The term customer experience has duly made its way up the corporate ladder, settling in with branding and reputation management discussions. Customer service quietly became a backseat priority to accommodate the shiny emergence of technological advances in the past few decades. But it is making a powerful comeback to meet head-on with one of the Internet’s quickly evolving creations: social media. With the presence of social customer service changing the rules of commerce, customer experience management (CEM) has taken center stage as the pivotal factor in meeting and exceeding customer expectations and securing a loyal customer base.

Customer Service Changing in Response to Social Media

The rising fame and transformation of multi-function social media platforms has roused the resurfacing of a new and improved version of customer service. While social media platforms were designed to generate the creating and sharing of information, ideas, and interests, these platforms have also presented outlets for consumers to openly express frustrations and dissatisfaction with brands, products and services. With a company’s online reputation quickly becoming a significant factor in creating new customers, businesses have come to see the significance of the social media platform in their business structure. This has motivated many brands to create a seamless online presence, encouraging consumers to stay connected with them at every level.

Social Media Does Play a Part in Brand Development and Customer Connection

When social media becomes a pulpit for unfiltered frustrations with a brand, some businesses have responded by scrambling to alter their efforts to accommodate the evolved consumer who is turning away from them toward social media with their complaints. Similarly, businesses are falling into the quicksand of addressing these situations as purely customer service issues. Since customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase, the raging social media consumer fits the bill of a customer service addressee. But feverishly applying band aids to an already escalated problem can be an exhaustive approach. The optimal solution to the conundrum is to first alter the customer experience from within the interface, starting with their first interaction with the brand. In turn, this has the potential to dissolve the manifestation of social media flare-ups before they develop.

If A Consumer Has Chosen Social Media as Their Final Destination for Resolving a Problem, It Is Already Too Late

By the time a consumer reaches a social media platform to vent their annoyances and condemnations about a product, service or brand, a series of red flags should have already been thrown in every direction. By not being proactive with the customer experience, a common consequence is for a business to stretch themselves in every which way to calm the customer and coax them back to their platform. While recognizing and addressing each customer’s concern with a product or service is within the scope of providing stellar customer service, there is a better way to diffuse the situation.

Solving Problems Before They Exist: A Game-Changing Tool to Prevent a Social Media Outburst

By integrating optimal customer service solutions into your interface, you can confidently begin to solve consumer problems before they occur. Here are three steps to prevent customer dissatisfaction through the utilization of customer service:

1. Engage Employees to Boost Customer Satisfaction

Customer service agents are at the heart of every human interaction your consumers have with your brand. By investing in your agents’ training and development, you are arming them with the necessary tools to mitigate consumer tensions, redirecting them down a custom designed path.

2. Integrate Helpshft’s SDK into Your Customer Service Plan

Using Helpshift’s Analytics to track data points can help eliminate any unwarranted friction the consumer may encounter, allowing for the most efficient and enjoyable journey. And by adding In-app FAQs and In-app Messaging, you have the ability to connect with the consumer without them ever leaving your side.

3. Custom Design Your Customer’s Experience

The customer experience spans from the time a consumer first awareness of your brand through the purchasing of your service or product, and they’re continuing relationship as your customer. By custom designing each touchpoint they encounter through this process, you have the power to seamlessly guide then through an efficient and satisfying journey.

While social media and customer service can coexist in brand development and customer satisfaction, it is important to understand and utilize them for each of their unique purposes. Social media has the power to positively create more informed consumers, lending a hand in the generation of more involved and dedicated consumers for your brand. And by keeping consumers close by with innovative in-app customer service solutions, their outlet to social media can be contained to purposes outside of consumer venting. To maintain this symbiotic relationship between the two, it is essential to turn to preventative customer service measures, rather than investing in band aids.

Published November 10, 2016
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