Social media sites are increasingly providing brands with the facilities needed to supply fast, effective support to consumers. New reports indicate that Twitter has recently rolled out a new tool. This will make it even easier for customers to access a brand’s customer support channel on the site.
Crucial to success
It is crucial that brands offer good customer support services to retain customers. In a recent interview 1, The Pollack PR Marketing Group’s CEO, Noemi Pollack, said: “there’s a study showing 82% of consumers said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service.”
In the digital age, social media is a vital customer support tool for brands. Significantly, a majority (84%) of UK adults now use social media 2 and 62% of consumers now use these platforms to guide purchasing decisions 3.
Therefore by making customer services available on social media, firms can position themselves as convenient providers of support for consumers. In turn, this increases their chances of retaining business.
Customer service tools
Recognising this phenomenon, many social media sites are developing ways to make it easier for users to access customer support from businesses. For instance chatbots, programmes which conduct tasks autonomously via instant messaging, are becoming increasingly important customer support tools.
Capitalising on this trend, Facebook is currently developing an encrypted version of its messenger bot. They aim to increase its security, which would make it a more effective customer support tool.
Instagram recently launched a “contact” button which allows customers to send questions to brands online easily. It notifies the firm with a call, text, or email, allowing them to answer quickly.
Commenting, marketing firm Huge’s Associate Director of Social Media, Kevin Del Rosario, noted that the release of this tool “underscores the importance of social media as a customer service channel.”
Digital support hub
Twitter has successfully positioned itself as a valuable customer support tool for brands. With Twitter, customers can tweet queries to brands, who can also directly message consumers 4.
This allows firm to remove customer communications out of the public domain, which can prove useful when dealing with negative feedback, reducing the impact of unflattering content on their image online.
Ad Week reports that Twitter’s ultimate goal is to turn itself into a digital hub for consumers seeking information from companies, while promoting these firms’ brands in real-time.
Over the past few months, the site has upgraded its customer feedback and direct messaging facilities, to make itself a more valuable customer support platform and now, Twitter has taken these efforts one step further.
Many brands have multiple Twitter accounts, one for each department including customer support. The site has now rolled out a new feature which gives users the ability to find a company’s customer support account with one simple search.
When the user types the company’s name into the search bar, they’ll see a “provides support” button alongside the relevant account. When pressed, this allows the user to strike up a direct conversation with the firm’s customer support department.
Writing in a blog post Travis Lull, Twitter’s Product Manager, explained why the ‘provides support’ button is beneficial for brands. The chances of a consumer sending a message to a brand rise by 30% when given a direct message link to click on, instead of just a text message. Commenting further, he said that “we are committed to making Twitter the best place for people to talk to businesses.”
Bolstering company reputations
It is important to note that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 5. When consumers receive good service from a brand, they are more likely to review them positively online. This raises this firm’s chances of attracting new business.
It is clear that Lull makes a valid point, when he suggests that Twitter’s new ‘support feature’ will benefit brands.
With this button, it is now easier for businesses to provide customer support. This increases consumer good will towards their brands, potentially bolstering their corporate reputations online.
With the array of customer support tools now available online from simple buttons to chatbots, businesses cannot afford to provide inadequate digital consumer services. If they do not take advantage of these tools, their competitors will. This makes it harder for them to create strong brand identities online.
1. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/getting-better-customer-service-lately-thank-the-internet-091316.html ↩
2. http://www.netimperative.com/2016/09/social-media-use-uk-youtube-facebook-dominate/ ↩
3. https://exchange.cim.co.uk/editorial/keep-social-honest-research/ ↩
4. http://digiday.com/brands/brands-already-using-instagrams-contact-button-customer-service/ ↩
5. http://searchengineland.com/88-consumers-trust-online-reviews-much-personal-recommendations-195803 ↩