How Can 'Social Care' Be a Key Factor in Marketing Success?

Published June 13th, 2021 - 02:00 GMT
online support
Almost all brands offer online customer support but it is not always as effective as it should be. (Shutterstock: Kachka)

Almost every business and every brand around have for years created an online support mechanism that has been made available to customers and clients who wish to use the internet and social media networks for inquires and complaints. But have they all been doing social care smartly?

It is no doubt that social media networks have been a great tool for customer service executives. Not only is it more relaxed for clients who do not feel at ease calling a representative to make a complaint or ask questions about the services or products they are receiving, but it just as handy for support providers who get a bigger window to answer unexpected questions or to report complaints to respective departments.

Nowadays, if you are not satisfied with a service you've received, you can easily look up the official Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account of the business that provided it, to let them know how unhappy you are with your experience. However, this is not always fruitful as many businesses choose to respond with a "Sorry for the inconvenience" message without making immediate amendments.

It is during these incidents where a winning social media game can be seen. Carefully providing support to customers can be quite a delicate mission, either greatly mastered or ridiculously ruined.

According to Rim ElChami, a former social media manager who was able to get her department amongst the best in the UAE, offering prompt responses to clients isn't always enough or helpful, especially if we are talking about semi-automatic answers. For Rim, it is not the fast response as much as the effective one that makes the difference in the customer's experience. Representatives should be able to act on issues raised and provide practical solutions immediately. 

She also advises marketing strategists to be as "preemptive" as possible, looking for complaints that may not have been channeled directly to support executives, such as general social media posts that highlight negative feedback.

For example, addressing customers' bad experiences, providing compensation, and promising to report shortcomings to people in charge so future experiences can be better, can not only make up for an unfortunate incident but also restore clients' trust in the brand and keeping them loyal to it. Executives should also keep an eye on review pages available on social media networks and customer-focused internet websites, to make sure that their services are satisfactory, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Rim ElChami also advises businesses to invest in having their own customer service and social media departments, saying that representatives who are fully prepared to handle complaints specific to a company or a brand will present greater results than third-party ones.

Pointing out how powerful social media posts can be, she remembers a 2013 international incident, in which an unsatisfied customer of British Airways agreed to buy a promoted tweet to protest lost luggage blamed on the airlines, resulting in the company's decision to make customer service channels open 24/7 for the first time.

According to ElChami, smart social care can also put effort into keeping an eye on complaints made against competitors, which does not only serve to help a business avoid being in similar situations, but can also offer a business the opportunity to market themselves as a greater alternative, consequently winning a greater number of customers.

What other tips can social media departments take note of to step up their online game?

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