68% of the participants in the 2021 Customer Xperience (CX) Outlook survey by Hansa Research reported a significant increase in customer engagement and participation on social media
By Piyali Chatterjee Konar
The pandemic has amplified the role of online communication in everyone’s life, especially social media. 68% of the participants in the 2021 Customer Xperience (CX) Outlook survey by Hansa Research reported a significant increase in customer engagement and participation on social media. Social media is now an indispensable communication tool for creating and sharing information and engages 3.96 billion users worldwide. With social media users actively researching, reviewing, and engaging online with brands pre-purchase, during purchase, and even post-purchase for customer service and support, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the growing importance of social media. A seamless and engaging social media experience offers several benefits to organisations. It can positively impact brand awareness, increase customer acquisition and improve customer engagement.
What is Social CX?
Almost 50% of social media users use social networks to research products and services. Thus, social media plays a huge part in setting an expectation about the brand and laying the foundation for the experience a customer is likely to have by interacting with the brand (CX), social media imbibed within the CX strategy of a brand means the brand is ever listening and receptive to the outside world. Using social media channels as A robust response mechanism to interact with customers and ‘fans’ of the brand and creating the means for a richer, more efficient end to end experience for both parties is what will define the future trend of Social CX.
1. Effective social media marketing makes a brand
Social media is fantastic. It allows you to reach out to millions of people, the likes of Facebook have more users than many countries put together, social media is fast and responsive and most importantly a brand can build a dynamic online community via these channels that helps it engage its current and prospective customers far more effectively.
Getting inside the minds of the customers and interacting with them helps brands not just create a far more lasting CX but also helps it understand trends both short and long term. Over the last decade brands have understood the importance of social media and have harnessed it like a superpower. Globally, brands like Nike, Volvo, Spotify and even traditional behemoths like Chevron have shown that proactive social media management can help a brand reach out to its customers and engage them in substantial dialogue about the brand and its core values.
2. Social media as a De-risking tool
The advent of internet and e-commerce has led to a flurry of traditional brands looking to transition to the virtual world and the rise of an entire D2C (Direct to Consumer) category. The internet age has given rise to new types of brand crisis which has usually caught brands unaware. Brands are fully aware of this and many are investing in integrating crisis protocols into their as part of their Social CX strategy in order to de-risk their brands online
Social media makes or breaks brands at great speeds these days. Even brands like Lux, Godrej, Hero and Amazon have seen how an online crisis in India can happen out of nothing and then harm the overall brand equity built so painstakingly over years.
Better Social CX allows the brand an opportunity to interact with the customers armed with much more data and context. For instance, a customer may have tweeted about what quality they loved about the product, or they may have direct messaged the brand on social media for a customer service request.
3. Social analytics helps identify and solve customer problems
A couple of months ago an article in Times Of India said social media is the new helpline for a crisis hit India. That sort of hit the nail on the head. Customers who aren’t able to find easy contact points to highlight their grievances to the brand find solace in social media. The flip side for the brand is that sometimes the customers vent out their problems and severely criticises the brand resulting in a public loss of face.
Efficient Social analytics can help brands identify situations and problems and be better prepared to address them in real time. Monitoring conversations around the industry help uncover plenty of insight about what’s working and more importantly what’s not working for the customer. This information could be a gold mine for the product and marketing team and can be part of the holistic CX strategy. Customers like it when their problems are solved. Social media channels can helps develop relationships directly with customers without any intermediary. This in turn makes the brand work harder and also helps the customer come closer to the brand and trust it more.
4. Ensuring a seamless social CX can maximise the potential of a company
Real time analytics can reveal a lot about a customer and what exactly are his/her needs and demands from the product/brand. This in turn fuels into the Social CX strategy into catering to the customer with a higher level of engagement and exactly which sort of content the audience wants, when, and on what channel. Analytics can also help understand customer profiles and filters those that are likely to be advocates and brand ambassadors. This in turn helps a brand maximize its social media footprint, expand its customer base and obtain rich customer insight that aids future innovation.
In conclusion, good social media presence is a must have in the current day and age. Efficient Social CX can make or break a brand. Social media is no longer a place just to send out information. It is a highly interactive channel between the brand and its customers and it is key to driving customer experience on the brand’s social media platforms through consistent, responsive and transparent communication. A good customer experience on a brand’s social media platform has the power to impact customer loyalty significantly and therefore businesses, need to integrate social media within the overall customer experience (CX) strategy of the organisation.
The author is senior vice president CX national head, Hansa Research