Category Archives: customer-oriented

7 Social Media Marketing Guidelines

7 Social Media Marketing GuidelinesBeing present on social networks has become part of the promotional strategy of most brands, but it’s not enough to just have an account on Twitter, Facebook or any other SN. It’s important for them to follow some Social Media Marketing guidelines taking into account Customer Service to achieve a better followers engagement, so this will help them increase sales, which is the ultimate goal of every business.

For proper presence in Social Media a brand should follow these guidelines:

1.-Choose which social networks are suited to its target audience:

It’s not the same for a brand in the industrial sector or when they deal with a young or a much older audience or when they have products easier to sell by using pictures, videos or text. For more details you can check the following post.

2.-Use good content:

Publish posts that have to do with your business and products but at the same time are of interest to your potential customers. Don’t forget to use attractive images and comment everything in a synthetic and effective way. Convey emotion and humanise your brand.

3.-Be interactive:

It’s not enough to schedule your posts with publications tools but you must also strive to reply your fans properly in due time and form. Generate discussion through questions like “What’s your opinion about?” or “What do you think?” Intervene when necessary, always in a polite way and caring for your brand image.

4.-Be thankful and humble:

Thank your followers for their comments even if they are unfavorable. Recognise your mistakes and apologise when you have committed a mistake as a brand. Try to find a solution to any situation that may have irritated your clients and know how to deal with those most”difficult“. All this will help you to achieve “flipping” any complicated situation into favorable for your brand.

5.- “Seduce” your allies:

Locate your most loyal and influential supporters, give them your full attention so that in a social media crisis you may count on them to support you.

6.-Segmentate and personalise:

You definitely need to use a good CRM and useful tools like Google Plus Circles or Facebook segmentation options so they can help you to address your message to your target audience. It is also fundamental to communicate with your customers in their language for those products oriented to different markets. Make a good diversity management.

7.-Be always active:

If you have a page where you post once a month, you’d better close it. Therefore if you really want to keep that channel alive, it has to be managed day by day by a proactive Community Manager with a very clear orientation towards excellence both in promotional and relational marketing to make your fanpages grow in quality and followers with the ultimate goal of achieving your customers engagement.

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CRM in the Age of Social Networks

CRM in the Age of Social Networks

Welcome, Premium Social Customer’s readers!

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is fundamental for Customer Service nowadays, in its two meanings: as a model of customer-oriented management through Relationship Marketing strategies and actions and as a software that helps us to carry out these functions. Furthermore, with social networks virality, it is even more important to have an updated database, which will allow the customisation so necessary for competitive markets in order to achieve brand engagement.

It is said that every loyal customer can make through WOM that other six people follow a brand on social networks and buy its products. So it is essential to know as much information as possible from each customer, not just their personal data, but also their tastes and preferences.This is not always easy because many individuals are very jealous of their privacy and there are laws to protect personal information that we are obliged to respect. There are several types of CRM software, free and paid, the latter being the most complete and reliable. You can also create your own brand CRM by obtaining information from your followers and customers through contests and promotions so they would fill forms with the information you need. A precise observation of their tastes by Community Managers through accessible data and interaction on social networks is also really useful, but this option means a very long and laborious process and since “time is money” and there is always an opportunity cost of not using it in some alternative and more profitable action, the best choice would be using this procedure only for VIP customers or to supplement the information we have on the software we have purchased. Then it is our “savoir être” and “savoir faire” as customer-oriented Community Managers what will make the difference, without this attitude no CRM software, no matter how good and complete it is would be able to help us achieve our objectives. Human capital professionalism above all!

What Does a Community Manager in the Tourism Industry Need to Know?

What Does a Community Manager in the Tourism Industry Need to Know?

The tourism industry is particularly sensitive to clients’ opinions, that’s why we need to care for so much the service we give, including of course Social Customer Service offered by customer-oriented Community Managers with experience in that sector.

A Community Manager in the tourism industry needs to:

1.-Master several languages:

It’s fundamental to handle clients of different nationalities who value assistance in their mother tongue. This is particularly true for countries where English is not widely spoken, such as Italy, France or Spain. Ortography has to be correct in each of the languages they use to communicate.

