May 30, 2016

Part 3: IAB Social Media Training Series #6 -  From Customer Service to Customer Relationships
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During an IAB Training Series on April 20, we learned about leveraging Social media throughout the buyer journey to drive business results. Thought leaders from Facebook, Linkedin, VML Qais, We Are Social, Brandwatch and Zeno Group spoke to the industry’s leading publishers, agencies, and brands about how to use social to influence and impact the customer journey.

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In Part 3 or our Series coverage, Arvinder Gujral, Director of Business Development at Twitter, made us think beyond customer service.

Social Media is a double-edged sword

As a forum for public data, conversations spoken on social media channels like Twitter have the potential to cause a PR crisis. A negative tweet can send PR firms scrambling to put out the fire for their brands. At the same time, social media platforms allow busineses to pick up on good insights as to what their audiences are saying about their brands, their competitors’ and the industry in general.

From customer service to customer relationships

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Brands shouldn’t stop engaging with users after a sale is made. In fact, customer care on Twitter may be a brand’s biggest opportunity.

Why? Customer frustration with call center care is at an all-time high.

The vast of majority of customers are frustrated before they ever speak to an agent and become more frustrated after speaking with one. This has a major domino impact because 95 percent of those who have negative experiences tell others about them - likely when they are seeking feedback to inform their own purchase decisions.

There is a huge shift in customer service happening with the help of Twitter. It is shifting from customer service to customer relationships. When you think of customer service you think rigid, monolithic, fire-fighting, and cold. However, the transition that is happening helps to move these negative connotations to flexible, expectations management, community, handholding and nurturing - which all define building customer relationships.

Twitter: A two-way street

Customer service is one of the main reasons users follow brands on Twitter across industries. In fact, brands who developed social care capabilities improved customer satisfaction by 19% and the result is Customers almost always feel more positive about a brand after receiving a response.

As users engage on Twitter around customer service, we see that there are, on average, about 5.7M customer service and potential customer service related comments happening each month, as of February 2015. A 2.5x increase versus the same time frame in 2013.

This presents a huge opportunity to be there for customers. The last thing anyone wants is a negative situation to spiral out of control quickly. However, it is also a great opportunity to see the praises of great customer interactions as well.

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New customer service features

Public forums allow customers to engage and start conversations with brands (and vice versa). But each conversation should be meaningful enough to contribute to KPIs.

To tackle this, Twitter has launched a few new customer service features to enhance customer care and engagement on the platform.

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Here are some key Twitter best practices for businesses:

Empathy, keeping it real. This means responding as soon as you can and follow up to make sure the problem is fixed. Don’t leave it unanswered.

If someone tweets your company, it’s your problem. It’s your management’s problem and customer care agents’ problems and you solve it. The problem will come again when someone else gets the same problem. At the end of the day, you will get badgered on social topic platforms where live public conversations happen. You have to be ready to answer questions, it could be about your competition.

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