The omnichannel approach to customer experience (CX) has become an essential investment among companies focused on maintaining a strong brand reputation. It means providing a unified experience through all channels and platforms that consumers use to interact with the brands they shop. In other words, it’s become more important than ever to communicate the same messages across all channels in which customers choose to engage. Done successfully, an effective omnichannel platform will deliver a resolution-centered, personalized experience to every customer — no matter how they connect with an organization.
Seventy-three percent of consumers point to customer service as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, making CX the No. 1 driver of brand loyalty. While brand loyalty is an important factor in the success of a company, it's shockingly fragile. In fact, one in three consumers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. Most of the 32 percent of customers willing to abandon a brand after a bad experience are the Gen Z and millennial generations, who assign lofty significance to how a brand treats and values them.
More companies should expand to the omnichannel customer service model. It has shifted from being appreciated to being largely expected by these market-driving generations of consumers. It promotes consistent brand messaging and enables companies to protect their customer relationships across multiple platforms. Right-place, right-time engagement can be the difference between whether a consumer chooses your brand or a competitor — and whether they stick with your brand for their next purchase decision
The Risks of Neglecting Social Media CX
The average social media user has roughly 865 followers across all platforms. No matter how strong a company’s other means of communication — phone support, chat operations, self-service — a lack of social media engagement exposes your brand to the possibilities of neglecting customer questions and feedback, resulting in a bad reputation when it comes to customer service. All it takes is one consumer posting a complaint on their social media platforms for their 865 followers to see. Furthermore, 60 percent of customers who complain on social media expect an initial brand response within 15 minutes. Brands lacking a social media customer response strategy, or brands with understaffed digital engagement teams, have no way of redeeming social media brand perception to consumers at a time when there's a mass customer pivot to social channel utilization for customer care.
Neglecting social media can also lead to inconsistent brand experiences that break customer loyalty, lose moment-of-purchase sales opportunities, and alienate shoppers in the research and observation stages. By using omnichannel communication, a brand can avoid these mistakes and keep the company’s reputation in the good graces of loyal customers.
Social Experience Management Solution Sets
Having consistent customer service across all channels can be greatly beneficial to a growing company, so it’s important to know how to do it right. Social experience management can be broken down into three solution categories: social care, reputation management, and content/community moderation. Utilizing these three categories and correctly implementing omnichannel approaches is the best way a company can provide the customer service and experiences that consumers expect to receive from their favorite brands.
Social care is the monitoring of all social media channels. The key is knowing when to listen and when to respond. It’s also essential to align all social media channels in messaging and brand voice. To do this well requires response teams ready to reply to all customer questions, complaints and praise. Having sales conversion and cart value strategies for consumers shopping through various media outlets is also important, as is detailed engagement and key performance indicator (KPI) reporting on engagement and brand performance.
A second specialized area of social experience management is reputation management, where companies complete all online reputation assessments and social media campaign activation. Screening for inappropriate or malicious content aimed at your brand can help companies get ahead of an issue before it escalates into a problem. It’s important to brainstorm brand, product, e-commerce and retail-based strategies that focus on review response, as well as addressing questions at the point of digital sale. These efforts can determine whether a consumer decides to buy your product or return to your location.
Another key component to reputation management relates to incorporating the right social media customer engagement campaigns. A great campaign will align with the efforts of the marketing team and agencies to maximize campaign reach and amplify the goals of current social promotions and objectives. Social media customer engagement campaigns can be fundamental to showing what values your brand has above and beyond basic digital customer care, which is another reason why it’s so important to incorporate into your brand’s strategy.
Finally, content and community moderation is another integral part of ensuring the company’s presence is being represented accurately across all platforms and that community forums are being cultivated in a way that promotes brand loyalists and new advocates alike. Moderating uploaded user/brand content (e.g., video, text and images), flagged content review as well as promoting community guideline enforcement are of high importance to grow digital communities while still following brand standards. Brands that pull all of these digital skills together to monitor all social channels, brand sites, and third-party sites can see the benefits when measuring CX through social engagements can set themselves apart from competitive brands.
As the omnichannel approach continues to rule CX strategies, having the best tools to measure interactions and implement company KPIs is of the utmost importance to ensuring a successful brand experience while boosting customer loyalty.
Roger Huff is vice president, digital engagement solutions at ResultsCX, a a premier customer experience partner to Fortune 100 and 500 companies worldwide.
Roger Huff is Vice President, Digital Engagement Solutions at ResultsCX. His experience in the business process outsourcing industry spans 13 years, with 10 years of experience concentrated on social media customer experience management. Roger leads solution development and sales of social media and digital CX solutions that span social CX, digital reputation management, and content & community moderation services. He has worked extensively with digital, e-commerce, insurance, healthcare, and retail companies to deliver specialized solutions that elevate brand reputations.