This week’s #SproutChat focused on The State of Social Customer Care. As highlighted in our recently released 2015 Sprout Social Index, social customer care is becoming more critical than ever. In fact, 7 out of 8 messages sent to brands are not responded to within 72 hours, if at all.
These messages represent opportunities for companies to correct poor customer service experiences or foster loyal customers into vocal advocates—and, in doing so, gain a competitive advantage. As Zendesk reports, 40% of customers switch loyalty because a competitor offers better customer service.
Of course, our #SproutChat community recognizes what great social customer care looks like and how brands can set the standard internally to achieve this. Here are three key takeaways our community of experts shared during this week’s chat:
1. Consider Context to Prioritize Your Response Efforts
Accurate, timely responses are always important, but how you prioritize your efforts depends largely on the nature of the message. Customer service issues and troubleshooting should be addressed immediately, whereas a fan who just shared your blog post can wait. Set a strategy to efficiently and effectively respond to all of your community’s feedback in the right order.
A2: it depends on the comment/complaint but less than an hour on weekdays and less than a couple hours on weekends #sproutchat
— Alma de Leon (@alma_deee) August 5, 2015
A2: I always expect within an hour, but I’m “surprised and delighted” when it’s much quicker. #sproutchat
— SocialK Comm. (@admom1) August 5, 2015
2. Leverage Your Resources to Set a Consistent Customer Support Workflow
Smaller organizations and startups might not have the bandwidth to manage the amount of incoming messages they receive. While hiring more people might be an ideal fix, costs could be prohibitive. Instead, figure out if the number of active social channels is appropriate for the size and scope of your team.
A4 Rethink the amount of inroads you provide and how many can you manage? #sproutchat
— Toby Metcalf (@Toby_Metcalf) August 5, 2015
A4. What’s worse, paying someone to help your customers, or losing customers bc they can’t get help? #sproutchat
— Josh St. Aubin (@JoshStAubin) August 5, 2015
3. Remember, Social Customer Care Is Here to Stay
Don’t hesitate to set or refine your customer service strategy. Start today. Online interactions are just as important as in-person experiences and should be considered as such—otherwise, you will be left behind.
— Stephanie Nairn (@stephnairn) August 5, 2015
— Mike Bambrick (@mrbambrick) August 5, 2015
Have more thoughts about social media customer care? Share them in the comments below. And see you Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST for the next #SproutChat. We’ll discuss Facebook’s new features: livestreaming (available to celebrities initially) and the option to privately respond to public Page comments.
Sarah Nagel: Sarah is the Community Outreach Manager at Sprout Social and a Twitter queen. She runs the weekly #SproutChat and is a champion for our incredible community. Outside of work, she spends her time taking on DIY projects and petting her two rescue pups.