understand its reach in customer experience management.
‘Personalization’ becomes a truly personalized process
Kimarie Matthews, Vice President of customer advocacy and loyalty at Wells Fargo Bank commented in an interview, “We’ve been listening to customers on social media for the past 18 months, and for the past 9 months we’ve been engaging with customers. For the past 6 months we’ve had a Twitter channel and found that’s the place where the most conversations occur.”(ClearactionCx) Listening is essential to understand the customer which in turn facilitates personalization. It is important to hear everything being said about the brand and be responsive in a relevant manner. This relevance is achieved through personalization only. According to Harvard Business Review reports, personalization can deliver 5 to 8 times the return on investment for marketing spend.
The personalization is not just customer faced it is also imparted in the brand. The social element of social media comes in handy here. A brand may familiarize its consumer with its customer centric culture in the same way as it would communicate with a friend, thereby, instilling a brand personality among its customers/clients.Social media promotions of CSR initiatives, employee stories, and awareness-building around various causes are important elements of brand personality, in this regard.
From social engagement to brand engagement
Media rich engagements with infographics, testimonial videos, pertinent hashtags prepares the ground for brands to look for their influencers, discover opportunities for proactive customer service and identify trends. Customer are dovetailing their fingers towards their preferred brands, tagging people and sharing updates. The uniqueness of customer engagement is social media is they engage as they would want to with friends and acquaintances in social media.This leads to customer retention, customer loyalty and more referrals.
Note: It is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer (White House Office of Consumer affairs). The customers turn to brand advocates. This is how their social engagement may be converted to brand engagement
Elsie Maio, the CEO of Humanity Inc and Soulbranding℠ expert, had this to say: “It comes down to companies living their human values. These same human values resonate with their customers. Social media is no different. Leaders use the power of social media to surface those shared values and engage customers. Organizations will make a quantum leap in trust and creative collaborations when they legitimize, and even celebrate, their motivating social values. These are the deeply held human and social impulses that move people to act in their own and their communities’ best interests.” (MarketingJournal) Emotional connect may be developed through social media as it is only human interaction which makes customer feel valued and machine technology requires much filtration and time in making such humane customer experience.
Complaint is an opportunity
Each week, more than one million people view tweets about customer service, and about 80% are negative (Helpscout). Social media interactions are public and one negative review may have a bandwagon effect in the internet. If customer feedback is treated as the signpost for company homework, then it is sure to go beyond apology and regret messages. Working on genuine customer feedback is sure to win back customer and form enduring loyalty to brand. Happy customers are likely to share their stories on social media. A resolved negative tweet leads to 3x more revenue potential than a positive tweet (Applied Marketing Science Twitter).The objective is to deliver unhindered social care to customers. A coinage of social media service, the phenomenon (social care) is to demonstrate wow moments with social customers.
Time management forms the epicentre of any complaint resolution endeavour. Regular business hour is a misnomer in the social media world of customer experience. It is self evident that customers who realize email or call centre response is not available 24 x 7 must have gone social or in the expectation of a shorter waiting time than the other channels. In fact, 75% of online customers expect help within 5 minutes (McKinsey and company).
Analyze, predict and preempt
Social media is highly unstructured. Social media analytics tracks and record online conversations to find thought-patterns, personal behaviour, consumer behaviour and political/economic/religious preferences and more. This well synthesized data filters unique customer insights on basis of which projections may be obtained. This also helps to prevent negative feedback before customer issues actually take place. Structured data also goes a long way in personalizing customer experience. Customer data empowers businesses and data is itself of no good, if it is not segmented and defined as per customer-centric terms. Social media act as customer data powerhouses for futuristic businesses.
To sum up,
by anchoring social experience into Customer experience value addition may be ascertained at all customer touch points. This enables a 360 degree view of the customer. In an age where people are turning to social media more and more for product reviews, offers, brand information and grievances, it is not unrealistic to assume that social media has become a force to be reckoned with in the customer experience spectrum.