Measuring social media success by looking at individual conversions or events is like looking at a train map with only the stations printed: it’s real information, but useless without knowing how the lines take you from one to the next. Customer experience theory shows interactions between brands and consumers throughout their relationship. Here are three brands doing it right.
Why Customer Experience?
According to Falcon’s 2016 Customer Experience Trends Report, 78% of social media managers recognize customer experience as important or very important to their marketing strategy. Coordinating social customer service, unified messaging across platforms and social listening are the three legs of the customer experience stool.
Gillette: Social listening
Customer service a cut above: this tweet showcases several aspects of creating a great customer experience. Gillette is tuned in to the conversation. Social listening allows brands to monitor and reply to customer conversations.
The fact that Gillette’s razors are on the pricy side is not something its social media team can do anything about. The initial tweet’s sarcastic tone was a hostile jab at the brand, but by someone who is clearly an actual consumer. Gillette’s social media manager could have shrugged it off as whining from a man who doesn’t appreciate the costs of shaving research and who will make the purchase anyway. But instead, they managed to turn one small negative into three big positives: they displayed a humanizing self-awareness, made a customer feel heard and encouraged a click through to the website.
Surprise and delight: Gillette’s program for young men is one of the most unique consumer outreach strategies on or offline. According to Consumerist, Gillette obtains a list of birthdays from the American Student List. When a boy turns 18, Gillette sends a free razor and some sales material. A freshly shaven 18 year old likely doesn’t have a razor preference, but Gillette knows he’ll need a razor for the rest of his life. With this surprise and delight strategy, Gillette reaches young men before they start their customer journey and a lifetime of buying razors.
Consider how you can reach out to people experiencing similar milestones. Look for mentions of events important to your audience and find ways to offer your product or service before your competitors even know it’s needed.
Nestle: Knows their customers
Create relevant content: the child in this photo is not old enough to be on Facebook. That means that Nestle is advertising to parents of kids like her. Everything about this post, from the content to the adorable photo to the implicit sympathy of the opening question, shows that they understand who is making the purchasing decisions and what motivates them.
Encourage employee advocacy: one way to shed the corporate image is to show that even a multi-billion dollar global behemoth is made possible by thousands of real, likable people. A full customer experience strategy does not begin and end with the purchase. Lifelong consumers see brands as part of their identity, so creating some identity of your own can only help.
Lego: Fan favorites
Reward: good fans deserve to be recognized and rewarded. Even if you can’t give things away as frequently as Lego, consider opportunities to recognize and reward loyal fans.
Online to Offline: Free stuff is not the only way to reward customers. Take advantage of events you’ve worked hard to plan. If you’re hosting an event, make sure to encourage social followers to attend. Exclusive offers like this link brand and product, which further cements the customer experience as an ongoing positive relationship.
The strategies vary, but the philosophy remains: whether you’re preparing young men for a lifetime of buying top-of-the-line shaving razors, selling yogurt to moms or giving collectors something new to covet, customer experience is about connecting the dots between life experiences, moods and transactions. Gillette, Nestle and Lego epitomize excellent social customer experience. By listening, knowing and rewarding your fans, your brand can also be a champion of social customer experience.