1. Deflection Isn’t Engagement
As more brands turn to tools like Twitter for customer service – one of the increasingly common strategies is to “escalate” issues to the call center. What this actually means is that brands immediately engage with customers who share a question via Twitter by telling them to call the 1800 number to speak to a customer service person. But this type of deflection isn’t optimal. Instead, brands that aspire to provide great service need to answer questions in the channel they are asked (unless you truly need to access their private information, of course).
2. B2B Is Better Than B2C for Social
Thanks to the visibility of efforts from leading brands like Coke and Oreo’s, it is easy to focus attention on the role that social media has taken in helping major consumer brands to create lots of buzz and some engagement. Instead, Dell’s Global Director of Social Media Richard Margetic once pointed out that social media is actually better for B2B brands because they tend to be far more about relationships than B2C brands. As a proof point, he noted that more than 9,000 of Dell’s employees have gone through social media training and are allowed to represent the brand in their engagements online.
3. Social Gratitude Is Powerful
It is no secret that people passionately share stories and images of pets online. So the big question was how a brand in the popular pet category could engage with these passionate pet owners in a way that wouldn’t just try to upsell them more supplies and materials. One great strategy that PETCO uses is the power of offering validation to customers. Simply by having the brand like customer’s Instagram photos, for example, PETCO could offer tangible proof that it was listening and engaged in its community. And this one act caused intense consumer gratitude, which then led to engagement and conversation.
4. Solve Unique Problems
As often as we hear about social media offering yet another channel for brands to interact and solve customer challenges, there may be situations that social media or social customer care is uniquely positioned to solve. One example is of Wells Fargo when a customer tweeted about there being trash outside of an ATM machine. This is exactly the sort of thing that no one would ever call and wait on hold in order to report. Yet thanks to this tweet, the brand was able to respond both to the customer as well as respond by actually correcting the problem and cleaning up the trash!