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Social Customer Service Pt.2: What customers expect from brands

The relationship between consumers and brands has completely shifted with the onset of social media. Not only are consumers online and actively engaging with brands, but in a recent study done by the CMO Council, they found that there is a profound difference between what consumers want from brands in social media, and what marketers think they want. As a result, it is often difficult for brands to know exactly what to do when building their social media customer service strategy.

In our current marketplace, the following 3 points can help brands gain insight on what their consumers expect:

  1. Consumers have a voice and they expect to be heard
  2. Consumers are online so they assume brands are, too
  3. Consumers reach out because brands are supposed to be experts

What customers expect from brands

  1. Consumers have a voice and they expect to be heard

Customer service used to take place behind closed doors. Social media has taken these conversations and turned them public. Similar to a megaphone, consumers that air their grievances now do so in a public sphere to a mass audience. This means that brands can use this as an opportunity to not only help their customer, but also turn the experience into something very positive.

See every complaint as a golden opportunity and treat every single customer like they are your biggest.Treat every single consumer as if they’re your most important, be proactive, and ask for feedback. Use social media to help you be more active in your customer outreach so you can gain insight on what your consumers are saying about your product and their pain points.

2.  Consumers are online so they assume brands are too

Take advantage of the fact that your consumers are online and meet them halfway. Be available and be everywhere. If a consumer has taken the time to seek out your brand out on a social channel, ensure that your brand responds in a timely fashion. The longer your customer has to wait, the more frustrating their experience is. Likewise, it’s paramount that you proactively search out where your customers are and be there so they can reach you as quickly as possible.

According to a recent Nielsen survey, more than half of all U.S. consumers now turn to social media to air questions and complaints about products and services. Acting immediately with honesty and transparency, and ensuring all employees are versed in social media, can help brands start turning potential PR disasters into golden opportunities.” Ryan Holmes, CEO, HootSuite

3.  Consumers expect your brand to be experts

First of all, consumers are constantly moving between different digital mediums. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or a brand’s customer service help desk, they expect a brand to be on top of everything. Consumers don’t want to have to repeat themselves, backtrack, or wait for companies to compile all of a consumer’s previous customer service calls.

Know your product, inside out. When a consumer reaches out, insure your customer service team truly understands the product being sold. To be able to effectively help a consumer, brands need to fully understand where they are coming from and what their experience is like using a product. You can also use these moments to share product updates and resources beyond the services being sold. This type of social customer service gives consumers a meaningful experience, and hopefully builds deeper relationships.

Today, consumers are more empowered than ever before. They expect better customer service, real time communication, and consistency. To better understand the importance of fulfilling these customer demands, and to learn more about social customer service, download our white paper Social Customer Service: The Future of Customer Satisfaction.

Download the White Paper