2.-Make an appropriate Diversity Management and Segmentation:

Do not publish any post or make any comment that could be perceived as discriminatory by any customer because of his/her nationality, race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, political preference or any other reason. Furthermore, you should always be inclusive and take advantage of the business opportunities that these diverse characteristics offer to your brand by making a right segmentation.

3.-Know how to handle difficult customers:

Be always grateful for the valuable information you receive with their complaints. Be empathetic, seek the best solution, keep your promises, offer Social Customer Service excellence in due time and form. You need to make a special effort to change any bad perception of the brand you manage and turn it favorable.

4.-Provide attractive content:

Nothing better than a blog to help us selling the destinations we want to draw our target audience attention and enthusiasm. From the blogs posts link the product you want to sell. Create communities of fans in large or specialised social networks and enliven them with daily publications with interesting content and attractive pictures.

5.-Customise to obtain engagement:

If you have a good CRM or you can create it, much better. In any case, call customers by name, identify their needs in order to give them a customised product, handle them personally from start to finish, create enthusiasm. At the same time run promotions and contests through social networks. This will surprise your followers and help you to obtain their engagement.

6.-Know and use the social networks best suited to your product:

The tourism sector has the great advantage that the visual factor is particularly powerful to attract sales. Social networks like Pinterest, You Tube, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Vimeo are particularly suitable for touristic promotions. Regarding Social Customer Service, we recommend the use of Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Short response service times are particularly important for any brand in this sector.

7.-The geolocation and specialised social networks:

For hotels, restaurants and similar establishments it’s essential to have a presence on Foursquare, Google Maps, Google Places and Facebook Places. Manage the comments made through them and keep the information updated. Also control and be particularly interactive for those received through tourism specific social networks like Trip Advisor.

Why Community Managers Need to Offer Excellent Customer Service?

Why Community Managers Need to Offer Excellent Customer ServiceWelcome again, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

Customer Service in today’s changing and competitive world is becoming an increasingly powerful tool that strengthens differentiation for those brands that realise how crucial it is to invest resources and efforts in the selection and training of customer-oriented staff for both online and offline positions. In times of economic crisis, only those companies that offer an excellent CS level, segmenting, personalising and making a proper diversity management will prevail in the struggle to maintain and increase their customer engagement and as a result of this, obtain a better economic turnover.

The idea that every week I try to convey through this blog is that Community Managers must not only think in terms of promotional marketing, or become geeks who schedule by using the different tools their posts in the various Social Networks but without interacting and humanising their brands presence on them, or being only obsessed with monitoring the competition and their own KPIs without seeking the reasons why things go wrong. Yes, we do need to devote time to the above mentioned subjects, which are very important but what it is even more fundamental is to offer an excellent Social Customer Service to become the customer voice for the brand and the brand voice for customers. We must assist them in the response times required by the current market, highly active on Social Networks, with increasing presence and use of mobile terminals and respecting at the same time the good manners, enthusiasm and personalisation who have always been key success factors in traditional telephone and “face to face” Customer Service. The CS veterans realise that the newcomer Community Management is part of a larger whole, which is the overall satisfaction of customers across all channels through which we are pleased to be in contact with them, both online and offline. In my point of view, a good training and/or experience in offline Customer Service is an important asset for Community Managers because it facilitates the adoption of attitudes oriented to achieve excellence in Social Customer Service.

6 Useful Customer Service Tips on Google Plus

It is my pleasure to welcome you, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

Google Plus is a social network that is gaining more and more followers and companies are rapidly including it in their SMM strategy. It has about 540 million active followers, compared to 1230 million Facebook followers, yet growing fast enough especially in the younger age groups and new technologies lovers. There’s less interactivity on its brand pages because its use is still unknown for many of its followers. Yet it is highly recommended for brands to be present on it for many reasons such as SEO positioning and an excellent virality. I’ve made a study of Google Plus presence for several American and European companies in different sectors and I’ve found that many of them need to enhance their Social Customer Service on it. I don’t mention their names for professional discretion.

These are the tips on customer service on Google Plus brands need to follow:

1.-Do not open a brand page on G+ and leave it abandoned:

With few exceptions, customers interaction is not replied by brands as quickly as it should. If a brand is really interested to be present on G+, then it has to manage that account in the same way that it does with its accounts on Facebook or Twitter. We know that there are also cases of mismanagement on these other social networks but these are even more usual on Google Plus.

