Tag Archives: Online and offline

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.

11 Advantages of Social Customer Service

Puente Ukiyo eWelcome back, Premium Social Customer’s friends! Thank you for reading a post on my blog which is also yours!

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:

1.- Discretion:

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.

3.- Speed:

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.

8 Steps for Effective Customer Service on Facebook

CustomerServiceonFacebook

Facebook is the largest social network in the world with over one billion users worldwide. That’s the reason why it is the one most companies nowadays prefer to use to communicate with their customers. Consequently there is a growing need for community managers able to manage the increasing number of people who choose to contact brands through Facebook and it cannot be neglected in their online marketing strategy.

I will explain in this article 8 Steps for Effective Customer Service on Facebook :

1. – Respond individually to each post :

Never use “copy-paste” messages. The answer needs to be personalised with name of sender and receiver.

2. – Correction and Diplomacy :

When we write to respond to questions or complaints, we must always be cautious and correct (a message can sometimes be interpreted in different ways)

3. – Reply to messages quickly :

The maximum recommended for Facebook is 24 hours. Otherwise, the client may feel ignored.

4. – Use always the same channel if possible, Facebook in this case :

When a customer wishes to contact us through Facebook, it is because he/she expects a response through the same channel. Only in those cases where for any reason it could be unavoidable to continue communication by phone or mail, you must use them. It is important however, that the customer is handled by the same person from start to finish. That’s why Community Managers need to have some training in offline Customer Service.

5. – Create and include attention-grabbing content :

Talk about various topics who could be interesting to your Facebook fans related to the brand and products including reviews, pictures, videos, etc. It is interesting to observe and measure their responses (comments and likes) so you know what kind of content are the most attractive to them in order to keep including these topics in the future.

6. – Ask questions :

The inputs we receive through our fans and other users through our Facebook page are an invaluable feedback that allow us to know what they expect from our brand or products, so asking them questions is a way to obtain a little more of that information.

7 – Get in conversation with customers / fans :

Create conversation topics and participate in those started by customers / fans. Intervene to encourage and moderate the discussions.

8. – Use a tool to help us manage the account when there are large volume of users :

Some of the most used are: Hootsuite, Get Satisfaction, Parature, UserEcho and Assistly. They all deserve an explanation but in that case this post would be too long and anyway the best way to determine the usefulness of each of them is going into their websites and find out if you like them for your daily work.

If you follow all these steps together with other good marketing strategies online and offline, you will be closer to get the loyalty and engagement of your fans and customers to your brand.

10 Keys for Personalisation in Social Customer Service

Nice to see you again, Premium Social Customer’s followers!Your Name

Getting loyal customers to our product and our brand in a market where there is fierce competition is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly in times of crisis. That’s the reason why the concept of Personalisation is becoming essential. The customer has to feel that he/she is important for the brand and since in this Social Media Era a positive or a negative opinion spreads like an oil slick across the network quickly influencing our image in any sense, we have to manage in a very commercial and creative way that Personalisation.

I will enumerate several keys to be followed to ensure that clients receive the personalised service that can even surprise and make him/her a loyal brand follower and even recommend it to other potential customers:

1.-Let’s call the customer by his/her name:

It is perhaps more important in a social network that in offline Customer Service. When you call the customer by name, that makes him/her feel important. At that moment he/she has the perception of being A PREMIUM CLIENT.

2.-We must thank them for their participation:

At the same time we must thank them for their participation even when the comment is negative. It’s always a feedback that will allow us to improve, which is what the customer intended because basically he/she wants to continue being our client, otherwise he/she wouldn’t have even bother to let us know his/her opinion.

3.-Personalise by using the Community Manager’s name: It’s important that the client feel cared for by someone with a name and not just by someone who speaks on behalf of the brand without knowing who he/she is. This humanises the relationship.

4.-Right selection and proper training for CMs:

They must share the same values that the brand wants to reflect and have the attitudes and skills to communicate properly. They must know how to behave and have the internal support needed to face everyday situations and contingencies.

5.-Existence of offline communication channels:

If you need to continue the conversation on the phone, you must provide your online customer that communication channel, it must also be no cost for the client and allow him/her to keep communicating offline with the same person that has been assisting him in the social network.

6.-Allow other online followers interaction:

Do not intervene if the advice is correct. In this era of Communication 3.0, the client sometimes relies better an independent opinion of other customers than that of the brand itself. Intervene to correct any inappropiate comment when necessary but always courteously and complementing the information. In every case, thank third party interventions.

7.-Avoid overdo the brand promotion:

For instance with excessive mailing, tweets or posts that may lead them to stop following you.

8.-Help them in their online buying experience:

Assist, advise, have a Q & A on the website to answer the questions of each product, prices and if further clarification needed, make it easy for them to contact you through the Social Networks or other online and offline channels. If necessary assume a role linked to the product (eg: A man who uses a feminine identity as a Community Manager ir order to assist clients of products aimed at women) On the other hand, the brand must have a website also adapted to mobile and tablets.

9.-Create a performant Social CRM database:

By getting information from the web or directly from the client, tactfully and without making him/her feel overwhelmed. This will help us to succeed in meeting the specific needs of each client.

10.-Make a good Diversity Management:

The clients should not feel discriminated against in any way but at the same time we must meet their specific needs. There are niche markets by sex, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc. and they greatly appreciate that we offer those products and care they expect for their specific condition. Many times you get this information from the photos and profiles description in Social Networks and this can help us to make a good segmentation.

All these tips will make it easier for us to achieve the loyalty and engagement of our customers in Social Media.