Leveraging Social Media To Drive A Consistent Customer Experience

By Satya Krishnaswamy   |   Friday, 13 Dec 2013, 12:23 IST

They may not know it, but for most brands their customers are probably already on social channels expressing their likes and dislikes. Social media is truly redefining the landscape of customer interactions. It is good to know that 92 percent of companies are incorporating social media into their marketing efforts. However, the role of social media goes beyond the realm of marketing, and counting number of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’. In fact, social media can play a pivotal role in enabling a consistent customer experience across sales, marketing, customer support and driving a positive impact to organizations’ bottom line.

Customer Care
Before social media drove customer care, customers would typically call a company’s 800 number if they had an issue, or probably send an e-mail. It was always a one-on-one conversation between the brand and the consumer. Today, we see customers tweeting about their disappointments and within minutes calling the company’s 800 number, expecting the agents to be not only aware of the problem but to have already resolved it. This is a far cry from the days of a one-on-one engagement. The reality is that 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are ignored, according to AllTwitter, a news website dedicated to covering Twitter. Most companies are just getting started on social customer care and far fewer have integrated social and traditional channels. This is a great opportunity for brands to provide delightful customer experience.

Influencer Identification & Engagement
As a brand, a highly engaged user who not only “Likes” your page but also consumes your content is certainly preferred to one who “Likes” your page but never returns to it after that initial contact. A user who views your content and comments, shares it with others is golden. When these actions become a regular occurrence, you have got an advocate – someone who is doing the selling for you and recommending your products and services to others. It is important to quickly identify who your key brand advocates are and engage with them.

Lead Generation
Today, most brands are not sufficiently leveraging social media channels for lead generation; nor do they really leverage social channels to find out who their customers are and what they are looking for? With the right tools, social channels can help organizations identify new leads and gain deeper insights into your customers’ business challenges. By further integrating social media with their CRM systems, organizations can get a 360-degree view of their customers. This is invaluable, as they can get a deeper and richer understanding of their customer.They gain knowledge of the customers last purchase and their interests on social channels also. Further, brands can set up filters and identify prospects dissatisfied by their competitors’ offerings, and can track potential leads to closure. Who said that social channels are just about number of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ any way?

Today’s customers are omnipresent, so whether or not you have a social media presence, there will be conversation about you and your brand. It’s imperative for companies to analyze, engage and integrate conversations into a single CRM system.

By integrating these records into CRM solutions, organizations will have customer records and past social interactions available to them, giving them deep insights on customer buying behavior, their likes and dislikes and provide superior customer care. According to Gartner, 25 percent of companies adopting CRM will extend their customer service contact centers to include social media by 2017. As of 2012, Gartner found that only one percent of companies integrate social media with their CRM systems. Social customer interactions are not going away any time soon and instead of resisting it, companies need to embrace this new way of enhancing their customer experience. It may seem daunting, but social channels can be the catalyst to break down the barriers between sales, marketing, customer support and enable brands to be truly customer-centric.

About Author

Satya Krishnaswamy
CEO & Founder
Next Principles

NextPrinciples offers social media analytics and engagement platform helping companies analyze/listen to social conversations, engage as appropriately and integrate the interactions with their CRM systems, all within a unified platform. Headquartered in California, the company was found on 2010 and has raised $1.2 Million from Alex Ott, Darcy Lalonde, Jos Sluys, Kalus Zimmer and few other angel investors.