These days, your brand is all about the customer experience you provide – every interaction, across every channel – creates the overall CX.
Studies show the payoffs for providing a great customer experience are significant, including up to a 16% premium on products and services; increased loyalty; and a willingness to share personal data (over two-thirds of consumers say they’d share more with a brand that offers a great experience).
On the other hand, one in three consumers say they’d walk away from a brand after just one bad customer experience.
Don’t bother telling your customers social and service aren’t the same channel
One essential element to exceptional CX is assuring organizational alignment across the board – meaning get silos out of the way.
Keep in mind, your customers don’t see you as different departments — they see your brand as one organization, and a whopping 87% of customers want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels.
That includes social media — big time. These days, many customers are quick to take to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among other platforms, to communicate with brands. And clearly, there are plenty of unhappy customers that use various social platforms to complain, often complete with a hashtag attached to the word #fail.
The fact is, more than ever, customers use social media as an actual service channel, and many consumers consider social media their best bet to resolve a customer service issue.
Despite these trends, traditional social media teams are typically still more focused on marketing rather than front-line customer service.
The reality is simple: in an age where customers demand seamless experiences across channels, both social media and customer service teams need to be aware of issues that affect any part of the customer experience.
5 ways to align social media and customer service teams
In order to make sure your social media and customer service teams are on the same page, there are a few crucial steps to understand:
1) Encourage a consistent voice across channels.
Branding isn’t just about your logo and color scheme. It’s also about making sure your tone of voice is consistent across channels and content, whether it’s the kind of language you prefer, buzzwords that apply, and what comments and responses are appropriate for various social media scenarios.
Keep in mind, these should coordinate with your brand values and beliefs and communicate those guidelines to your teams, including social media and customer service.
2) Make sure all teams are paying attention to social media.
A top-notch customer experience, including social media customer support, is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must. That means making sure all teams, including social media marketing and customer service, make monitoring social media a priority.
And there should be cross-connections among profiles: Even if you use a separate channel for customer support, that handle should be visible in other social profile bios, and don’t forget that customers may ignore the support handle and tweet the main marketing handle.
3) Get input from both teams to map out a social media plan.
Creating the best CX possible isn’t magic – it’s planning and strategy. Social media and customer service teams should collaborate on a social plan that incorporates all the elements of a great customer experience.
This includes mapping out how to best use social media in supporting customer service issues; how to create marketing content that’s customer service focused; understanding buyer personas so all teams truly get to know the customer; and helping all teams set customer expectations properly.
4) Help both teams understand each other and collaborate.
Social media and customer service teams need to understand each other in order to easily collaborate.
That means scheduling regular meetings to exchange information and ideas, as well as providing the right tools to help teams work together. Also important: Scheduling trainings so everyone has a basic understanding of how to provide fantastic social media customer support.
5) Use CX technology to get immediate insights into the data.
Today’s CX technology allows companies to gather insights throughout the entire organization. That means managers and executives from various teams can access a view of how customers are seeing your business from the outside in. The result? A unified voice, a holistic and connected customer journey, and social media and customer service teams aligned to the same goals and strategies.
Customer experience is everything: It’s your brand messaging, social interactions, sales process, post-sale care – really – it’s every aspect of the customer journey.
Social media and customer service teams can no longer exist in silos if your brand wants to boost CX. Instead, teams need to be in alignment around all of the essential elements of the brand relationship. Without those must-have connections, customer experience will suffer – and we know consumers today have no patience for that.