Understanding Social Care: is it for you?

by Jessica Kornfeind on March 6, 2013

CustomerServiceSome businesses are embracing Social Media Care (also referred to as Social Care), while others are still trying to figure out if it is right for them.  Unfamiliar with Social Care?  It is a way to reach your customers and followers in a different way than traditional social media.  With Social Care, you are extending your customer service strategies to your social media networks.

Let’s dig a little deeper into what Social Care is and how it can be beneficial for your company.

Why is Social Care the “newest form of customer service?”

Before divulging whether or not Social Care is right for you, let’s discuss how it can help any business.  Like Social Media as a whole, there are a lot of benefits that can come from it.  This includes (but not limited to):

  • Growing your business’ personality through Social Care.
    • Scripted responses, similar to those of customer service phone prompts, won’t grab anyone’s attention.  Through Social Care, you have an opportunity to grow your brand’s personality. By doing so, your clientele will be able to relate to your brand easier and efficiently.
  • Building rapport amongst current and potential clientele.
    • Train your Social Care representatives to be transparent, genuine and reliable.  By doing so you’ll set a standard of excellence that will beam from your brand.  This will receive a positive response, helping to build your brand’s rapport.
  • Exceeding traditional customer service through popular networks. 
    • Customer service reps are a very important part of your business. It’s important to note that adding Social Care is just an extension of your current customer service strategy, bringing a special advantage with it.  Unfortunately, clientele tend to use traditional customer service channels to complain.  With Social Care added to the mix, you’ll see everything and anything others are saying about the company – the good and the bad. While there will be complaints, you’ll be able to evaluate what your clientele enjoys about your service!

Where should I begin with Social Care?

I can’t stress enough that Social Care is not a replacement of your current customer service strategy; it’s an extension to what you currently have.  With that being said, there are a few ways to dive in:

  • Create social profiles (if you haven’t already) with updated contact information.
  • Designate a customer service representative to monitor your Social Care efforts.
    • Create a plan with this individual so it’s easily understood how certain scenarios should be responded to.
    • Designate a timeframe of how quickly responses should be posted.  I’d suggest within an hour during the work week and maybe a 6-12 hour window on the weekends – unless otherwise designated on your profile.
  • Introduce your Social Care rep!
    • Customers want to know they’re communicating with a person.  Be sure to share a picture and a name (first name is typically fine) to connect on a personal level.
    • Have more than one Social Care rep? Consider using signatures (initials or first names typically work well) for a more personal response.
  • Publicize your social profiles.
    • Post links on your website, in your email campaigns and anywhere else that is appropriate.  Your clientele will become familiar with your networks and be able to reach a rep easily.
  • Search for your brand and keywords on social platforms in case you’re being discussed, but not tagged.
  • Respond to every post, especially the good ones!
    • Show your audience that you’re listening and are readily available for any type of assistance.

Is Social Care right for my company?

Some companies can be quick to judge when it comes to customer service in a public forum. This is completely understandable. However, I believe that Social Care is something that no company can ignore.  Facebook alone has over 1 billion users.  Whether you agree with Social Care or not, it’s a fact that your potential and current clientele are talking about you while the world is listening.

If you’re worried about confidential information or certain issues that may take some time to resolve, these are a few good response examples:

  • Thank you for contacting us.  Due to the nature of your issue, it’d be best to discuss with you over the phone (or email) for confidentiality reasons.  Could you please send us a direct message with your phone number and best time to reach you?
  • We understand your concern and want to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.  To avoid posting confidential information, we’d like to resolve the matter with you personally.  Would you mind direct messaging us with a phone number and best time to reach you? Thank you for your time.
  • Thank you for reaching out to us. We’ve begun working on resolving your issue; however, it will take some time to be fully completed.  Could you please send us a direct message with the best way to contact you so we can follow up?
  • I’m sorry to hear about your frustrations.  This issue would be best handled by our Customer Care Department.  Could you please send us a direct message with the best way and time to contact you.  I’ll have someone reach out to you as soon as possible to get the issue resolved.  Thank you for your time!

As you can see, any issue can be responded to through Social Care.  However, there must be a follow-through.  Be sure your Social Care rep is well-versed with the different customer care departments and is able to get a customer in contact with the right person.

By then end of this year, it is predicted that 80% of companies will be benefiting from Social Care. Don’t be the company missing out.

What are your thoughts on Social Care?  Are you using it?  Do you still disagree with it? I’d love to hear about your experience! Leave a note or tweet me @JesKorn

 

Photo Credit: Flickr user Eshop Box

About the Author

Monthly contributor Jessica Kornfeind works at PrimePay as the Manager, Inbound Marketing & Social Media. Aside from the social media realm, Jessica can be found pinning, shopping, indulging in a chick flick and scuba diving when she can get away! Find her on Twitter: @JesKorn.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: