Is Social Media Effective for Customer Support?

By Monica Kohn   |   September 5, 2017
Is Social Media Effective for Customer Support
The lightning fast evolution in how businesses communicate and connect with customers demands that your company adapts quickly. Social media is rapidly becoming a preferred outlet for customer support with the rise of mobile devices and apps. However, is social media an effective channel for customer support? Increasingly, the answer is yes.

Staying Competitive in the Mobile Age

Currently, businesses are at various stages in the adoption of social media for customer support. Many only listen to their customers on social media sites to collect data on satisfaction with products, support, and marketing results. Others have found success in consistently engaging with customers via social media.

The Opportunity to Improve Customer Support

Organizations that have embraced social media have discovered a new channel through which to productively listen to and track customer conversations. Moreover, some companies have empowered their professional customer support reps and others outside the customer support channels such as product managers, engineers, and executives. By broadening the talent pool that responds via social media, companies are providing positive customer service.

The Benefits of Adopting Social Media for Customer Service

In effect, using social media is akin to opening a wider door to customer service, which then prompts companies to delineate a comprehensive social media policy. When customer service is executed correctly across these additional channels, it can result in a higher positive sentiment rather than simply positive brand sentiment.

A well-designed, well-executed social media strategy can raise consumer perception about the entire organization. Customer service is a primary driver of overall brand equity, and social media provides opportunities that complement traditional channels such as voice, chat, and email support. In addition, the strategy must consider the permanence and public nature of social media conversations. They remain in the public sphere and can go viral easily.

Damage Control or Advertisement?

When customers mention a brand, it’s frequently about problems with a product or a negative customer service experience. Your business now needs to recognize the importance of engaging those unhappy consumers in a public conversation that resolves their issues promptly. The customer experience must end positively not just as damage control, but also advertisement that your business cares about its customers. This takes a wider skill set than traditional call center systems can offer. Marketing and PR teams can communicate the corporate message; however, they are typically not equipped with the experience and tools to resolve customer issues.

The importance of social media as a channel for customer service will continue to grow, especially as negative and positive word-of-mouth disperses across social media like wildfire. Your organization needs to proactively frame the conversations by engaging consumers before, during and after transactions, and this will improve your customer service and metrics.