For the modern consumer, digital plays a big role in customer service and the way that the brand is perceived online. At a meet up event for Digital Simplified, the importance of these digital channels could not be stressed enough. Guest speaker Tracey Mathers is the third generation of the family owned retailer Mathers Shoes. With 25 years of retail experience running through her veins she has learnt to deal with the excitement, stress and challenges of running a successful business. Tracey discussed her digital journey sharing many key mistakes made by retailers in the digital world and how to mend theses common flaws.
Digital channels are the first place the majority of consumers go for company interaction. Whether it be to give feedback, ask questions, post reviews or share content. Effective use of digital, and in particular social media channels will have a vast impact on the success of any business. Not having a digital footprint in this digital age is said to ‘ultimately bankrupt a company’, and “If you’re not doing it because you’re uncomfortable, get over yourself” as Tracey bluntly puts it. Giving businesses the drive they need to ultimately make digital work for them.
The importance of listening to your target market was a key takeaway from the event. Communicating to your customer without taking the time to fully understand them creates a missed opportunity; it means you are unlikely to give them an experience that resonates. Taking the time to do or outsource market research is a key factor of effective modern customer service.
When customers buy, they want to connect, they want to know your story to make a connection with the product. Social media allows businesses to do just so, cost effectively. Tracey cleared 5,000 pairs of shoes over the course of three weeks using Facebook live. She draws on this experience and explains, “communication is one of the most important keys in the success of any message”. Videography played a large part in the communication channel that allowed Tracey to do the unthinkable – driving sales through the roof.
Industry best practice involves, responding to emails and social media messages promptly; within a 12-hour period. Reducing the risk of missed sale opportunities. Responding to interaction and posts about your company online, whether it be positive or negative. Showing gratitude towards a positive experience and showing empathy for a poorly handled situation because both situations will occur within every business. Explaining the situation and allowing the opportunity to make amends without deleting posts. Website social links should be checked and be working, allowing the customer to connect with your brand socially.
Customer service needs to be the main concern with every interaction, online or in person. Training and communicating to employee’s excellent customer interaction techniques is vital for client traction and positive public relations. The recent United Airlines incident is an example of how poor customer service and management can go horribly wrong. The debacle saw United mercilessly mocked and lost billions in business and company value. Showing that in this digital word, a positive word can go a long way but negativity can go even further.
This article is authored by our social media and marketing intern Elzette Genis.