The use of social media is becoming a core part of a brand’s offering, whether a brand intends for it to be or not. Social media is about connections and has blurred the line between the consumer and the company – in the virtual world of social media they are both identified as ‘users’, allowing instant and direct interactions to take place between the two.
Ecommerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe, and the UK is among the top three counties that are together contributing 81.3% of the £111.2 billion online annual sales. In an increasingly competitive market, with ever more demanding consumers, brands need to maximise their online sales channels and manage the customer experience effectively.
Retailers and businesses are becoming quick to throw money at tools, software and services to increase their sales and conversions but, as this study reveals, many brands and businesses stop there and don’t consider what follows next; the after-sales support. Many UK companies are struggling to deliver adequate customer service online.
Customer experience should be at the centre of everything a business does. With the rise of social media, customers want to communicate socially and a question raised online should be dealt with and given the same level of service as a brand would offer through any of its other traditional channels.
Below, we take a look at the new Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study, released this week:
Looking at 100 companies, the study found that just 39% of companies answered customer service questions asked through Twitter – despite 76% being present on the channel. It also identified that the average response time to a customer service question made on Twitter is about 8 hours and 37 minutes.
The web, email and social media are fast becoming the channels of choice for consumers, yet the biggest brands in the country are struggling to cope.” – Oliver Njamfa, CEO of Eptica.
Looking at these figures, it is clear to see that companies need to review their social strategies and ensure they are ready to provide excellent customer service across all of the channels. To help brands to do this we’ve listed some of our top tips below :
Twitter is an interesting channel for customer services, being limited to only 140 characters it restricts detailed messaging but is concise and simple enough to attract a high volume of feedback and comments, whether positive or negative. These are called micro-interactions and they should be handled like any other.
Video is a great way to keep in touch with a customer base, whether it’s for a training video, keeping in touch on new products, new arrivals or perhaps the crisis management of an event. It also allows viewers and consumers to post comments and get engaged with you.
One way to capture customer feedback proactively is to make sure your business is pushing the use of an independent review service. This will not only let you know the current situation of your services or products but it also invests in the future growth of your business by using the reviews as a sales tool on your site to encourage more purchases.
Sometimes consumers get stuck online, for one reason or another they just can’t complete the task they are looking to do. Investing in a virtual assistant is an efficient method to help increase your conversion rate, loyalty and provide a better customer experience for a journey that started potentially frustratingly or difficultly.
By creating a strong online presence your social activity not only helps build your brand online, but it also acts as further outlets to provide immediate, helpful customer service and gain loyalty and referrals.
Let us know if you have been using any of these methods (or others) or know of any other brands doing well in their social customer service offering.