For offline Customer Service veterans, switching to online supposed a new way to serve customers. On the other hand, customers found a totally different way to communicate with brands.
On this post, we will list the differences between online and offline CS:
A.- FOR CLIENTS:
Communication can be done discreetly, unlike a conversation in person or by telephone when we are surrounded by other people. We access our account on the Social Network through our private username and password.
2.- Quick and time saving:
Our input as customers in Social Networks takes the time we use to access the brand page and write the message. Meanwhile, when we go to a customer service counter, we need to go to the desk or office where we will be assisted and wait our turn. In a phone call we’ll probably have to hold the line until an operator is available. In both cases, if the agent doesn’t have all the information we request, we’ll have to wait longer for him/her to make internal consultations. In contrast, in Social Customer Service we’ll receive an answer on our account and in the meantime we will be able to do whatever we want.
3.- The customer is considered as never before:
Any client comments on the Social Networks will be read by all the community and will influence the opinion that the rest have about the brand. It is estimated that it takes 12 positive comments to counteract the effect of a negative one. Therefore, companies need to have community managers to properly manage those opinions made about the brand in the SN. In online attention only those people who are close to the client realises about the good or bad Customer Service level offered. For industrial companies there is virtually zero impact, while for the service sector although much larger, it is small compared to the scope of any claim or complaint through SN. Consequently customers have greater relevance and power nowadays.
4.- Quick and easy access to information:
We don’t even need to interact with brands through Social Media pages to have access to Q & A, offers, news, etc., because if their accounts are well designed we have all that information already there, while in the past we needed to get in touch with them by phone or personally in order to obtain these data.
5.- It can be done from anywhere in the world:
Through a wireless connection, brands can be contacted from anywhere in the world through SN without any additional cost. Contact by phone has much higher costs especially in the case of local companies from overseas. It must be said however, that today there are phone lines with local price even if the call is international and multilingual call centers that solve this inconvenience largely. These call centers can be a complement to Social Customer Service. Attention can also be done by e-mail, however, the service provided tends to be less homogeneous and sometimes not even correct, since it’s a private and not supervised communication and sometimes also people from other departments without adequate training in Customer Service reply them. Only through Social Network accounts properly managed by qualified Community Managers, customers obtain a worldwide, efficient, low cost and high quality customer experience.
B.- FOR BRANDS:
1.- New promotion channels:
Through social networks, brands have found a new way to promote their products and image.
2.- Low cost:
Advertising, Marketing and Customer Service through Social Networks is done at a lower cost than through conventional methods.
Brands can respond to changes in trends with enormous flexibility and speed to transmit messages. It also increases productivity and efficiency in Customer Service.
4.- Followers and fans:
There were no brand followers before Social Media and if their Social Networks accounts together with other aspects of marketing and product are well managed, they can become useful engaged fans who will support brands and be very helpful in their promotion and also in the event of a SM crisis.
5.- Access to new markets:
Easier through SM and Internet for a small company, which through a good strategy and digital presence is able to enter new markets. Something very costly in the past.
6.- Better customer feedback:
Not only can we better communicate who we are as a brand but we can also learn more quickly and easily what customers expect from us and adapt to it.
In conclusion, companies need to make an effort to adapt to this new way of communication. Only those that will do so are likely to succeed in this highly interconnected and globalised 21st. Century market.