Social Media can be a blessing or curse for businesses depending upon the customer or consumer experience (CX). Enhanced customer experience results in a stronger and deeper relationship with customers and, thus, increases their loyalty and trust, while bad customer experience can result into negative word-of-mouth. So customers are in the heart of any successful social media programs and, therefore, need special attention and care if one wants to get all of the benefits through social media.
Considering the worldwide explosion of Social Media, it looks a tempting channel for businesses. But they need to understand social customers better. Social customers are dramatically different from traditional customers as they are not passive consumers of informative anymore. Social customers are much more involved and engaged than the traditional media viewers i.e. TV watchers and magazine readers etc.
Customers are real people and people always want to talk with real people – not with brands and Social Media has provided the perfect platform for just that. Social Media has also given a platform to customers to communicate at C2C (Consumer-Consumer) level, but there is an opportunity for businesses in the form of access to huge C2C data. Businesses can use that information to much more informed decisions and tailor their product according to customers need. The best way to learn about the customers is to interact with them.
In this social media age, customers are much more connected, informed, outspoken, creative, often uncensored and unscheduled. They freely share their experiences with other consumers, even without the involvement of businesses. Now, customers are the people with megaphones and, therefore, not listening to them can cost businesses a lot.
Social customers do not like marketing and sales tones; rather they want businesses to collaborate and engage with them and solve their problem in real-time. They want to be the co-owner and co-create the products or services with the business. So businesses should interact in an attractive rather than interruptive way to entitle and delight them. Social customers are more out-spoken, they communicate with peers and share their experiences, have much more information about the services and products. They wanted real-time customer support and a solution to their problems. They also want to be the part of the company rather the prey. Businesses can’t get all the benefits over social media without giving customers the benefits that they want!
Understanding the social customers better allow businesses to go well beyond the transactional models and focus on engagement models. Knowing to customers better helps businesses to serve them better.
Businesses need to embrace this shift with a new strategy in which the role of the business is to collaborate and create dialogue with the customers.