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How Luxury Retailers should Manage Customer Service over Social Media

Theresa Semackor
By Theresa Semackor on Jul 30, 2014 9:11:00 AM

The retail industry benefits from having an engaged and socially savvy customer base—one that actively engages with companies over social platforms. However all too often these consumers are met with deafening silence. This is even more common within the luxury retail market, where engaging with your customers can often be seen to have a detrimental effect on the exclusivity and mystique that surrounds a brand. The proliferation of online commerce is one major cause of this, in which the distance between luxury items and shoppers has narrowed.  

How Luxury Retailers should Manage Customer Service over Social Media

Whether brands desire it or not, social has paved the way for an industry that was previously inaccessible to the masses.  As a luxury brand this provides an opportunity for you to listen, understand and engage with a highly vocal audience. So how should a luxury retailer approach social customer service?

Talking from experience, I know the effects first hand of meeting a wall of silence. It left me wondering, were my tweets being ignored strategically, or were my comments being missed in the plethora of noise? Either way the answer is a simple one, luxury brands must fully embrace social customer service or risk leaving customers unanswered and disappointed .

For instance Gucci regularly receive over 200 comments on their marketing posts. I would suggest a dedicated social customer solution would be beneficial, as this would enable them to rapidly identify and prioritise interactions that may require a customer service response. It is understandable that brands may not necessarily want to use their glossy social channels as an avenue for customer service, however if your customers chooses to engage with you in this way it’s paramount they are not met with silence. A complaint should at least be acknowledged even if you have to move to a private conversation to resolve the issue!

I personally love shopping with yoox.com and have never had a problem when ordering online. However if I was a potential customer thinking of ordering with them, and saw the negative post below go unanswered on their Facebook page I would be put off.

According to The Economist Group, a number of brands that cater to the wealthy routinely neglect social customer service. However The Agency Post reported that 33% of luxury shoppers use social media to post their opinion on goods. Therefore it is essential to have a solution in place, so the right department can monitor these conversations. But how can they do this?

  • Incorporate the customer service team into the overall social engagement strategy

  • Take public messages private if you are reluctant to have social channels used for customer service as well as marketing

  • Never push a customer to email/call you if they have initially reached out to you on social - if they reach out to you on social then keep it on social

Conversocial allows for cross team collaboration, enabling different departments to work together seamlessly. This allows for marketing to focus on delivering the brand values, whilst the service team can work alongside to respond to customer issues whilst still on brand.  Conversocial client Net-A-Porter are an excellent example of a brand that delivers customer service without diluting its brand values.

So remember social customer service and luxury retailing no longer needs to be mutually exclusive. Engage with those customers who wish to speak with you on social by implementing a tool that will alert the service team to customer complaints or queries and deal with those messages promptly.  Social customer service no longer needs to be feared by luxury retailers; with an effective social customer service strategy you will be able to get accurate, actionable insight on customer issues that other channels just cannot provide.

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Topics: Customer Service, Retail

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