News & Insight

The Social Customer Journey: How to Understand and Optimize the Social Customer Care Experience

The social customer journey is all over the map. Here’s how to make sense of it.

A new report from industry research firm Aberdeen Group titled “Social Customer Care: Three Steps to Best-in-Class Results,” states that companies delivering best-in-class social customer care improve customer satisfaction rates by more than 26% year-over-year compared to a 1.3% change in all other companies.

And that’s not the only area where companies that prioritize and optimize social customer care outperform those that don’t. According to Aberdeen, best-in-class companies also have more than double the increase in customer lifetime value, nearly double the revenue from referrals, as well as far higher profit margins per customer and a substantially increased return on marketing investments.

What does it take to deliver a best-in-class social customer care experience? You have to understand and then re-architect the customer journey.

The benefits of social customer care

Responding to customer-service related tweets, boosts willingness to spend by as much as 20% and increases likelihood to recommend by 30%.

Source: Wayne Huang, “Study: Twitter customer care increases willingness to pay across industries,” Twitter, October 5, 2016.

For social, the journey is all over the map

One of the things that makes social customer care so challenging is that it’s no longer simply a matter of monitoring Facebook and Twitter. These days, social customer care requires a comprehensive strategy and the resources to support it that encompass a far broader range of social channels:

  • Twitter and Facebook, of course, as well as Google+
  • atings and review sites such as Yelp, Google My Business, Amazon, and ConsumerAffairs
  • ative website review management such as Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews
  • ndustry-specific review sites such as TripAdvisor and Trustpilot
  • nstagram and Pinterest
  • logs and forums such as Reddit and PissedConsumer
  • uman resources review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed

Understand and optimize the customer journey for social

The insider secret to delivering superior social customer care is to get insight into the entire, end-to-end customer engagement journey—including all the touchpoints in all channels, not just social media—by creating a customer journey map. The customer journey map should also encompass not only the marketing perspective, but the operational processes involved in each customer touchpoint. This way, you get the entire picture of the customer relationship.

Once you understand the customer paths, perceptions, and behavior across your touchpoints and channels, then you can identify gaps and opportunities to achieve measureable improvement in the customer experience. You can understand why and when customers reach out to you on social media and what it will take to deliver the ideal customer experience on social as well as your other customer care channels.

Learn more about how to deliver social customer care in our free white paper, “Social Media Out of Control: Why You Need a Social-Savvy Customer Service Strategy.”