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Clients and Social Networks, In Search Of the Perfect Experience

Social networks are here to stay, and they have changed all the paradigms that have surrounded the idea of customer service that companies have developed over the years. Today, the concept of customer service involves much more than the classic telephone call; it includes an interaction between the client and the brand through tweets, messages and social networks.

By Roberto Ricossa, VP of Marketing, Avaya Americas. Follow him on Twitter @rricossa | LinkedIn | Google+

The social network phenomenon has evolved from being an interaction space for young people to being a full-fledged communication channel that companies need to address. For proof, one only needs to look at the results of a study done by J.D. Power and Associates entitled “Social Media Benchmark Study 2013”. In the report, statistics showed that 67% of consumers use companies’ social network profiles to obtain information about their services and 43% of people between 18 and 29 years prefer to interact with brands through social networks rather than other communication channels like email or phone calls. In addition, 38% of people over 50 years old make claims and ask questions on companies’ social network profiles. Considering this data plus the fact that, according to eMarketer, more than a third of the world’s population is currently connected to the Internet with 1,610 million active users in social networks in 2013, it is clear that social networks are important areas that companies need to invest time and effort in.

From the dawn of commerce, the relationship between a client’s experience and how he perceives the attention that a company provides directly impacts the company’s results. Today, technology has added tools for companies but it has also added new tasks, like the need to be aware of what people are saying about the company and acting accordingly.

Keys To Achieving A Good Customer Service Experience

The span of possible situations that shows up in interactions with people through social networks is very wide. Nevertheless, there are a few aspects that serve as a base when striving to achieve that coveted client satisfaction:

●     Monitor trends: An advantage that these platforms offer is the ability to measure and follow up automatically. Through tools like Avaya Social Media Manager, conversations and brand mentions are captured. The data obtained should be analyzed and interpreted with positive, neutral, or negative indicators, which helps to make decisions based on concrete and quantifiable information.

●     Be proactive and act quickly: Upon hearing what is being said in social networks about your products, it is possible to take preventive action that will avoid disasters in the future. For example, if someone complains about a product’s malfunction, we have to get together and find a quick solution before it evolves into a popular cause, supported by other people with similar problems.

●     Respond through the same channel and quickly: If a client reaches out through a social network, continue the conversation on the same channel. Don’t make him change channels; this can be interpreted as a lack of commitment to his problem.

●     Train the people that respond on behalf of the company: The people in charge of customer service through this channel should be in contact with the people responsible for different areas of the company, and at the same time, trained in conflict resolution in order to avoid the dreaded social media crisis.

With Planning and Focused Strategies, Anything Is Possible

We already know about the benefits that interacting with clients through social networks brings to companies. There are numerous success stories that show that, with dedication and keeping an eye out for improving relationships, the change is radical. One of them is Volaris, the Mexican airline that was awarded by the American surveyor Socialbakers as the company with the most and best presence in social networks in their industry. This recognition is mainly based on the fact that the company has a rate of 78% effective responses for each claim made by a client through their social networks. This interaction with the client has transformed Volaris into the most influential airline in Mexico, with a score of 83 in the index measured by Klout.

Another effective example comes from InfusionSoft, a marketing automation software company based in Arizona, United States, that has managed to save millions of dollars as well as increase their client satisfaction by 10% by implementing a customer service policy through social networks. According to Forrester’s case study, in less than 2 years InfusionSoft went from having one agent for every 55 clients with a 77% satisfaction rate, to having 1 agent for every 172 clients, while increasing the satisfaction rate to approximately 87%. This new strategy allows their clients to post their questions at any time of day on the company’s profiles and social accounts.

One more success story comes from Starbucks, whose social campaign My Starbucks Idea compiled direct responses from customers through the brand’s different social media channels and its website. Consumers suggested ideas for new products as well as improvements for existing ones. The company’s blog kept a running tally on the ideas that have been implemented, as well as which ones haven’t and why. Thanks to this direct connection with their clients, the company received more than 150,000 entries that has resulted in 277 innovations for Starbucks.

Clients have particular and punctual needs, and like anyone, they want those needs addressed in a quick and personal manner. The key to a good experience is to identify problems, understand what caused them, and provide a quick and effective response. A person who has had a satisfactory experience is the best advertising for any brand or product.

Roberto Ricossa’s photo and bio: here

About Avaya
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit

Roberto Ricossa

Roberto Ricossa

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