- best practise
- social care
The 2nd part of a Social Care Series for Brands is introducing the concept of a Social Customer Care Audit to help you get started with customer service on social media - To increase customer satisfaction and drive positive Word-of-mouth. Read first the Part 1 How to Increase Customer Retention if you missed it.
Social Care Means Listening First
Most brands we speak to understand that bringing customer service online is important for a brand that is constantly being discussed, however in their eagerness to get started they sometimes fail to fully understand the environment which they are journeying into. Many brands, with good intentions make the mistake of deciding to engage with their customers too quickly before listening to and understanding the types of problems, questions and concerns that their customer may have.
The importance of taking stock of how your brand exists and is perceived across social environments is an often overlooked process. If a brand is not fully aware of the types of problems, issues and opportunities that their ambassadors will come across, then how can those ambassadors be readily prepared to handle them quickly?
Begin with Monitoring
Before engaging with customers we encourage brands new to the social space to take a few weeks to just listen and breakdown conversations into smaller groups to understand what their customers discuss and how their conversations are distributed online. Most social media monitoring tools provide facilities to do this, with Brand Embassy our customers tag conversations to place them in overlapping groups which can be better understood.
A Quest for Customer Care, PR or Marketing department?
Adding tags to conversations will help to show which departments customer’s conversations actually belong to.
- Are your customers talking about product innovation? – That’s great for PR department!
- Your brand’s latest PR crisis? – Bad, but your PR need to deal with it.
- Did they have a good or bad experience at a particular store? – You Customer Care people need to join
- Or with a staff member? – Again, a quest for a Customer Care.
- How are customers reacting to your brand’s latest campaigns? – Marketing people, here’s what you need to know!
Social Customer Care Audit – Everything You Need to Know
During your audit of the social landscape it is good time to start learning about sentiment – which online communities view your brand positively or negatively. Where do your customers tend to go online to solve their problems with products or services and where do they go to rant and vent about their bad brand experiences and most importantly the type of support your customers need.
So here is what you need to incorporate in your Social Media Customer Care audit:
- Sentiment analysis – sentiment around your brand and products
- Top Influencers analysis – who are the most influential customers mentioning your brand, what’s their reason of mentioning
- Top Sources analysis – what are the websites, discussion forums and Facebook pages with the highest volume of brand/product mentions
- Reasons of Mentioning – A qualitative analysis of reasons your customers mentioning your brand and products. Is it mostly to Complain, Share, Ask for help, Praise?
You can see an example of such audit of a whole industry here: Telecommunications in the United Kingdom – Market Insight.
Use Sentiment Analysis to Define a Tonality of Communication
As online communities are wide and varied groups, many communities will have different default viewpoints towards particular brands. Understanding and determining how your ambassador’s messages will be received by various groups is paramount if your ambassador’s messages are going to welcomed by others. Brand Embassy aggregates the sentiment of all conversations about your brand for each source website, this gives your ambassador’s an idea as to whether or not conversations on a particular site about your brand are either mostly negative or positive.
Customers that are talking about your brand are not just looking for help or to complain, they are having actual conversations, and anyone who has had a conversation before (I sincerely hope you have) will know, that conversations can be about anything. As well as discussing their present experiences with their preferred brands, customers may also talk about what they expect and desire from their favourite brands.
How you decide to integrate cross departmental voices into your conversations will very much depend on the current structure of your organization, including the size of involvement from each of those departments. Will you have an ambassador representing a particular department? And if not, do your ambassadors have access to the information they may need from that department in a hurry.