A few weeks ago, my activity tracker stopped tracking my activities for no reason. I read all recovery instructions, watched recommended Youtube videos and meanwhile tweeted about my desperation. I was so in love with my tracker that I wanted to do my best to make her breathe again as soon as possible. After long and exhausting hours, my love affair turned into frustration and I decided to write an email to the brand’s contact center. By the time they offered me a replacement after endless back and forths, I was already sure that I didn’t want to be their customer anymore. Getting in touch with the contact center to solve an issue should be the last resort for a customer. I believe that it is time for brands to start thinking like hackers and use the power of social media to solve customer problems before it is too late.
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart” says the marketing guru Joe Chernov. For me, this is the path to loyalty. As long as the company succeeds in delivering a great customer experience, which covers the entire journey that starts from the first moment the user learns about a product, losing customers would be of no concern.
According to Goldman Sachs Millennials Report, 69% of millennials feel happier when they solve a product/service related problem without talking to contact center agents. What’s more, 38% of millennials prefer social media channels to communicate with others about a service, product, or a brand. It is also worth noting that, millennials will account for 40% of all customers in 2020. Given this information, it is clear that every brand should pursue a social media after sales strategy to deliver high quality customer experience. Below are our social media hacking tips for any brand that wants to leverage the power of social media for a better customer experience and thus, higher loyalty.
Be creative and initiate creative first engagement scenarios
Thanks to the digital age, brands are able to diagnose any potential product related problem before it occurs and therefore prevent possible customer dissatisfaction. Going back to my story, this brand missed two great opportunities to win me over. First, they could have easily figured out that something was wrong with my tracker and got in touch with me about this issue even before I would ever notice it myself. These trackers gather and send sleep and movement related data to their servers to generate insights. A long time with no data means that there is something wrong going on. Secondly, they could have caught my desperate tweet about their product. To do that, another brand might not only listen to Twitter users who mention your brand but also listen to any keywords that may create sales or customer satisfaction opportunities for you.
For airline A, the problem that a customer of another airline B has is in fact a great opportunity. Listening and responding to these discussions on social media would not only help brands acquire new customers with little cost but also reassert the smart decisions of current customers who will also hear these conversations. Twitter’s keyword search feature is a good way to start. Customers of your competitors are probably tweeting complaints about their products/services which you can monitor and respond to. Here is an example:
@ugumu Why deal with a hassle of 5 kg when you can check in 20 kg free of charge with us?
Be where your existing or potential customers are
If your customers consist of heavy Pokémon Go players, do not hesitate to be active in Pokémon Go discussions. You may follow related keywords on Twitter and respond to popular tweets. This tactic would not only increase your brand’s awareness, but also gives your existing or potential customers the opportunity to interact with your company and share common interests like Pokémon Go.
You may even consider using individual accounts such as “@JohnFromAcme” instead of “@Acme” to make the conversation more human. Briefly, do not wait for your customers to say the first “hi” — be proactive, join and talk to them as one of them.
Prioritise and customise the service
Not every interaction is of equal importance. Some social media users have the power to affect opinions of a large group. We call them influencers. As mentioned earlier, you need to listen to every social media interaction about your brand and you need to be all ears if this interaction comes from an influencer. The earlier you catch a complaint by an influencer, the higher the chance to turn this problem into an opportunity.
According to how influential they are, every social media user plays a multiplier role. In brief, they multiply the size of the trouble you have if the interaction in question is not talking positively about your brand. Therefore, brands need to prioritise and take specific action for each interaction according to the context. It is easier to detect if a social media user is an influencer than to analyse the content of the interaction. Although natural language processing (NLP) technologies seem to be promising, trusting humans to analyse interactions at any step would not be a bad idea until these technologies are mature enough.
Once the brand understands the importance and the context of an interaction, a contact center agent with specific qualifications can easily take proper action. This way, brands do not only save own resources by allocating them only to valuable interactions, but also sustain a healthy brand perception.