‘Social media has come a long way from photo posts, likes and comments. More and more of today’s retailers and brands are using social platforms as influential tools to sell their products and services.’ BARE shares an article by Gabe Larsen for Retail Customer Experience on maximizing social connection and enhancing customer experience.

‘In fact, sales from products sold via social networks will reach $23.3 billion in 2020, and more than 76 million users in the U.S. will make a purchase via a social network at least once this year. Social commerce is a powerful purchasing platform, which makes stellar customer service via social a “must have” for every brand.

The social commerce opportunity

The emergence of social media has provided consumers with both a new way to interact with their favorite brands and to complain when they’re displeased. With 3.8 million active social media users, there is a tremendous opportunity for brands to get in front of potential customers, drive revenue and build lasting relationships.

Social media is ranked as the third most popular channel to get support from a brand, with consumers reaching out to brands on social three times each month. Considering 79% of consumers get frustrated when they can’t contact customer service on their preferred medium or platform, brands have no choice but to deliver superior support on every platform, including social media.

Social support involves everything from addressing complaints and providing guidance to answering questions and issuing refunds. By providing support before, during and after purchase, brands can meet consumers where they’re already active and help build brand loyalty in the process.

When a customer is deciding whether to buy your product or service after seeing it on social, questions are likely. That’s why it’s so important to be able to answer their questions on the channel they are currently interacting on.

When a customer is purchasing your product directly within a social platform, it’s equally important to support your customers with any technical or security issues, or any other purchasing problems that arise. And, following a purchase, social support can play a key role in resolving issues quickly and providing a seamless support experience.

Achieving social CX success

Social media offers a way to provide great customer service around the clock. Now that customer service and social media have melded together, brands have an inherent opportunity to engage with customers and keep them happy.

Here are six important steps to achieving social CX success:

1. Give your customers what they want, when they want it

Don’t force customers to switch channels or wait for hours to get their questions answered. Leverage social messaging for real-time support on the social channel of your customers’ choosing.

2. Connect brands, social influencers and buyers

If you’re leveraging influencers in your marketing strategy, ensure that you’re able to field any questions they may receive to a support agent in real time.

3. Deliver a consistently exceptional experience

Your CX on social shouldn’t be different than your CX via e-mail or chat. Ensure you’re able to see customer history and deliver personalized, consistent support across all channels.

4. Intercept issues and complaints

The unfortunate nature of social media is that it’s a highly visible channel. The Sprout Social Index found that about half of consumers stated they would boycott a brand due to a poor response on social. By integrating social with your customer service CRM, any issues or complaints can be handled in real time by your agents, preventing a PR crisis and other unnecessary problems.

5. Resolve issues without adding complexity

There’s nothing customers hate more than jumping through hoops to get their issues solved. By being available on social, brands can fix problems, have conversations and build relationships where consumers spend their time.

6. Embrace an omnichannel CRM

According to a survey conducted by Aspect Software, businesses with omnichannel customer service strategies have a 91% greater customer retention year-over-year. But the quality of support that you deliver still has to be exceptional if you want to leverage social CX as a differentiator.

According to recent Kustomer research, personalization is the most highly valued customer service attribute, and achieving personalization isn’t possible without a truly omnichannel CRM.

Social media provides brands with an important opportunity to improve the overall customer experience. It’s been shown to be a springboard for increased sales and brand loyalty and a real competitive advantage.

If your brand doesn’t yet have a strong social support strategy, there’s no time like the present. After all, customers will be reaching out to your brand over social, whether you have a solid plan in place or not.’

Read the original article in full here.


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Disclaimer of endorsement: Any reference obtained from this article to a specific business, product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by BARE International of the business, product, process, or service, or its producer or provider.