The Future of Social Media and Customer Service

alexhisaka
Alex Hisaka Content Marketing Manager, LinkedIn.com

Posted on April 9th 2012

The Future of Social Media and Customer Service

With technology the world has become a much smaller place and the future of social media has opened up a new world of opportunities to provide a digital customer service experience. And yet, while current technology has made providing customer support even easier, it also stirs up challenges.    

Customers are complicated. It’s not just because they’re technologically empowered, but it’s because they’re human. And in a social space where your customers are at different places at different times, it’s important for a business to understand the full potential of the brand experience space for the customer. The future of social media needs to speak to customers, and deliver a collective customer experience across traditional and social channels.

Your business needs to create strategies that link the customer experience with the technologies and systems required to deliver the right content at the right time. To do this, your business needs to:

Listen: All businesses, whether big or small, should go to the trouble of learning those little things that customers value above and beyond the basic product or service. If you don’t already, you should find out what’s important to your customers, what’s influencing their decisions, and how do they make their choices when they buy.

Create: You have to get very close to your customers and find out what they want. When you listen and observe how customers use your product or service, you get a better insight of your customers and your business. Regardless of where or how it’s being delivered, generate value with your consumers. The better you understand your customers, the easier it is to build something that makes them happy.

Engage: Get to know your customer inside and out. If your customer is calling and needs your help, you need to be there to assist them. If you don’t recognize the value of your customer, they’ll leave and tell their friends. But if you do, they’re going to stay and tell their friends that your business is an opportunity. No business is going to fail by engaging with its customers and talking to them in a personal, caring way that makes them feel valued. Providing customer support and delivering the kind of service they expect will make your company more successful.

Measure: Is your content driving traffic that matters to your business? Analytics and metrics are the powerhouses required to understand your customers better. You can build a comprehensive understanding of your customers with productivity tools. That way you can discover what’s driving conversations and the “why” behind your social traffic. Measuring your company’s online engagement and influence will help your business refine content and messaging based on analytics.

Going forward, businesses need to work harder to ensure their products or services is experienced by the customer in the relevant time and place. But before jumping on the social media bandwagon, it’s paramount to approach it with a strategy and to integrate social media into your overall customer service experience. Providing quality customer service across traditional and social channels can elevate your business, products, and services, and can even inspire your customers to make purchases. If you can hook a customer early on with great customer service and a great product, the better chances they’ll become a lifetime customer, improve customer retention metrics and create significant value for your business.

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Alex Hisaka works in Marketing at Desk.com. You can find her on Twitter at twitter.com/alexhisaka