As social media changes the way we do business and the speed at which we do it, it stands to reason that it changes our expectations as well. More specifically, it changes customer expectations, when it comes to customer care.
Customer care used to be such an arduous task for consumers. And indeed, it was awfully silencing. If you had a problem, concern, or complaint, you had to locate the appropriate 800-number, call during the regular business day when you were probably also at work (how many lunch hours wasted!), memorize long phone menus, make a choice, sit on hold, get transferred, sit on hold some more, and then, by the time you finally got to talk to someone who could supposedly help you, you still hung up feeling like your words fell on deaf ears. If that big, long sentence makes you feel anxious, imagine how the customers felt.
And the situation didn’t get much better when customer care started going to voice automated systems, allowing you to answer yes/no questions for a machine-voice, but making it extremely difficult to actually get answers from a real person.
If you had to call back again for the same problem, the nightmare began anew because you could never be sure the company had records of your last call.
It’s no surprise, then, that customers are flocking to social media in order to avoid the dreaded customer care phone calls.
But social media has a tendency to spark a sense (sometimes a false sense) of immediacy. Things happen quickly and we can watch them in real-time. So it also shouldn’t surprise us that our customers want answers in a timely fashion. The problem becomes this: if you weren’t able to help a customer or provide answers over the phone, they probably complained to a few friends and family members, but it wasn’t terribly detrimental to your business. With “new” customer service expectations, if you don’t answer a Tweet or Facebook message in a timely fashion, you can expect that the customer will still complain, except this time, social will amplify that message.
All it takes is one unhappy customer who is also well connected and influential, and you could end up with a social media crisis on your hands before you know what hit you. Further, customers expect you to be aware of their Tweet or Facebook post when they call into the call center for resolution.
Fortunately, social CRM solutions make the transition to this new world of customer care a lot smoother. Using these solutions, you can monitor all of your traditional and social channels from a single dashboard and offer your customers a seamless experience.
How is your business adjusting to customer care techniques in the social era? Are you embracing Social CRM solutions? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.