How to Create Social Communities to Accelerate Customer Care
Have you ever stopped to think about the impact your existing customer base has on your business, especially when it comes to the effect they have within social communities? Passionate customers carry a resounding voice on social platforms like Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Reddit, etc. Even though customers own the dialogue and influence buying decisions, brands are still challenged in knowing how to influence those interactions to help promote greater customer insight, balance sentiment and keep the community engaged.
Companies should be strategizing on how they can influence and encourage their customers to participate in social dialogue to not only support your brand, but ultimately become your content drivers and community advocates. Here’s how:
- Ensure your social community is easy to find. It seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of companies that don’t actively promote their social channels to their customers. One best practice can be for your agents to encourage all customers they connect with to share their experience with your product on your company Facebook page.
- Identify customer brand ambassadors and reward their loyalty to encourage peer-to-peer interactions. Incentivizing your highest contributing members to drive customer care in an online social setting. Develop a way to provide monetary and/or non-monetary rewards to them. Identifying brand ambassadors can be as simple as the number of followers they have in the social space, their level of interactions with other customers, or where they are in the customer lifecycle.
- Establish ownership within your organization. Does marketing or customer care (or both departments) own the social media strategy? Having a joint marketing and care strategy is proving to be the most effective way of engaging in the social community. Also, encourage your employees to share your social messages, but ensure clear guidelines are established for how to communicate with the social community, including when and what messages they are to share.
- Provide relevant content and a clear message via social media. Empower your agents to engage with the social community with the right content and message that has been developed by your marketing and/or customer care team.
- Setting response times to ensure proper and timely engagement. The social space has set the precedence for customers who engage with brands online to obtain information and feedback from them fast. Timely responsiveness to your social community isn’t just about resolving issues with your product or service. It also sets you a part from your competitors and can allow you to engage with a new demographic of potential customers and brand ambassadors. After all, remember how Oreo won the Super Bowl in 2013?
By engaging your online social communities, you are opening up a new way to care for your customers and build a community of vocal, passionate, and motivated individuals that will aide you in providing the best customer experience.