Customer Experience is how the customers feel as a result of every interaction they have with your business. In the past few decades, social networks have morphed from simple social tools to a completely new channel through which customers can connect with your business. It has also become a tool which CX Professionals like yourself can use to discover customer pain points.
Social media can have a transformative impact on shaping customer perceptions and interactions. This article will break down the various roles of social media in CX, revealing its potential to elevate customer experience, strengthen brand loyalty and drive business growth.
Social Listening: A Gateway to Customer Insights
One of the most important aspects of CX is to listen to your customers. To fully understand their needs and wants you need to be able to understand their perspection and feelings. Social media is a place where customers express their thoughts, opinions, and points of view openly. The ability to harness this wealth of information through social listening is a game-changer for businesses committed to delivering exceptional experiences.
Social listening involves monitoring online conversations, comments and mentions related to your brand or industry. This real-time feedback provides invaluable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and emerging trends. By actively engaging in social listening, businesses can uncover hidden opportunities, identify areas for improvement, and proactively address customer concerns.
Steps to Build Your Social Listening Strategy:
- Define your goals: By aligning your Social Listening Strategy goals with your CX goals you ensure that both strategies will work frictionlessly together. Some examples include: Social customer support and engagement, monitoring online reputation, and analysing audience trends.
- Choose your Tool: There are many tools that will help you manage social listening. Some examples are: Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Brandwatch.
- Choose Target Keywords and Topics: The keywords you choose will determine what content you will see and gather data from. It’s important to choose ones that are related to your business and brand. Some tools also allow you to exclude some keywords from the search.
- Establish the Monitoring Workflow: Whether you choose to delegate this task to some of your team or do it yourself, you need to define what processes are in place to allow you to get the most out of this tool. You need to define how will responses be generated for relevant conversations, how will the data be analysed, how important the data collected is and how often will you check it (if you’re not the one carrying out this process)
Creating this strategy will allow you to develop the social media channel and grow the connection between your brand and the customers.
For your business to thrive and create a positive social media presence, you need to be aware that this connection needs to be carefully managed. If your customers see that your brand has a lot of negative social commentary, they may be wary of engaging further. This is why you should always have a crisis management plan (more on this below) in place and respond to all negative mentions, as well as all of the positive ones.
Social Engagement: Humanising Interactions for Lasting Impressions
In the digital era, personalisation is one of the keys to CX Excellence. Social media platforms offer a unique way for brands to humanise their interactions, creating a sense of real connection and a personal experience that customers know – all from the comfort of their homes.
Designing personalised experiences on social media involves more than just addressing customers by their first names – it’s about tailoring content, responses, and engagement strategies to meet individual preferences.
81% of consumers want brands to get to know them and understand when to approach them and when not to. So, by taking a proactive approach to social engagement that goes beyond automated responses, you can understand your customers’ preferences, behaviours, and demographics.
This will let you create content that resonates with their interests and concerns, creating a personalised journey that extends beyond just a once-off transaction.
Moreover, social media provides an ideal platform for interactive and dynamic communication. Hosting live Q&A sessions, conducting polls, and sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your brand not only humanise your business but also invite customers into the narrative. This sense of inclusivity can significantly enhance the overall customer experience, building a loyal community for your brand.
This is important because if your customers are talking about your brand on a public forum and you are not part of the conversation it sends a message that you are indifferent to your customer’s needs.
As Starteck, says, “A recent study found that social media has a direct impact on customer experience, with 78% of respondents saying that their experiences on social media have influenced their purchase decisions, meaning they must focus on providing a positive social media experience for their customers.”
Crisis Management: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Even if your CX strategy is very well thought out and designed, things are bound to go wrong. Whether it’s a product issue, a negative review, or a public relations hiccup, how businesses navigate these challenges can define their brand reputability. Social media is essential in crisis management, offering a real-time platform to address concerns, clarify misconceptions, and demonstrate transparency.
This is why you need to have a social media crisis management strategy in place. This involves swift response times, empathetic communication, and being proactive in resolving issues. By addressing problems openly and transparently on social media, you can not only showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction but also have the opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
In times of crisis, social media can serve as a channel between you and your customers, for genuine communication. Through this channel, you can acknowledge mistakes, share the steps you’re taking to rectify issues and express empathy towards affected customers. This level of transparency builds trust and reinforces the human element of your brand, even in difficult situations.
The Expectations: What Customers Expect from Brands on Social Media?
As a result of all of the above, customer’s expectations can be a little different than when dealing with your brand through more traditional channels.
- They expect a faster response – Over a third (37%) of customers expect a response in under 30 minutes on social media when they ask a question or make a complaint, according to the Conversocial data.
- A human connection – Even though the connection is purely digital, knowing that a real human being is on the other end of the screen, caring about their issue, really stands out to the customers.
- The ability to solve the problem – SmartInsights found that 63% of customers expect brands to deliver customer care via social media.
If you would like to learn more about creating a CX Strategy for your business, enrol today in our Professional Diploma in CX.