Do companies really understand their customers? If they did, surveying customers wouldn’t be such a big business. There is often a serious gap between the quality of customer service companies think they are providing and the quality of service customers say they are providing.
According to a recent article by Amy Power on Business2Community, a 2013 HelpScout.com survey found that 80 percent of companies believe they are providing “superior” customer service, but only 8 percent of these companies’ customers think that they actually deliver “superior” customer service. One might have predicted a small gap – it’s impossible for companies to truly get into customers’ heads – but a 72 point gap? Clearly, most companies are still doing something very wrong.
The methods of fixing a customer support system are varied and detailed, but before a company engages in any fixing, they need to know precisely what the problems are. This is where social media monitoring can be an excellent resource and tool. More than half of customers under 35 today use social media to complain about companies and services, according to JD Power. The information is readily available, you simply need to be in a position to find these posts. From there, you can respond to them and turn the situations from complaints into opportunities.
“Using your social media feeds for customer service can be an absolutely terrific way to respond to both negative and positive customer queries,” writes Power. “Edison Research found in 2013 that 42 percent of consumers expected a response from a company within 60 minutes of posting a comment/complaint on a company’s social media sites. What’s more, consumers appreciated a company that provided an incomplete or ineffective response more than a company that provided a slower, but more complete response. Quickness counts when it comes to social media!”
Social media is a way for companies to say to customers, “We’re here. We hear you. We want to help, and we want to change.” In the past, some studies have found that customers who complain but have their issue resolved to their satisfaction make even more loyal customers than those who never had a complaint in the first place.
Social media monitoring, therefore, is a critical component of today’s multichannel contact center. It can’t be an isolated operation, stuck in marketing and disconnected from the customer experience. It can’t be a sales function that will distract sales personnel from doing their real job. It needs to be a contact center operation that can be tied into the overall cradle-to-grave customer relationship, handled like any other customer contact and resolved using the full arsenal of the contact center’s resources: CRM, customer history, billing and shipping information and more.
For many companies, social media has represented a significant challenge to success. For smart companies, it should represent what it really is: a powerful opportunity when used and handled properly.
Edited by Maurice Nagle