The Best of Customer Care: Be Quick, Be Useful, Be Personal

Khoros compiled tips from the following experts from a session at Khoros Engage.

Madeline Turner — Senior Strategist, Khoros
Michelle Buckley
— Director of Operations, Southwest Airlines
Julien Schleret
— Social Media Marketing Manager, Facebook
Chela Arcelia
— Social Media/Internet Customer Service Manager, Cigna

Implementing the Best of Customer Care

Customer care is the way that brands ensure success and satisfaction with their products and services. While traditionally customer care meant customer support or customer service — it is increasingly no longer siloed to the end of the customer journey. Instead, care expectations begin upfront with how your brand demonstrates that you value purpose over profit, and it continues with how you deliver on the product roadmap, how you talk about customer success, and how you deliver on the promises you make.

Customer care needs to be integrated into every business decision and strategy. Today’s brands are defined by how they deliver on customer care, which is an important opportunity: After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. Brands that get care right build their customer base and they build brand loyalty.

Here are eight tips from experts at Khoros Engage to help your brand deliver top-notch customer care:

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1. Be there

It’s simple: One of the most important ways you can offer outstanding customer care is to be in the channel where the customer wants to reach out to your brand.

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2. Be timely

Customers want quick answers and responses, and certain strategies can help lower your response times. Your brand can use regular expressions and keyword routing to get nonactionable conversations out of your queues so that your representatives can focus on the customers who really need your help.

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3. Be real

Customers are looking for agents to be themselves. You can support your agents’ efforts to be real while also remaining on-message with robust brand-value and brand-voice training and guidelines.

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4. Be helpful

Customers reach out to your brand because they need help, so it’s important to resolve their issue. You can build positive brand affinity by giving customers more than what they ask for: Send them a link to a knowledge base or to your community, for example. The community can also offer a lot of step-by-step assistance and even more information than what the customer originally requested.

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5. Build brand loyalty

An important aspect of care is having conversations with customers and building relationships with them. Consider the idea of bucket-filling in which positive words and actions fill the bucket while negative words and actions empty it. If your brand is only talking information from customers, or you’re only selling to them and marketing to them, that can empty their bucket. But social care can fill the bucket with good will.

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6. Surprise and delight

Social listening offers brands an excellent way to identify potential surprise and delight opportunities. Find fun ways to interact with your customers and you’ll strengthen your relationship with the individual as well as with your larger audience base — experiencing second-hand surprise and delight can be just as loyalty building as experiencing it first-hand.

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7. Personalize the interaction no matter your industry

Regulated industries have less freedom when it comes to social customer care, and personalizing interactions can be difficult. Legal wants control over what care agents are saying to customers, and for good reason. Sometimes scripted communications can signal to customers that they’re interacting with a bot and not a real person which can be a turn-off. But even when your care agents need to work with scripts, there are still ways to demonstrate to your customers that there’s a real person behind the interaction: Have agents offer a personal email address, or even have them sign off with their
initials. Small gestures like these let customers know they’re not just another number.

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8. Build for scale

You have to build your care program for scale if you want to be successful. Think practically and make sure that your operations can grow and you can continue to provide the same level of service no matter how big your organization becomes.

About Khoros Engage

Khoros Engage brings together digital customer engagement leaders. Attendees hear from thought leaders inspiring them to bring their business to the next level, gain insights from brands and industry leaders on digital care, community, and marketing topics, and build a network of other digital leaders.

Want to learn more best practices for digital customer care?
Read our whitepaper: Digital Customer Care Playbook.