“More sales” usually isn’t on the list of features you might expect from a customer care tool but it’s become a cornerstone of the conversation. Selling to and supporting your existing customer base is far cheaper than trying to acquire new customers, and by focusing your efforts there, you’ll find that your brand actually nets more new sales. That’s because today’s customers are looking to peer-to-peer referrals and reviews more than they are to brands.
#SocialFirst brands recognize this, and are using social support to drive revenue.
Why positive sentiment leads to sales
Sales are predicated on trust. Customers want to know that brands value and recognize them as individuals, and social media is a convenient medium for this relationship as it feels more personal than legacy channels like phone or email. Your agents are, in effect, visiting your customers, not the other way around.
Each engagement on social also feels more personal: brands using a social customer care platform can allow support to come from individual agents and, with a well-defined social customer care playbook, those agents will converse like real people, not robots. The effect is that consumers get help through chatting on platforms they actually enjoy with people who look and sound like their friends.
Plus, social engagements can be proactive. No phone support agent can read a customer's mind, sense a problem, and dial them before an issue arises, but that’s precisely what social media does. With the power of automation, social customer care platforms allow teams to proactively canvass the vast universe of social media, spot developing issues (such as a peer-to-peer complaint about poor cell phone coverage), and resolve it before it grows worse.
The trust that this level of care engenders leads to sales. Entrepreneur reports that customers who feel heard and have their issues taken care of in a proactive manner spend 20-40% more on purchases. In a study, Forrester Consulting found that the cumulative effects of social customer care led companies using Conversocial to increase their sales by $1m, an ROI of 272% over 3 years.
And, if the service continues to delight, customers return again and again.
Social customer care encourages repeat purchases
Positive first impressions often stick, but consistent care is the key to real revenue growth. In the same Forrester study, 58% of customers who experienced positive social customer care said they would buy from that company again. Companies who implemented a social customer care solution to achieve this saw a 7.5% increase in retention year over year.
The benefits of higher retention compound over time. A now famous Bain & Company study, documented in the Harvard Business Review, found that a 5% increase in retention rates can lead to a 25-95% increase in profits. And the benefits don’t stop there because once highly vocal social consumers get to sharing their experience on social media, they begin attracting net-new sales as well.
Using social customer care for net-new sales
Having a social customer care solution in place puts your customer service organization on the offensive in two notable ways. First, the advocacy created by customers fuels increasingly positive online sentiment and creates an environment where new customers are exposed to your online praises. It’s a bonanza for marketers who would otherwise spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on similar exposure.
One Conversocial study highlighted how KLM responded to consumers’ public social media posts about desired travel plans or exciting happenings around that world with friendly ideas and suggestions. In doing so, it connected with travelers who were engaged in planning and attracted short-lead bookings which drove $25m in additional sales.
What do your customers share on social media and how can you be a part of their conversation? Companies everywhere are discovering that social customer care can mean social sales. A heavy focus on the customer experience on social media creates retention and advocacy which can boost the bottom line.
Want to learn more? Download our report on Social Effort Report: Unlocking Value with Effortless Social Customer Service.
If you missed Part 3 in The Social Care Advantage series, here it is: The 3 Ways Social Care Saves Money.