The new age, social customer (Part 2): Why are they turning to the internet and how your company can manage these customers.
In our last blog, I wrote about who the new age, social customer is and why your business needs to be weary of them. If you missed this, not a problem, just click here. This blog will discuss why the new age customer is turning to the internet for customer service and ways in which your business can handle these customers.
So why are customers venting on the Internet?
Well it doesn’t necessarily start there. A lack of responsiveness from the company is usually the reason that customers turn to online. Today’s customers expect a response, and fast! 32% of social customers expect a response within 30 minutes; 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. I’d recommend responding within 24hrs in order to avoid the issue escalating. These statistics demonstrate not only the expectations customers have of companies but as well as the patience. Ignore them, ignore their requests or take too long to respond and they will go public.
When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. Ignore them and 88% are less likely to buy from you.
But it ain’t all that bad. For a business that has positive customer reviews and a 4 or 5 star rating this works just as powerful as any marketing or advertising campaign. The weight of the social customer has grown drastically, as their word has become the new trusted voice for new or existing customers. More than 88% of consumers are influenced by other consumers’ online comments.
71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response
As we discussed in Part 1 – there are those social users who are looking for a little more for a resolution to a complaint. There are social bully’s out there and these bullies can be customers, ex-co workers, competitors in disguise or just crazy ranting people (we all know they exist).
Sometimes bitter and angry customers take to social media to vent their frustrations about a brand’s products or services and sometimes they can get so mean that their feedback is more an attack than a request for customer service.
Here are some tips that will help you manage angry customers and get rid of the social bully:
Respond quickly: Remember what we discussed above. Customers expect a very prompt response, so the longer you wait to a reply the more frustrated that person will become. You don’t need to have a resolution – just simply respond by acknowledging the comment and that you are working to resolve the problem.
Keep it professional: Never show anger, frustration and partake in negative banter. Keep it professional; do not stoop to their level as this will just add fuel to the fire. Taking the high road and not replying negativity sets you up for the win in the eyes of anyone who’s following along (and may secretly just frustrate the bully more –muhahah!).
Be personal: The employees who manage your social media should sign their tweets or posts with their names or at least their initials to make the engagement more personable and real. Also be sure to address the customer by his or her name.
Work toward a resolution: Let the customer know that you’re going to do everything within your power to make the situation right. Don’t simply attempt to calm someone down and walk away.
Talk offline when necessary: Make the initial response to the customer public as a way to let everyone know that your company cares about its customers and that you are resolving the issue. Request the customer private messages you with their details so you can further communicate with them – this also takes future interactions out of the public eye.