Tweeting Customers Where They’re @: How Brands Can Deliver Quality Social Care

By Wendy Mikkelsen, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Sprinklr’s Modern Care solution

Today’s customers want more than easy access to a brand. They want to be heard. They want to be treated as individual human beings.

People want to be able to reach brands on the channels they want; and quickly receive contextual, helpful, comprehensive information. This experience is more than a desire. It’s an expectation – and brands need to deliver.

So, how can brands excel at social customer care? A look at some of the world’s top performing brands can provide a benchmark. New cross-industry analysis of inbound/outbound messages and social media engagement shows how different industries are managing social media customer support – and importantly which brands are doing it right.

Every organization faces unique complexities that can make prioritizing and managing social customer care difficult. While each has its own distinct needs, there are commonalities that prove to be critical.

A strong voice enables care

Customers want to know you’re available. Frequent and consistent social media content is one way to reinforce availability and access. It’s an effective way to remain at the forefront of customers’ minds.

Top brands sustain a higher posting frequency: the biggest Food & Beverage brands post 5x as many tweets as smaller companies in the sector. While the top Entertainment & Media brands publish 3x as many messages as others.

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24/7 care is now expected

Even well before the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of customers said they expected a response within 5 minutes. There is a new standard of immediacy, and it pays to deliver. Companies that don’t respond to customers on social channels are losing customers year after year, with a 15 percent higher churn rate versus businesses that do respond.

The top Financial Service brands especially put their money where their mouth is. Top brands have built loyal customer bases via a strategy of social responsiveness – with the best replying to 14x as many customer queries as competitors. In addition to the impressive response volume, the median time to first response is 2 hours or less on Facebook and Twitter.

The top enterprise brands are meeting customers where they are by providing social care where they spend their time — responding quickly, regardless of the time or day of the week.

Large enterprise brands should focus on addressable messages

In order to meet customer response expectations, businesses should incorporate a system to prioritize requests and find the messages that require a thoughtful response. For example, the top retail brands receive 5x to 15x as many incoming messages as other enterprise brands.

Businesses that do end up fielding a lower volume of inbound messages should focus more on building a lasting trust through their outbound communication, rather than spending time sifting through a deluge of mentions to find the occasional addressable message.

Optimizing this approach can be valuable to the time that businesses spend when fielding inquiries from users.

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Engagement is an enabler of customer care

Customers engage with content they enjoy, but also with brands they trust. Social allows brands to nurture customer relationships and establish brand loyalty if done properly.

Food & Beverage brands have strong engagement rates on Twitter. Industry leader King Arthur Baking Company illustrates the point with an edgy profile touting its “King Arthur Baker’s Hotline” for those needing guidance through any baking challenge.

Brands can think creatively on how to leverage social engagement to deliver quality care.

Smaller brands make the biggest effort

Size does matter when it comes to social care. Growing enterprise brands are hungry to build solid customer relationships. To do so they need to respond to a higher proportion of incoming messages. Brands that have reached the top tier can accept a lower overall response rate, not because they have less to prove, but more likely due to a high volume of messages that are not directly addressable.

For example, Entertainment & Media brands that have massive followings tend to have the lowest response rate, while those with smaller followings like in the Financial Services sector have more visibility or directly addressable messages that allow for higher response rates and speedier delivery.

Businesses are meeting customers where they are. In fact, as of 2021 most U.S. organizations claimed to use social media channels in customer experience (CX) for general social engagement and brand promotion, and roughly 53 percent of respondents used social media for customer service.

Consumer appeal, brand responsiveness, and attention to customers are the three core components of delivering quality social care. Businesses that show broad strength in these areas across platforms will not only achieve social care leader status, but will more importantly establish customer trust and brand loyalty.

 

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