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April 15, 2013

Success Depends on Developing the Right Social Support

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Is it possible to increase customer satisfaction while cutting costs? With the right tools and strategy in place, any customer-centric business can experience the benefits of both. To reach this goal, however, a social support strategy is needed, as well as a clear understanding of what NOT to do.

It’s not a common phenomenon for a company to develop a list of what not to do when it comes to customer support. But every consumer out there likely has a story of a company with which he or she will never again do business because that company failed to respond to a problem in a timely – and personalized – manner. This failure can occur with live conversations or automated communications when proper monitoring and support strategies are lacking.

The introduction of e-mail support created a whole new communication channel between businesses and customers. This oft-preferred method was quick and easy to track and measure. As adoption among the customer base picked up, so did the volume of e-mails, often overwhelming customer support. This rapid increase drove the need for the automated response and a new separation between customer care and customer frustration was born.

As captured in a recent Get Satisfaction (News - Alert) E-Book, “By limiting your customers to e-mail or phone support as your only or most obvious customer service option, you are likely to deliver a poor customer experience and lose business as a result. The good news is the black hole of death is far from your only cost-effective option!”

Today, e-mail is still an important communication channel, but today’s consumer is much more social. They don’t rely on this digital channel solely for communication any longer. In fact, many rely on multiple channels and they expect these channels to easily connect. They are sharing and connecting on social media platforms, within branded communities and across industry-focused forums. If they are happy with a brand, they are the perfect advocate across all of these channels. If they are unhappy with a brand, the negative results could be damaging.

It’s great if a company effectively brands its social media, voice, chat, SMS text and e-mail channels for customer communication. But that’s not enough to deliver the full experience. Complete social support includes multiple interaction channels, the development and support of a customer community, a social knowledgebase, federated search and an SEO (search engine optimization) focus. 

The E-Books continues, “Successful companies aren’t just developing a presence on social networks to provide support. They’re crafting social support strategies in order to leverage this new way of connecting with customers to reduce costs, scale support, and provide a better customer experience. Your particular strategy will vary depending on the resources (man power, time, and budget) you can allocate to it, as well as your company size and market, but a social support strategy that is well thought out and suited for your company is critical to stay competitive.”

If you’re ready to learn more about how you can build your own social support strategy, download this E-Book today.  




Edited by Rich Steeves
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