Social Care - social media meets customer care (US Case)

With the birth of social media, brands have lost the power they once had over consumers. Today, customers hold the reins. They are feeling more and more empowered to share their brand experiences and opinions online, stripping brands of the privilege of a one-sided conversation. With extensive networks of families, friends and influencers, what people share on social networking platforms has incredible reach, impacting the purchase intent of your existing and potential customer base. This means that social care, customer service via social media, has become an immediate imperative for today’s global brands. Customers choose when and where they voice their questions, issues and complaints, blurring the line between Marketing and Customer Service. Brands need to accept this evolution and  ensure they are ready to react on all channels.

According to a survey of social media users by the joint Nielsen-McKinsey venture NM Incite, 33% of respondents say they'd recommend a brand that offered a quick but ineffective response, nearly double the number (17%) who'd recommend a brand providing a slow but effective solution. Even "no company response," at 19%, scored higher than slow/effective.

The risk of failing to meet these expectations goes beyond losing customers. People who are annoyed by your customer care can and do blast negative comments about your brand to their networks — and their network's networks. McKinsey research shows that a single negative post on social media has, on average, as much impact on customer decisions as five positive posts.

Social media has conditioned consumers to getting immediate feedback. In fact, a lot of customer service these days is happening via social media, and customers expect you to respond as though you were one of their Twitter followers. More than 50% of Twitter users expect a response in less than two hours, a lot shorter than most companies' response windows.

Enter social care, a system for companies to regularly provide customer service through social-media platforms. Social care can save money. It costs less than $1 per interaction, whereas telephone care is typically at least $6 per call. Even e-mail care costs $2.50 to $5 per interaction. But the real benefit is to the customer experience. Almost 30% of social-media users prefer social care to phoning customer service (and it's not just the young set; even over-65s use social care, with 17% preferring it to the telephone). Consumers with positive social-care experiences are also three times more likely to recommend the brand to others.

The survey is attached here : Download

Recap by Mehdi Sarsar

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