An Arranged Marriage: Social Media and Customer Care
By Diane Royer
When it comes to social media, many organizations can feel like a high-school youth come prom time: afraid of rejection and ridicule, yet knowing that you want to be included in the action. Whether you're a social-media butterfly or a Facebook wallflower, much of initial social-media activity is driven by an approach of "let's jump in and see what happens." Oh, how we all dread that one negative comment or video that will get your brand going viral like you never wanted!
Fortunately, as discussed in our Social Media Trends video, the trend is for businesses to advance from social media to social business, and that's where we start to see it in a different light: courting customers and getting them to share the love. To do this first requires an arranged marriage of sorts between marketing and customer care.
You cannot hide who you are when you're a company who interacts in social setting. Your customer service skills, your core values, your mission, and your vision all become exposed in a very, very public manner. Social media interactions expose customer care flaws. Enterprises are finding out that while a voice conversation is one-to-one communication, a Facebook interaction on a public page is a one-to-the-world communication. That brings the notion that one agent or one person of your company is pretty much speaking on your brand's behalf to the world. Are you comfortable with that?
Many companies provide social-media guidelines for employees and managers, while staffing an official social-media team. It's important that anyone who is representing the company online have access to all the facts. Misstatements can go viral, leading to customer expectations that are misaligned with carefully crafted brand experiences.
Social media and customer care enter into an arranged marriage. In the video, our experts point to two primary reasons your consumers become fans of your social presence: 1) "I would like something for free" or 2) "I want you to fix my problem."
These two questions are answered by very segregated parts of your business. Hence, the arranged marriage. The sooner these two organizations – customer care and marketing – come together into a social-media planning process, the better off you're going to be in meeting the needs of that customer, and getting them to love your brand.
Keep in mind that it's critical for your network to be running at peak performance in order to support the array of social media applications (Learn more). So, wedding plans made, what are you doing to ensure a successful marriage between social media and customer care?
Diane Royer is senior marketing manager of Avaya Client Services. Her focus is directing thought leadership for Avaya Client Services and integrating services into Avaya solution launches. Diane’s more than 30 years of business experience includes telecommunications marketing, sales and field operations. She has also worked as a market researcher for a leading international firm and as a loan officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Follow her on Twitter @Royer_Edge.