IBM’s 5 Questions to Ask Before Approaching Social Customer Care

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Social media has opened a new frontier in customer service, allowing communicators to find and respond directly to customers in real time.

IBM, digital experience manager, Brandi Boatner
Brandi Boatner, Social & Influencer Communications Lead, IBM

But it has also made customer service a “spectator sport,” says Brandi Boatner, social and influencer communications lead, global markets at IBM. “Every person in the world can see a good comment or a bad comment. You see the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Social customer care goes beyond simply addressing customer service grievances on social media, though. It’s about driving further engagement with the customer or audience. “Customer service equals engagement. Social drives the engagement,” Boatner says. “My mantra for social customer care: do simple better.”

When making the case for social customer care for your own brand, it’s important to remember that greater engagement with the customer can help your brand in many ways. “Social customer care touches all the rules of engagement—your reputation and your bottom line,” Boatner says.

Speaking at PR News’ Digital PR & Marketing Summit in Miami, Boatner shared a few critical questions to ask to determine whether social customer care is right for your brand.

  1. How are you making customers aware of your products and services today?
  2. Are you currently leveraging digital customer experience strategies in your communications plans?
  3. Is innovation in your company limited by the experiences offered in traditional channels or conventional wisdom?
  4. What analytics are you tapping to understand why your customers interact with you over both traditional channels and social channels?
  5. What types of experiences do your customers expect your digital technologies to deliver, and how can you ensure you exceed these expectations?

Connect with Brandi: @ThinkBluePR

Connect with Samantha: @samantha_c_wood