Investment: High Innovation: Low
The ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality
Need more #SocialFirst™ training
Many conservatives are in a regulated industry
Reposition tone towards resolution
Lack of executive buy-in
Small changes have a big impact on the bottom-line
Instead of only revamping tone for Social Customer Service, make your entire support team #SocialFirst™ minded
Decrease public venting by adopting private messaging channels
Your social initiatives are led by Marketing/PR
Legacy service channels take precedence and are valued higher than Social
Resolving in-channel isn’t a priority
You are available in only 1 or 2 social channels for service
Conservative brands know that they must be present on Social to help their customers and answer questions. Most have taken the plunge into Social because they realize, at the very least, that they must show up for their customers on Social - or suffer the consequences. Conservatives are shy on the innovation side, and most of the time this is due risk-aversion.
It’s hard to react in real-time or really capture the value of Social when fear is binding your brand to the Social strategies of yesteryear. When an opportunity or even a crisis rears it’s ugly head on Social, a Conservative can often hold back from responding for too long, causing damage to their brand.
Being innovative doesn’t mean throwing around the latest ‘lingo’ or following the latest fads and hashtags. Innovation is equal to relevance plus efficiency and a liberal portion of humanity.
More often than not, brands who are Conservative on Social are experiencing top down pressure. The executive team may realize that Social exists, but don’t really understand what that means or that brands have a responsibility to provide a flawless customer experience on these channels. Social ends up being delegated to ‘someone’ to get it done, without the thoughtful organization and processes required to build a successful strategy on these channels.
Hence, rallying an internal champion becomes a major roadblock for brands looking to grow their social strategy from the Conservative sphere to fully #SocialFirst™.
There are common red flags of a Conservative Social Media company. Although, the intention of these brands may be to stay ‘safe’, they are actually opening themselves up to more issues on Social and less resolution and satisfaction for their customers.
In February 2016, Beyonce released a surprise new single, where she gave a major shout out to a major American seafood chain, Red Lobster. Like a typical Conservative brand, Red Lobster took hours to respond to the shout out and had a very lackluster response.
Thanks to Beyonce, @RedLobster quickly gained a huge Social, mobile audience, but clearly dropped the ball.
Arby’s is another food chain finding itself on the side of Social Care no-nos. Arby’s delivers best-in-class roast beef sandwiches, but low on the totem pole Social Customer Maturity. Browse their Twitter feed and you will find response after response redirecting customers to either use their contact page or email them.
Arby’s customers are already on Social, they are trusting that they will get answers and support. Now these customers have to switch channels, retell their story and hope that the next agent they encounter takes ownership of their query. Not okay.
Even a sexy, celebrity-endorsed brand like Fabletics can fall into the ‘canned response’ trap when trying to deliver best-in-class service on Social.
It takes all of a 5 minute scan of their Twitter to understand that:
many of their members are frustrated
they send their apologies
whoever ‘rf’ is, they may be running out of things to say
Fabletics has two major actions they must take. Firstly, they must diversify their responses and secondly, they need to use the business insights they are receiving from Social to fix what is causing all this frustration.
Many brands have blinder on when it comes to adopting new social channels for Customer Service. There is a misconception that just showing up on the more established social channels such as Twitter and Facebook is enough.
#SocialFirst™ Customer Service is all about maturity. Customers no longer turn to Social to publicly berate a company (although it can happen). Instead they are turning for quick resolution and help. More personal, 1-to-1 channels like Facebook Messenger and Twitter’s public to private DM prompts are well suited for mature, resolution focused engagements on Social. By shying away from new channels, you are making it harder for your customers to keep their complaints private.
Depending on support from your executive leadership, it may be best to tackle the holes in your social innovation to begin with. By adopting new channels such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram and even queueing up to be an early adopter of Twitter’s DM and Customer Feedback features, you can easily propel yourself forward on the X axis of innovation.
Building a Case for Innovative Social Customer Care
Here are some steps to help you transition from the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ rut, to a #SocialFirst™ brand, not only available on all channels, but keeping your customers very satisfied.
Revisit Untapped Tech Features
Chances are that if you explore your current Social Customer Service platform, there are unused features available that can help you make the most of the investment you’ve put forth. Perhaps there are additional tags that you could follow, better ways to track sentiment and more tech treasures that are sitting dormant.
Shift from Reactive to Pro-active
Responding to core customers is just the first part of a killer Social Customer Service strategy. Take the next step to go above and beyond, join relevant conversations on Social to win new customers and create a brand voice that is unmistakeable, resolution focused and ready to help.
Reboot Social Service
Conservative brands were perhaps #SocialFirst™ years ago, but complacency has crept in and overcome their Social strategies. Sometimes it's important to tear down in order to rebuild.
Agent Performance Evaluation
Analyze closer how each agent is performing. Investigate metrics you may not have measured yet. Don’t just expect your agents to respond to a certain number of queries, but rather check what they are responding to and how they are responding. Is it resolution focused? Is it keeping the customer in-channel?
Even with the best tools in use, if your agents, who in essence are the voice of your company, aren’t synced on what it means to be #SocialFirst™, all of your innovative efforts are in vain. Your social reps are essentially, the voice of your company and it’s imperative that you carve out the time necessary to bring your entire team up to standard.
Rally Executive Buy-In
It’s important to conduct sessions with your C Suite and give them a clearer big picture of what is actually happening outside of Social in their business. By garnering C Suite awareness you then share responsibility for your social customers and how to get to #SocialFirst™. Break down the silos within your company and work together to elevate your brand.