Social Customer Care: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

By: Steve Ryan

When you think of social customer care, your mind likely goes to customer service, right? While they are similar, there are some key differences.  According to Sprout Social, “social customer care is differentiated from service in that it starts before a customer reaches out to you about a product or service. This means you not only respond to complaints but you also reward compliments.”

The key to good social customer care is to anticipate all possible issues ahead of time and have response plans in place before they arise. Having a “script” with pre-approved language makes it easy to respond in a timely manner. While you should not use the same “canned” messages for each reply, establishing sentiment and tone beforehand will be more effective in the long run. 

Your audience wants to feel that they are heard. To the positive messages, a simple response of, “Thanks for sharing! We’re always here to help,” or a “We appreciate your feedback,” can go a long way in terms of loyalty for a customer. To the not-so-good messages, this is an opportunity to redeem yourself and win a customer back. It may not be in the form of a refund or a gift card but simply addressing the issue to say, “We hear you, we’d like to learn more,” shows your customers that they are a priority to you. For more detailed or more sensitive messages that should not be handled via social media, it’s a good idea to provide the consumer with a phone number or email to contact so that it can be handled offline and you can speak directly with the individual. 

Here are some stats you should consider when thinking about social customer care: 

  • According to Statista, 47% of US consumers have a more favorable view of brands that respond to customer questions or complaints on social media.
  • 71% of consumers said they found themselves using social media more in the last year 
  • 40% percent of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours.
  • 44%  of consumers will unfollow a brand on social because of poor service, putting a damper on brands’ growth goals. 
  • 78% of consumers agree that social media is the fastest and most direct way to connect with a brand. 

Examples of Social Customer Care

An example of a brand that executes social customer care well is Starbucks.  Not only are they taking on and responding to negative complaints, they’re also taking time to interact with fans in a positive way. 

For those customers who have suggestions for improvement, they’ve got a website for that! This ensures the customer that their thought or idea is actually going somewhere, not just to a Twitter inbox left unread.

Your Outsourced Social Customer Care Team in Action

RyTech’s dedicated social customer care team actively monitors social media channels for brand messages, incoming mentions, and the broader conversation within and among customers. These authentic conversations provide the best way to position a brand positively where they are occurring. The amount of inbound messages can range from a couple per week for smaller brands to thousands per hour for larger brands and depends upon what is occurring in real time. For example, a national airline might see a huge increase in inbound customer messages on social media during flight delays. 

By deploying an outsourced social customer care team, we listen to and analyze trends and data to help brands make informed decisions. The themes that develop allow companies to make informed decisions and adjustments within the business based upon this candid feedback of what is working and what might not be working.  From these insights, RyTech was able to offer recommendations to business practices, marketing strategy and more to make it a better experience for all parties involved. 

Further, social customer care teams work cohesively with the brand to develop a playbook and script to identify appropriate responses within various scenarios. This proactivity allows the brand to adapt and pivot as circumstances change, while still keeping messages on-brand. Though the outcome may not always have been what the user was looking for, they could expect to be heard and responded to on the other side of the screen.

The goal is to make sure that the end consumer feels heard and has an interaction with the brand. While the consumer may have thought they were dealing with a customer service team, thanks to the powerful, proactive strategy coupled with the enhanced playbook, Team RyTech really serves as a social customer care team. 

Your customers are the heart of your business and they deserve to feel and be heard. Be there for them via a social customer care strategy. To learn more about how RyTech can help contact us today!

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