Three ways to cultivate loyal customers through social media

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Three ways to cultivate loyal customers through social media
It’s no secret that response time is a crucial component of CX.
Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Building human connection has always been at the heart of great customer experience (CX).

The pandemic has heightened the need for businesses to engage customers authentically and be part of the conversations on channels where they spend their time the most. The past few years have seen the number of social media users in Australia on the rise, with one in every three minutes spent online being on social media.

As a result, businesses have increasingly been leaning on social media to deliver outstanding CX – using platforms including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram to create meaningful experiences and build long-term customer loyalty. In fact, Zendesk’s recent research in partnership with Enterprise Strategy Group reveals that 73% of organisations across APAC anticipate chat and social channels will be heavily used by customers in the future, up from 54% today.

As we gear up for 2022, here are three ways you can leverage social media to take your CX to the next level and build customer loyalty for your business:

1. Respond to customers, faster

It’s no secret that response time is a crucial component of CX. Our research reveals that businesses with higher CX maturity offer their customers a faster response rate compared to those with lower CX maturity.

Businesses of all sizes can use social media to improve CX, and the depth of the approach can vary. Providing clear channels for support on social media platforms, even if the information only serves to direct customers to your help centers and support pages, is a major part of providing social support.

If the volume of social activity exceeds what your support team can manage, you can turn to customer service platforms to track social media inquiries and identify the ones that need to be attended to by support agents. This makes it easier to handle issues while still responding to customers on the platform where they reached out.

2. Bring customers into the loop and engage your audience

Social media can provide businesses with a unique opportunity to help customers feel connected to your brand. By sharing behind the scenes content, you can show customers company culture, staff, and everyday workings of the business. This can help build trust and create more meaningful relationships, which leads to a more personalised customer experience.

It’s also important to understand your customers’ behaviours on social media. Once you have a clear idea of who and where your customers are, you can create content specifically tailored to draw that audience in. This means your customers will be more engaged with your brand, which is essential to driving loyalty.

3. Humanise your brand and showcase your brand values

Even before the pandemic started, humanising your brand played a huge role in gaining customer trust. Now more than ever, businesses must humanise their CX approach by being empathetic, relatable and approachable.

Humanising your brand requires social listening – which involves tracking and analysing social media mentions of your brand, products, competitors, and industry. Social listening tools like Sprout Social can automatically track all relevant conversations and identify specific trends and interactions. Social listening can be used to uncover your customers’ perceptions and attitudes.

Social media enables you to make every customer service experience meaningful and showcase what you represent and who you are as a business. If what you have to say truly resonates with customers, they will want to keep coming back.

It’s no longer enough for companies to simply provide fast, friendly service. Customers want to buy from companies that reflect their values. Our CX Trends Report 2021 revealed that just under half of Australians want to buy from companies that prioritise diversity, equity and inclusion, and two thirds want to buy from companies that are socially responsible.

When looking to elevate your CX approach in the new year, refreshing the role social media plays in your overall CX strategy is a great place to start. Social media enables you to provide better, faster support on platforms where your customers already are. Building loyalty begins with connection, and social media allows you to do exactly that – by showing customers what you care about and why they should care too.

Malcolm Koh is Customer Experience Specialist at Zendesk.

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