The typical marketing department has spent the past several years figuring out how to use social media. Over time, marketers have become more comfortable and adept in this role, leveraging social for promotions and to bolster brand awareness and engagement.
But as consumers have embraced each new social platform and communication channel introduced to them, they’ve increasingly taken control of the conversation and have become more vocal and demanding about their expectations of brands. This revolutionary shift calls for marketers to take a broader view of what has the most impact on the customer experience.
And while marketers may be seasoned at using social media for promotions, the notion of using social channels for customer service is still catching up. According to a recent Aspect survey of 2,158 American adults who have contacted customer service, 42 percent agree that it is more important for companies to use social media for good customer service than it is to promote their products, yet only 1 percent say they feel social media provides the best customer experience.
This disconnect creates a major challenge for marketers because how a company provides service to its customers can make or break relationships, and the triumphs and successes of those interactions can now be broadcast in the most public of forums. And when customer service has played the unfortunate role of frustrating many--so much so that 42 percent say they would rather experience a trip to the DMV than contact customer care--it can be a real hurdle to make the overall customer experience a consistent and positive one that drives loyalty.
In my role as CMO of a company that provides solutions that enable the management of the modern contact center, I sit at the intersection of these two converging worlds. So the results of our consumer survey struck a chord with the marketer in me. In particular, the points below are key considerations for marketers as they collaborate with other enterprise functions to deliver a consistent and remarkable customer experience.
1. Get serious about social: Consumers are not afraid to air their grievances on the most public of forums. In an effort to quickly get their issues resolved while interacting with customer care, 16 percent admit they have threatened to share their experiences with others or broadcast their frustrations through social media (9 percent). Organizations that limit their use of the social sphere to marketing’s objectives do so at their own peril.
2. Relinquish (more of) the control: Today’s consumers seem to like the claim they’ve staked in taking more control over their relationships with the companies they do business with. Sixty-seven percent agree they feel more in control of their relationship with a company when it offers multiple channels, such as phone, email, chat, and social media, for customer service. Seventy-seven percent say companies that offer multiple channels for care are easier to do business with, and 74 percent say they provide better service.
3. Think about the new gold standard: With 65 percent saying one of their largest customer service frustrations is having to repeat themselves multiple times to multiple people, it’s not enough to simply offer multiple channels for customer service interactions. The new gold standard will be the delivery of a consistent customer experience across any channel and any engagement--an experience that allows for the seamless transition of an interaction from phone to social to email without customers ever feeling like they are a broken record.