What Social Care is, Why It Matters & How to Do It Right

Social Care InfographicWhat is Social Care?

Social care is the practice of providing customer service through social media to quickly provide information and answer questions. It developed as brands began creating profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. 80% of companies believe they deliver “superior” customer service, but only 8% of customers think these same companies deliver “superior” customer service.

While social care provides ample opportunity to engage with customers, it also brings many challenges with it.

Why Does Social Care Matter?

It’s important to understand how social care relates to your engagement, reputation and ultimately your bottom line. According to eMarketer, 60% of customers want more convenient access to online support channels, and 89% have stopped doing business with a company because of poor online social care. A lack of support clearly affects your business’s reputation and even your profits.

Social customer care is all about engaging your audience and being a source for customers to reach out to you. Your audience simply wants an outlet where they can quickly reach you and social media is the perfect means.

How to Do It Right

The first and most essential action to take in mastering social care is an overall evaluation of your company’s current social media presence.

In conducting your evaluation, ask yourself:

Are customers reaching out for help on this social media platform?

Can answers be found on the platform or your website?

If an answer can’t be found, how long will it take you to respond if they reach out – and what kind of service will they receive?

Social care

An example of good social care.

Different sites provide different levels of care. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to analyze which sites are adding value to prospects’ experience and your company’s brand. Facebook, forexample, has a convenient “About” section on business pages, where contact information can be listed. In a survey by Edison Research. 47% of people said that Facebook had the greatest impact on their purchase behavior of all social channels. You can find more tips on using Facebook for social care here.

If there is no spot on a social channel to list contact information or answers to frequently asked questions in detail, it’s important to at least have a link to your website, where the information can be found.

Most service involves sensitive and confidential information about individuals. Handling this information places a significant amount of responsibility on the brand. It is critical to have a plan or at least a framework to handle the issue, no matter how large or small it may be. A negative poster is likely to respond better to a human message than a corporate-style response, so it’s important to be transparent, and above all, show you care.

Bad social care

An example of bad social care.

70% of the buying experience is based on how a person thinks they’re being treated, according to McKinsey. A fast response loses meaningfulness if it’s rude, and a slow response can be forgiven if the customer feels that they are being treated with respect and kindness. Simply using phrases like “Let me see if I have it right?” or “I’m sorry” can quickly transform your conversation and start building a real connection. If you did mess up, just say so and start the process of resolving the issue.

If you don’t know the answer yet and it’s going to take some time to figure out what’s going on, let them know. Keep in touch until you find a solution.

By building real customer relationships, creating a customer advocate base and being present, your social care will be significant and effective. Customers take to social media to reach out because they’re looking for a fast and effective solution to their problem. Show customers on your social profiles that you’re ready and available to help, and not just between the hours of 8am-5pm.