Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Please Customers With Social Media Customer Care

The margins between the businesses are diminishing. A few good customers are all the difference between a successful business and an average one. Yes, keeping old customers is as much important (at times even more important) as earning new customers. Some sales teams opine that the competitive marketplace has made it very difficult to earn new customers every day. So, as a business owner when you get a customer you have to treasure his/her association with the brand. And the best way to do so is offering the customers value for their money through superior and timely customer service. Customer care is often the major differentiator between brands that have high customer retention and those that do not have. As the online world is spreading its wings, people are having more choices. Today’s customers can get in touch with brands through multiple channels. Gone are the days when voice calls were the only way to get in touch with brands. Thus, brands have to arrange for email support, chat support and even customer support through social media channels.Social media has become the world’s largest gathering place. It is where all the customers spend time, so it is quintessential that there is a social media customer care mechanism in place. Offering customer care on social media is a comfort that every modern customer asks for from their brand. As social media customer support is so important, thus it is important that brands reap full benefits from it.Below are some ways in which businesses can leverage the benefits of social media customer care:Declare Tweeting Times: Make a specific timing for answering tweets. You may start in the morning and answer all the help requests till 4 PM. Before logging out of Twitter send a sign-off tweet. This informs the customers that you cannot address their problems on social media until tomorrow. It is perfectly fine, to declare your Twitter customer care timing because it keeps the customers’ expectations honest.From Social Media to Secured Channel: As social media is a public forum, so the security settings can be breached into quite easily. This is why the customer service representative should ask the customer to continue chatting on a secured channel by direct messaging. Try and provide a link to the Customer Relationship Management system as early as possible. Also tell the customer how information shared on social media is not secured.Personal Responses: A customer may approach the social media customer support team with a generic problem, but it should not be reciprocated with a copy paste answer. All the correspondence should be personalized. If there is a problem that would need time to address, try to impress upon the customers that you are trying hard to solve the issue. This builds trust.Independence for Agents: Agents should be given freedom to manage situations. They can be trained on the past instances. The management should not interfere in the work of these agents. If an agent has to turn back to the management for solutions each time, then the whole customer support infrastructure fails. Empower the agents.No Mixing: Marketing and customer support are two completely separate functions for a brand and they should be kept so. Mingling both these aspects just to save time and effort is not a wise idea. Whether it is Twitter or Facebook, you should create two separate profiles – one for customer support and the other for marketing.Take it Offline with Care: When you are trying to take an angry customer offline, you should be very careful. Choice of words is very important in this instance. You can make a customer cared for or you can make the customer feel being shut out just by the communication you carry out. When asking the customer to switch over to a private channel try to impress why it is important. Convince the customer that the action is important for providing personal attention. Also provide some data of how unsecured it is to share information on social media. If you can imbibe such a feeling in the customers they will be more than happy to switch the channels.Steps to Positive Experience: Answering the customers in a timely manner and being courteous to them is applicable in social media customer support too. Though these are the basics, but often the brands forget these. Letting a customer complaint posted on the Facebook wall go unanswered in not right for the brand’s image.With these above mentioned steps you can please customers on social media and keep them coming back to you for services or products. None of these are difficult to implement. Good customer service on social media can open up new avenues for sale, as it is a public forum where applauses do not go unnoticed.

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Four Rules for a Successful Crowd Campaign [VIDEO]

Bryan Kramer, the CEO of PureMatter, talked to the attendees at The Social Shake-Up about how things become crowdworthy. Kramer used the ALS Bucket Challenge to illustrate the four rules to make a campaign go viral. The first rule is to keep it simple (for instance, pouring a bucket of ice over one’s head). Secondly, you need to have a structured plan (you have to dump the ice over your head within 24 hours of receiving the challenge). Thirdly, you need to invite people to the party: in the ALS ice challenge, you had to nominate three friends to complete the challenge. And finally, you need to apply the rules of improvisation. Have fun with it!Check out Bryan's entertaining keynote below (and while you're at it, why not subscribe to our YouTube page for more great content?):

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Social Networking and the Hidden Costs of Content Moderation

Consider what it would be like to sit in a darkened room for eight hours daily reviewing thousands of pornographic, violent, and abusive images and videos. For human content moderators, this represents just another day at the office. And the demand for good content reviewers is growing. According to a recent study by Pew Internet, an estimated 74% of adults online use social media. As social networking sites have exploded in popularity over the past ten years, more business owners have begun exploring their options for effective content moderation. Content moderation filters out offensive user-generated content, protecting the social network’s brand, enforcing terms and conditions, and minimizing legal risks. Some companies take an integrated approach, employing high-tech solutions that complement their human moderators; others rely solely on a team of content reviewers to pore through the bulk of the user generated material.Today’s content moderation landscapeHuman content moderation is the preferred solution for many large social networking sites. Some would argue that people do a more effective job of flagging inappropriate images and videos than software programs. Unfortunately, there are two major flaws with this argument. The first is that it simply isn’t true. In the earliest days of the Internet, image recognition technology was limited. Early versions of these programs recognized flesh tones in images or video and automatically flagged them as obscene. But in recent years, image recognition technology has advanced considerably. Today’s moderation platforms have advanced algorithms in place that allow businesses to filter out inappropriate content with nearly 100% accuracy. As technology has advanced, more companies have chosen to implement automated solutions to help unburden their human reviewers. Not only do integrated machine solutions help streamline the process for human reviewers, they also effectively reduce content moderation costs for businesses.The psychological costs to human content moderatorsThe second (and most troubling) issue with human moderation is that it comes at a considerable cost for the content reviewers. This is a factor that social network managers don’t necessarily consider as they’re exploring options for content moderation. Image and video reviewers who are charged with flagging and filtering inappropriate content on social networks are constantly exposed to some of the web’s most disturbing content. In many cases, these people spend the bulk of their work week looking at obscene and violent images and videos online. In a 2010 New York Times article, one content reviewer reports seeing, “…photographs of graphic gang killings, animal abuse and twisted forms of pornography.” Another moderator mentions that the images are, “hard to walk away from.”Prolonged exposure to this type of content can have serious effects on the health of human moderators. A recent piece in the London Free Press takes a deeper look at how inappropriate images and videos have negatively impacted content reviewers. The article, which was referenced on image scanning technology provider Image Analyzer’s blog, suggests that many of these people have suffered from varying degrees of health and social issues. "They weren't walking away unscathed," says researcher and Western University Professor Sarah Roberts. Human content moderators interviewed in this piece frequently suffered from problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, disturbing flashbacks, and isolation from friends and loved ones.Closing thoughtsIt goes without saying that user generated content is the fundamental building block of any successful social networking site. But there’s also an inherent risk that comes along with it. There are always going to be people that choose not to abide by the rules of the community. In turn, social networking sites need to implement moderation systems to protect their users. Companies that choose to work solely with a team of human content reviewers may think that they’re taking the best approach for their businesses, but it often comes at the expense of the moderators themselves. Reducing exposure by blending an automated solution with a human team can help minimize the risks for content moderators. A psychologist interviewed in the aforementioned New York Times pieces summed it up best when she said, “If you work with garbage, you will get dirty.”Image: Creative Commons TimSnell

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