Adopting Social Engagement In A Customer Services and Marketing Mix
Social media – what’s it good for? A daft question you may think but one that has come to dominate the issue of why, how and to what extent should businesses invest in developing a social presence on the web. Unlike single online marketing campaigns, social media activity occurs in an ongoing and changing timeline of engagement.
The endless pathways of multichannel discovery and connection also mean that use and access of social media is not owned by one single person, group or enterprise. As a channel for human interaction and content sharing, social media networking means that every business can and should evolve and integrate social marketing strategies to create their own unique voice.
To date, just under two thirds of companies who have adopted search and social tend to just use the networks for a combination of brand awareness marketing and customer services. Often businesses may simply split their functions into two separate departments where each set of staff are not using the networks to engage with customers ( or followers) in the same way. Understandably, neither may be inclined to do so either!
However, silo’d mindsets may prevent the kind of insight that each area of experience can bring to the total mix of managing social customer engagement. The voice of the customer must be first understood and their patterns of behaviour recognised in a typical consumer journey which might involve issue resolution as part of the transaction process.
In other words, the customer service experience can bring specific expertise, which enables a deeper brand to person interaction combined with workflow and management efficiency. Consequently, the customer service ethos as representing brand identity values in action may be more greatly understood in an online marketing context and genuinely reflected in social messaging.
It’s a matter of company departments using joined up thinking! There’s a risk in sending messages of pure social marketing joy when customers are themselves informing the networks complaining about the service they thought they would receive!
The customer tends to see an eCommerce company as one entity and simply needs and expects the right information with a genuinely concerned and empathetic response. At this point, customer service might provide a real-time social expression to customer engagement and problem resolution at the time and place of the issue.
In effect, this could mean timeline updates by text, Twitter, Facebook or on the website itself. Blogs, articles , newsletters and emails might follow the resolution of the issue and opens the topic to a brand’s community of followers, customers , etc.
Customer interaction analytics can also provide insight and evidence for generating change and the right ways for successful implementation.
Rather than the many reported instances of brands choosing to ignore, deny or stay silent. Precisely the wrong action for eCommerce to take in the multichannel and platform age of the social customer where bad news and tarnished reputations can be a social media disaster!