Many C-suite decision-makers still struggle with understanding what value social media management adds to the rest of the business – and they could be underestimating what their social media manager actually does.
More than simply tweeting cat jokes or sharing motivational pictures on Instagram, the social media manager is actually a vital part of the customer experience management process. In fact, they are leading the way in the customer experience (CX) era. Which means that your social media manager has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with the rest of the business for helping to raise standards.
How your social media manager contributes to customer experience
The actual customer experience process is relatively simple, built around four catch-all stages that draw your customers closer to your brand.
If your social media manager (SMM) applied all four of these principles properly your social media customer experience program will look something like this:
#1 – Listening to the market place
Listening to your potential customer base is crucial for every sector of your business, from sales and marketing right through to customer support and product development. And your social media manager can provide verifiable information that is valuable to each department.
Your social media strategy begins by understanding the social landscape. For social media managers, this means building social profiles – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc – and then listening to and observing those communities. Keeping a close eye on trending topics, major influencers in your sector, popular discussions, and even your competitors is crucial to finding potential customers. Your customer’s experience is dependent on your being aware of their issues, and developing content and strategies that can help relieve those pains.
The better you cater to their interests, the better their experience will be when dealing with your brand. You can even start the process of building detailed customer profiles that can be used to tailor content and support services towards clients.
#2 – Speaking to your audience
One of the critical challenges in customer experience management is knowing how to target communications effectively. Fortunately, the insights you gathered as you listened to the market will have already laid the groundwork, helping your SMM understand the basic interests and preferences of each prospect. They are then ready to begin sharing messages with the target audience, tailored to the likes and dislikes already identified.
The information gathered from these messages can be used to supply each contact with more information about what they are looking for. As well as giving prospects more of what they want, every interaction can be used to improve your organization’s own offerings too – which is precisely what customer experience management is about.
Using this direct feedback and your ongoing listening activities, your online presence can be refined, making it even more attractive to your target audience. The SMM can create and schedule the publication of different types of content according to a content calendar, for instance, helping to define their workload, and reach customers when they are most responsive. They are also fully empowered to deliver customized messaging – key to exceptional customer experience management.
#3 – Building individual relationships
Relationships are hard work, and every business struggles to increase their brand likeability and the service they offer their customers.
At this stage of the social media marketing campaign, the focus is on one-to-one interactions, solidifying the relationship. In the context of customer experience management, the social media manager is busy being responsive to the questions and filling the needs of individuals, providing the human touch that can easily be missed in business.
At the practical level, your social media manager will be using a tool to segment your social audiences and to centralize the data you collect. Everything they do at this point is designed to elevate the customer experience above the norm so that they keep coming back for more. With the audiences defined and understood, they will be engaging followers to learn more, and responding in a way that speaks directly to them and their needs.
#4 – Building a 360º view for maximum understanding
People change, and a successful on-going relationship relies on being able to adapt accordingly. What customers enjoyed at the beginning of their relationship may change after several years of doing business, and the way your business talks to them needs to keep pace with these changes.
For the social media manager, who is in charge of keeping all of the brand-customer relationships healthy, this is marked by the need to provide total transparency of every touchpoint and channel through which people connect. Connecting customers across multiple social platforms allows them to gain a true 360º view of every individual.
To ensure communications continue to hit the target on every platform, the marketing team will need to map all interactions across every channel so you have the strongest possible understanding of every individual. The more you understand the changing needs of your clients, the more responsive your customer experience management processes will be.
Centralizing data is incredibly valuable for every customer-facing department – and CMOs should seriously consider making this data available across the company. Suitably informed, everyone will be able to play their part in improving customer experience overall.
A tool can help pool your customer data and make social interactions more efficient. To see how a customer experience platform can help your brand, please contact us for a free demo.
*Banner image credit: tom_bullock/Flickr