5 steps to customer care success with Socialb's Lynsey Sweales
17th March 2021
Using social media as a primary channel for customer care has the power to make a (positive) lasting impression, that can impact every aspect of your brand. Just last week, Burger King had to put its crisis comms into action, and merge marketing and customer care teams, to manage the fall out of an awkward tweet about International Women's Day.
Customer care determines how people view your brand and whether you can be trusted. We called upon Socialb CEO, Lynsey Sweales, to share her valuable insight and the actionable steps that lead to customer success.
Socialb is a digital marketing agency based in the UK, that has worked with major clients including Just Eat, VISA, Aston Martin and Virgin to name a few.
Watch the full replay of Lynsey's top tips here, or read on for a summary of the discussion:
Lynsey started the session by addressing the fact people become a customer as a result of your product or brand, but leave due to poor customer service. You should aim to find the sweet spot between your marketing objectives and your customer's human needs.
- 76% of people who message a business, do so for support
- 57% of consumers said that customer service increases brand loyalty
- 64% of people would rather message a business than call them
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Even if you're not using social media, having a social media policy is essential to make sure there are no awkward slip-ups. The same rules should apply to your employees, it's very easy to track where people work if they make an undue remark on social media, which could then lead to blame falling on your brand.
Make sure anyone who uses your social media channels is trained on how to interact appropriately, while considering your brand values and mission statement. Most importantly, make it a rule to never respond or react to trolling. Dealing with complaints and feedback is part of the role, but responding to remarks that are there to tarnish your brand can deepen the wound.
Ask yourself these questions when creating a social media policy...
- What is appropriate and what isn't?
- Who is allowed to post?
- Is everyone aligned (particularly in distributed businesses and franchises) on these rules?
A real-life example of the importance of a social media policy was a slip-up from PureGym. A franchise branch of the gym chain posted a racially insensitive workout routine on their page.
The post went viral, and despite being posted from one individual branch, without approval from HQ, members flocked to cancel their memberships. The gym's reputation was immediately tarnished, even the last-minute damage-control they tried to put in place was unable to rectify the issue.
Before responding to social media messages and interacting with followers, take a step back and set measurable objectives that can guide your replies. These could include...
- Who do you want to connect with?
- What kind of content do you want to share?
- What's your style of interaction?
- What influence do you want to have over people?
- How quickly should you respond?
Think from a customer perspective when responding. Consider demographic factors such as age, location, profession, and the level of influence your audience has, when forming an answer. It's also wise to focus on customer expectations and how to exceed those.
Bigger brands deal with social media complaints day-in-day-out, but not many actually record what those complaints say. Keep a log of every piece of feedback you get to identify the areas you need to improve, take accountability for personal mistakes and triumphs.
Encourage ownership over customer services. Some brands sign-off messages with a name for personalization. This helps with accountability and lets the customer know they are dealing with a real person.
If you joined our previous webinar with MarketingProfs' Ann Handley, you'll know that humanizing a brand is one of the most important steps for building trust. People trust people, not logos.
Have a plan for every possible situation - particularly crisis communications. Have a clear policy in place as to what constitutes a crisis, and how you should escalate it in order to get a good outcome. Make it clear across your social media channels and website when you are online to respond to queries, and provide relevant information to help people contact you.
When responding to a potentially negative message, empathize with the customer's problem first. Good customer service is about recognizing a problem and being open and honest about it before trying to fix it.
Spotify is particularly good at this, it marries marketing with customer care and encourages followers to point out any potential issues they're having before complaints are made.
Investing in a tool that makes customer care easier will streamline your process massively. Lynsey is particularly a fan of ContentCal's customer care Respond feature, which allows you to reply to cross-platform social media messages from one place, and assign them to individual team members, allowing for that ownership mentioned above.
You're able to categorize messages by content, meaning you can label them as a complaint, feedback, positive review (or whatever else you'd like), and respond accordingly.
Note: Try it out for yourself. Sign up for a trial with ContentCal for free.
The 3 key steps to any successful customer interaction are:
- Be proactive
- Always listen
- Be engaging
Follow these golden rules and you'll be well on your way to customer service success.
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