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Webcast recap: What consumers expect from social customer service experiences

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

webcast_forrester_teaser.pngWe recently hosted a webcast on what customers expect from brands with Forrester’s Kate Leggett and Lithium’s Katy Keim (@katykeim). Together, they shared their thoughts on the customer service landscape and what brands need to do to succeed with their customers.

 

Kate kicked off the session by sharing how the landscape has changed, in the last century we’ve moved from the age of manufacturing through the information age to the age of the customer. What does that mean? It means, your customers now expect experiences to be effortless – productive, pain free, proactive, and personalized. Yet, Forrester reports that only 11% of brands deliver excellent service.

 

Where are the problem areas?

  1. Channels that allow customers to communicate with the brand are exploding – chat, email, telephone, virtual agent, Twitter, Facebook, communities, FAQ…
  1. Companies are siloed, and customer information is not shared across teams – internal teams are not working together to deliver for the consumer.
  1. Inability to support customers through their end-to-end journey, according to Forrester, more than half of consumers will abandon a purchase if they can’t quickly find an answer.

 

How do you solve these problems?

You know your customers are on social media, so you have to figure out how to communicate with them where they are – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, forums. Lithium Social Web (LSW) gives you the power to engage and respond with your customers wherever it is that they prefer to communicate. It puts you where they are, answering the exploding channels problem.

 

If you understand your customer, you’re one step closer to delivering on their expectations. Understanding your customers comes by listening, remembering what they tell you, and analyzing previous interactions. Making information available across the company is one way to solve the customer information deficient during a consumer’s journey. Remove your siloes, listen to your customers, make sure you’re sharing customer information across teams, and empower your customer facing employees – you’ll see your company transform into one that is customer obsessed.

 

In addition, give your customers a place to get to know you. Successful brands such as Skype, Sephora, and Autodesk have used Lithium communities to transform company websites into destinations. Destinations complete with robust peer to peer interactions, reviews, and crowd sourced ideas that let these brands know their customer better, and also let customers get to know each other. Online communities can give you an opportunity to harness customer knowledge and passion, increase buyer confidence, and reduce support cost.

 

All the answers don’t live with the customer service team, it’s important to provide all employees with tools so they can step in at any point of the customer journey. Tools like LSW give your team a workflow engine to accomplish just that. Tools that help employees decide who is best to help the customer, track the progress, and provide metrics on performance give the entire organization the ability to improve customers’ interactions with your brand.

 

Customers are interacting with brands on social channels far more frequently and expect brands to be there to solve their problems. During the webcast Katy offered a challenge to the attendees, find out exactly how your company rates on social media responsiveness. Just email Lithium at sherlock@lithium.com and we’ll analyze the data for you and one of your competitors. Nothing to lose…but lots to learn about the type of social customer service you’re delivering.

 

It was a webcast full of statistics and real world examples. Kate and Katy laid it out clearly, customers expect brands to answer their issues quickly.

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If you would like to view the webcast on-demand, you can do it here. You can also check out the full Forrester report here.    

 

Finally, remember if your customers are not getting the service they expect, they will abandon you.