Why Brands Need to Stay Vigilant with the Customer Care Needs of Their Social Media Savvy Customers

I am sure that you will agree that the after sales services or the customer care in India is one industry which needs to be addressed at priority. I recently had a very bad experience with one of the leading telecommunication company. And this was not the first time. The leading brands in almost every field - electronics, retail, services, gadgets - fail at providing the customer services which can be even called "average".

Of lately, I had to restore to reaching the brands which harass the customers using all the means - telephones, emails and their social media network. I realized that probably just speaking personally to the customer care executive doesn't help. They are just employees. But probably publicly speaking about them on the social media makes them react faster. Because NOW they know that the brand image might get affected - largely. 

I am in no mood to bash any particular brand. I rather did a li'l bit of research(given the nature of my job which helps me pay my bills!) that why brands need to be vigilant on the social media - specially when the customer is so social media savvy!

Social media is the number one way that most of us stay connected, stay informed and interact with our world, in 2017. In the USA, 7 in 10 people use social media daily and worldwide, social media is now used by nearly 70% of the world’s population. According to statistics and facts from Websitebuilder UK, 90% of social media users have used it to communicate with brands. Social media is now the most preferred way customers want to be interacted with for their customer care needs.

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Customer Care is Important

95% of businesses indicate their customers care has a direct impact on their brand image, and good customer care boosts a businesses customer loyalty, brand advocacy, referrals, ROI, sales, and revenue.

Customers Prefer Social Media

With over one-third of customers preferring social media as their primary channel of customer care and 63% of customers expecting companies to provide customer service via social media, the market has shifted from the conventional phone/dated operator based call centers.

Brands Not Meeting Expectations

Though the customers are clear on their preferences, many brands are still not meeting their expectations. 80% of companies say they deliver exceptional SMCC, but only 8% of their customers agree. The main concern in the sector is that 95% of customer complaints on social media don’t reach companies. Furthermore, only 12.9% of the informational demand is met with a response from brands and one-third of customer complaints are ignored altogether.

Another major discrepancy in customer expectation and brand delivery is in the average answer speed through social media. Currently, 42% of customers who lodge a complaint through social media expect a response within 1 hour. A further 32% expect a response within 30 minutes and 11% expect instant support. The average response time, currently at over 5 hours, simply is not acceptable to the customer and needs to be addressed.

Implications
With so much riding on a brand’s SMCC strategy and the industry simply under-delivering in terms of expectation, many brands are losing big. Poor response time can lead to a 15% increase in customer churn, and 31% of people post online after a bad customer care experience. This exponentially affects the brand’s image and is a detriment to the overall goal of converting and keeping customers. Additionally, 30% of people will go to a competitor if a brand doesn’t respond decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%.

On the flip side of that equation, good SMCC can improve customer satisfaction by 26.6% and 71% of consumers with positive SMCC experiences are likely to recommend the brand to others. 75% of people share good experiences with brands on social media, and 65% of people have more brand loyalty when a brand reaches out to social media.

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With SMCC being the number one preference for customer care needs, brands need to ensure dedicated support via the channel. Make sure messages are answered promptly and build strong communicative relationships with your consumers on social media. A lack of vigilance in SMCC will only result in losses of both customer loyalty and profits.

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