Although "marketing" is its name, the annual Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego had much to say about social customer care.
In addition to the official Customer Service track consisting of six sessions, many marketing speakers spoke about the importance of customer experience and customer service.
Episode 49 of the Focus on Customer Service podcast offers up a first-hand account of the customer taking center stage at #SMMW17, including highlights from a dozen speakers.
The Customer Service track included:
- How to Use Customer Service to Turn People Into Brand Advocates by Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters. Baer noted that by 2020, a majority of purchases will be based on customer experience, and that "great customer experience creates volunteer marketers". He also said that "the best companies in the world are raising the bar of customer expectations."
- Customer Service is the New Marketing: How to Make Social Care Your Competitive Advantage by Shep Hyken, author of Amaze Every Customer Every Time. Hyken said that up to 40% of satisfied customers don't come back, and that companies need a predictable, consistent customer experience to keep them from fleeing. "Average doesn't get you there," he said.
- How to Identify the Customer Experiences That Will Get Amplified in Social Media by Dan Gingiss. My session focused on several real-life examples of offline experiences that can come online with a simple snap of a photo and share of a post or tweet. I also talked about the circular relationship between social media and customer experience, and introduced a formula for what gets shared.
- How to Use Bots and Messaging Apps to Improve Your Customer Service by Blake Morgan, author of More is More: How the Best Companies Work Harder and Go Farther to Create Knock-Your-Socks-Off Customer Experiences. Morgan noted that the #1 customer frustration is having to repeat themselves, and that a major advantage of chatbots is that they can remember previous conversations.
- How Companies Become Best-in-Class at Social Customer Care: A panel discussion with Chad Israel of Hertz, Kimarie Matthews of Wells Fargo, and Madeleine Piercy from Duke Energy (all brands that have previously appeared on the Focus on Customer Service podcast). The discussion included messaging bots, best practices, organizational structure, and proactive customer service.
- How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave Online Reviews: A panel discussioj with Aggie Nixon-Kirschner from Marriott International, Nicolle Picray from Pella Doors & Windows, Melissa Phillips from EmployBridge (moderated by Daniel Lemin from Convince & Convert. The panel discussed whether it is ethical to pay for positive reviews, how to ask customers for feedback, and whether third-party sites (like Yelp and Angie's List) are better than reviews on a company's own website.
Presentations from other tracks that touched on the customer experience included:
- Social Media Marketing in 2017: What the Newest Research Reveals by Social Media Examiner CEO Michael Stelzner
- Why We've Failed: The Customer Is No Longer Our Focus by Scott Monty, social media and marketing consultant, blogger, and podcaster
- Turning Customers into Life-Long Advocates in the First 100 Days by Joey Coleman, a recognized expert in customer experience design
- How to Create Breakthrough Written Marketing Content by MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley
- Growth Hacking: How to Use Social Media to Rapidly Grow Your New Business or Product" by social media consultant and Maximize Your Social author Neal Schaffer
- 7 Powerful Strategies for Building a World-Class Content Marketing Plan by They Ask, You Answer author Marcus Sheridan
If you missed Social Media Marketing World last month, this podcast episode will keep you up-to-date on the latest thinking from customer experience, customer service, and social media marketing experts.