Many customer service directors are still struggling to measure the impact of social media on their business. They can see that it is essential to support customers using these channels because that’s where the customers want to interact, but what metrics can be used to measure if all that online activity is worthwhile?
Of course this changes from one business to another so perhaps it is better to turn the problem around and to consider what you can achieve by communicating with customers in this way – what are the opportunities?
Here’s nine principals one of our retail clients uses as a guide to all that they expect from their social communications with customers:
- We want to reach customers that would not otherwise be reached – for example, the younger generation.
- We want to protect and develop our brand.
- We want to generate positive PR naturally through customers sharing stories about the brand.
- We want to promote excellent customer care and advocacy.
- We want to promote and support specific brand campaigns.
- We want to offer choice to the customer by integrating social into other communication channels.
- We want to track customer complaints.
- We want to spot buying trends so we can alert the marketing team.
- We want to feel customer sentiment directly.
This simple list demonstrates that the impact of social communications is diverse. True engagement is about far more than answering complaints. Understanding how social media and the online ‘lives’ of customers is weaved into the virtual tapestry of your brand is crucial.
Be where your customers are and you can learn a lot from them – not least how to increase your sales. And the future? Take the list then re-imagine it in a virtual world, because the next evolution will see your customers interacting with you no longer as Mr Benn of 52 Festive Road, but as avatars, perhaps several – but that’s for another day!
Photo by Andrew Becraft licensed under Creative Commons