2.-When dealing with different countries, assist your customers in their language:

Of course your communication with your customers has to be in their own language. Consequently you need multilingual Community Managers.

3.-Make your feedback using the same channel (Google Plus):

If a customer wishes to contact a brand via G+, the response should be through the same channel. I’ve found the case of an airline passenger who complained because they offered to help him on Facebook since they considered their G+ account as promotional only and he had no account on that social network.

4.-Promote your Google Plus account:

It shows that it is alive, that you expect people to interact on it. Publish posts, ask questions, announce events, organise hangouts, open a community. Make it known online and offline that your brand has a page on that social network and promote it also on other Social Media channels.

5.-Use the Circles:

This is an awesome G+ advantage. You can create various circles and segment your messages to each target audience.

6.-Of course, use your experience on other Social Networks:

You can follow the same recommendations about Social Customer Service that I explained on my post 8 Steps for Effective Customer Service on Facebook.

6 Useful Customer Service Tips on Google Plus

Social Customer Service vs Generic Brands

Social Customer Service vs Generic Brands

It’s a pleasure for me having you as a guest on my blog!

The reduced purchasing power of many consumers as a result of the crisis has led to a surge in sales of generic brands at the expense of top brands. It is very easy to forget our loyalty as consumers when supermarkets offer similar quality products that we can buy for even less than half the price, particularly when there’s no much spare money in our pockets.

Top brands have a great ally in the promotion through social networks in their fight against the above mentioned disadvantage. These are very low cost communication channels compared to more traditional ones and at the same time they have the ability to achieve the engagement of users and turn them into loyal customers through excellence in Social Customer Service. It is in this sense that they can make a difference to generic brands, because when consumers know that they can trust a service that helps them as they deserve with any problem or concern that may arise related to a product, they will have a greater propensity to pay more for that added value. This is why top brands need to:

1.-Promote that channel through their own social networks, websites and also offline through more traditional channels such as TV or print ads.

2.-Have a bold presence on those social networks that can best reach their target audience.

3.-Have interactive and engaging fanpages. Make promotions and contests to keep alive their interest to follow them actively.

4.-Have a team of professionals trained in Community Management with customer-oriented attitude and skills. Experience in offline Customer Care is always a plus when it comes to providing a good level of Social Customer Service.

5.-Give tools that allow their Community Managers to solve critical situations and satisfy customers. Nothing generates so much engagement as giving clients more than they expect and treating them in a personalised way.

You Get What You Pay For in Social Customer Service

You Get What You Pay For in Social Customer ServiceNice to see you again, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

At a time of deep economic crisis, most companies are forced to adopt cost cutting measures. These affect too frequently Customer Service, which many managers still see as a function that can be performed by untrained and not sufficiently motivated low-cost staff. So, in an effort to spend less financial resources, service is provided by people in a working environment that doesn’t promote productivity, effectiveness or efficiency. Employees don’t fell identified with the company they work for and consequently Customer Service level becomes affected. This certainly has a negative influence on the image projected by the brand and in the Social Media Era with its high virality, any malfunction becomes quickly evident for all its customers and followers.

All of the above also applies to Community Managers. The management of a brand cannot be left in the hands of people without motivation, training, customer-oriented attitude and communication skills needed to successfully overcome any crisis on Social Networks. We see with amazement that many jobs in this sector are aimed at extremely young people without any work or life experience, without the “savoir être” or the “savoir faire” required to successfully carry out such a delicate task. Sometimes, employers ask for technical knowledges but they do not mention the most important aspect: the art of communicating properly with their Social Network users. It is very usual to see big brands badly managed regarding response times and interaction manners with their users on Social Media pages and accounts. In this sense, Customer Service experts have a lot to offer to this relatively new profession. On this blog there are several posts already published that speak about the importance of an excellent Social Customer Service level. Only those managers who realise the great added value that this represents and devote the necessary human and physical capital resources to it will succeed in making their brands become leaders in Social Media engagement, because you get what you pay for in Social Customer Service.