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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 22, 2016

Why shoppers are going social for service

Customer Service has always been driven, in part, by where and how shoppers want to interact with retailers and other business. Currently, that space is the social space because customers can control the relationship and engage when it is convenient.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: With social becoming a pseudo customer service channel, what do brands need to do?

Scott Horn, CMO, [24]7: Meeting consumers where they're already engaged is far more than a gesture - it directly impacts the bottom line. According to the [24]7 2016 Customer Engagement Index, almost half of consumers will leave a company for a competitor if they have a poor customer service experience. And the truth is that a poor customer service experience isn't limited to the episodic outbursts you see on YouTube. It can be as simple as asking a customer to start over when switching from web to phone, repeat information they've already shared, or speak to a representative who has little to no awareness of their history. Social customer engagement provides an opportunity for brands to greatly improve the consumer experience.

Kristina: As it is currently set up, should brands use social for these kinds of interactions?

Scott: Traditionally, social media hasn't allowed for complete resolution to a customer's problem, or even an end-to-end view of that customer's history. You might complain to a brand on Facebook, only to be directed to a 1-800 number, forcing you to leave that channel and pick up elsewhere.

Kristina: How are brands using social now?

Scott: Currently, most companies use social media to promote products and monitor sentiment. They have been unable to fully engage their customers on social media because they lacked contextual information, and couldn't properly authenticate the user. Now, social networks offer much more robust messaging platforms that facilitate the kind of two-way engagement customers want and expect from brands. With messaging comes the opportunity to turn social channels into central interaction hubs between consumers and brands.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, ecommerce, social commerce, social marketing, [24]7

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