Follow us on
Connect
Advertisement
 

Best Practices for Social Media Customer Care in Online Retail

January 31, 2013 By John Bryson
1
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 
Social media has arrived as a first choice channel of interaction for consumers to seek customer care and technical support when purchasing online. It's the next stage of evolution in the demand for a better online shopping experience and real-time customer service.

The birth and exponential growth of social media sites is the new horizon for shoppers. However, many businesses have been slow to embrace social media as a legitimate channel for customer engagement. Here's a common example: A customer posts a comment or question on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter. Many retailers ignore the inquiry altogether, or issue a superficial response that directs the customer to contact them through established offline customer support channels. This is all too often a waste of the customer's time, and misses a key opportunity to both reduce costs and boost customer satisfaction by delivering a robust service experience in the customer's chosen channel of interaction.

The primary stumbling blocks for retailers occur in the following areas:

  • Monitoring: Finding relevant items on social media channels has historically proved to be an intimidating task. The overwhelming quantity of tweets and posts need to be filtered down to a single, manageable work queue of relevant content. Oftentimes this is left up to marketing folks who are typically best positioned for one-way communication, most commonly focused on corporate self-promotion and brand building.
  • Action: Social inquiries require immediate action. The inability to respond quickly and effectively turns to customer remorse, reputational damage and lost sales opportunities. Success comes with cutting-edge best practices and highly trained agents who are well-positioned to deliver final resolution in the customer's chosen channel of interaction, regardless of the complexity of the inquiry.

Another common failure occurs when retail outlets attempt to force the customer out of the social channel, particularly when social is the customer's chosen channel of engagement. Often due to immature or outdated processes, companies will redirect customers to legacy voice channels for interaction. Even if they're able to locate the appropriate customer inquiries and comments online, brands fall short in their quest to provide full problem resolution within the social channelThis strategy typically fails because it forces the customer unnaturally out of their chosen mode of interaction. Customers can easily call into a traditional voice queue immediately if they wanted to. Brands that will succeed in social media will provide resolution in the customer's chosen channel of interaction, period.

There are many customer engagement cases that intuitively are poorly suited for resolution in the social channel. But not to worry, a logical escalation path is available today and it doesn't involve any involuntary escalations to legacy voice channels of customer interaction. It starts with building a unified agent queue for all text-based forms of customer communication, much in the same way retailers have done for years in traditional voice interaction channels. There's no need for a customer to be transferred to another agent to explain their problem once more simply because the native channel of interaction is insecure or otherwise inadequate.

A natural and secure escalation path exists to provide a link to a live chat session so the issue can be resolved online and immediately, with the same agent that intercepted their social inquiry in the first place. The move from social to chat is a much "softer ask" than moving a social request to voice. Furthermore, since the agent can be the same and all of the data from the social interaction can convey, the customer generally will perceive the interaction to be seamless.


 
1

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON CUSTOMER SERVICE >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

(PDF Download)

Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars.  

<b>In <i>"The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising" </i> from DirectMarketingIQ, the roadmap to that "perfectly integrated mix" is thoroughly laid out in over 130 pages -- <u>it's specifically created (and priced) for nonprofits</u>. </b>
  
First, 9 chapters from leading fundraisers give you the latest best practices in multichannel fundraising, including how to:  

• Choose the right channels for your campaign 
• Develop creative that works across multiple channels 
• Revitalize the direct mail component of your multichannel mix 
• Make sure email plays its increasingly important role perfectly 
• Seamlessly integrate mobile marketing into the fundraising campaign 
• Boost your online strategy with social media 
• Create a multichannel donor renewal campaign 
• Figure out that you're doing right — via testing and results measurement 
• Use all the pieces of the multichannel puzzle  

Second, in 8 robust case studies, find out the secrets behind multichannel fundraising campaigns that worked.

About DirectMarketingIQ
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the marketers’ go-to resource. Publishing books, special reports, case studies and how-to-guides, it opens up a new world to those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data – including the world’s most complete library of direct mail as well as a massive library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories – and producly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

<b>Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read , The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising which is in PDF format.</b> The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising

(PDF Download) Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars....

ORDER NOW

Who's Charging What Who's Charging What!

Who's Charging What! -- Your Guide to Direct Marketing Creative Services gives you complete facts on top copywriters, agencies, designers, and consultants, providing you with the critical information you need to make decisions when looking for a copywriter. These top-flight professionals can deliver powerful, response-generating direct mail, e-mail, Websites, catalogs,...

ORDER NOW

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:

SUBSCRIBE TO Who's Mailing What! Report

Receive our FREE Bi-weekly
e-newsletter:
     Privacy Policy
 

RETAIL ONLINE INTEGRATION MAGAZINE:

Get Your FREE Subscription to Retail Online Integration:
September/October 2014
     Privacy Policy