Interested in learning more about how Messaging is transforming digital care? Of course you are! I warmly welcome you to join us for a 30 minute webcast coming up on Thursday 11/29 at noon Central. I will be co-presenting alongside my friend and colleague @AdamCo. We’ll be sharing information on utilizing Messaging to engage with your customers, as well as a quick demo of Lithium’s Brand Messenger. Sign up today!
Join us to learn:
How the evolution of consumer behavior is impacting the brand-consumer relationship
Why brand-owned messaging is a critical component of digital-first customer care
How brand-owned messaging across websites, apps and communities can benefit you and your customers
Here’s all the details:
When: Thursday November 29 at 12pm CT
What: Modernize your Digital Care Strategy with Messaging
Where: Registration link
See you there!
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AIR TRANSPORT: SURVIVING THE NEXT DECADE
Author: Dave Evans (@DaveEv) , Lithium VP, Social Strategy, Travel & Hospitality
Over the next ten years, a host of digital-first players along with online existing travel aggregators, travel service platforms, mobile apps and meta-search engines will significantly disrupt the industry. The ability to maintain control over passenger experience from consideration and booking to travel itself and the post-travel experience will seriously undermine your chances of locking in repeat customers. The pressure is on for airlines to compete and survive.
Survival depends on maintaining passenger loyalty in the face of this challenge. And loyalty is hard to come by, and even harder to retain – a Nielsen report shows that after one bad experience, 71 percent of British adults say they would switch to a different airline. 3
Travelers are pressed for time and, as a result, frustration and anxiety often run high. If an airline cannot provide fast, responsive, accurate answers the moment a traveler needs them, then they’ll upset an already unhappy customer and likely further damage the relationship. Looking at our own customer data across leading global brands, there is a clear evidence that quicker response times to social inquires results in a higher likelihood of positive sentiment conversation during the interaction. Conversely, this means that if anything goes wrong that results in agents being overwhelmed by incoming social posts you can expect a marked decrease in customer happiness. Ouch.
Add to that the fact that almost all of these complaints are taking place on public-facing channels: travelers are interacting in real time, with real problems, and the threat of going viral is never more than a Tweet away. One bad interaction can lead to an angry reaction that will have a significant ripple effect, damaging the brand for months and years to come. To sustain customer satisfaction and prevent against these social media crises, airlines are on the line to deliver satisfying — if not amazing — digital customer experiences via both social and digital channels. But, as we’ve seen time and again, this is proving to be incredibly difficult. Why?
Most social media management (SMM) products weren’t built with the scale and logistical complexity of an airline in mind – thousands of questions pouring in from different channels, from different countries and time zones, all of which need to be routed to the right person with the right answer. And quickly. In fact, most SMM products don’t even tie in to the airline’s larger customer databases, which would let the airline quickly see whether the person tweeting at them is a rewards member or has flown with the airline recently. Like many industries, airlines often have the various components of a good social/digital function – but siloes within the organization (between customer service, ground and in-flight operations, reservations sales, etc.) can lead to challenges in responding quickly and nimbly.
For example, in a crisis caused by delayed flights it can be incredibly helpful to have a community of customers you can call upon to assist in responding to basic questions, so that customer service agents can focus on resolving issues that involve a customer’s personally identifiable information. But without an integrated community and automated routing in your social customer service platform, it won’t happen and that’s a massive missed opportunity. Without an automatic way to scale and provide a seamless experience to the traveler, airlines will not be able to compete effectively against competitors born in the digital age.
One word of caution: if you think that bots are the answer to scaling customer service, think again. While a good social media management platform will have the APIs to incorporate bots, you take a huge risk if you try to replace humans with bots. During a customer’s crisis, they want and need a human to interact with. Bots may be able to automatically route interactions and address basic questions, but they cannot replace the value of an empathetic human being on the other end of the tweet.
Empowering your social customer care with a solution that is designed with customer experience in mind positions you to draw on every resource at your disposal (your customers, agents, experts, and community advocates) to provide fast, easy and accurate customer service.
With airline traffic continuing to double every 15 years 1 , the predominance of travelers booking via mobile (expected to be 80 percent by 2019 2 ), and the growing trend toward travel industry revenue growth happening online 5 , airlines who optimize their ability to create amazing digital customer experiences for customers now will be able to stay ahead (and stay alive) during the next decade.
This article was originally featured on Engage Customer on January 22nd, 2018.
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Successful social media is a marketing mandate for business today. It requires a campaign with a customer-first mindset that ignites conversations and amplifies reach. That includes compelling content strategies, traffic baselines, data analysis, a thorough knowledge of digital touchpoints, and relevant content that is in the moment. To be successful, the whole organization must be involved and engaged from top to bottom.
Successful media is nimble, scalable, holistic, and responsive. It maintains customer loyalty because it is never tone-deaf. It is fully engaged and prepared for the unexpected.
Want to learn essential tips for how to create successful social media campaigns? Lithium and Digital Marketing Depot presented a joint webcast on this topic and Digital Marketing Depot is presenting it in this whitepaper to help you take this info and make it actionable in your organization.
Download this whitepaper to:
Get 7 actionable tips to drive social engagement
Understand why social crisis planning is imperative
Learn how to create compelling content
Download your copy today!
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Social customer care is a core requirement of business. For most, this means building up the capability to both listen for opportunities to serve customers on social channels as well as the ability to respond.
And while many brands do this, too many customer posts are still left unanswered. Researching this, Maritz and Evolve24 looked at 1,298 Twitter complaints and found that only 29 percent got responses, which people generally appreciate receiving.
To address this, social teams are increasingly turning to engagement platforms that allow measurable performance, providing the equivalent of call-center process tracking for social channels. (Disclosure: The firm I work for, Lithium, makes one such platform.)
The nearer social channel performance measurement gets to established best practices for both customer management and agent performance against timeliness and productivity standards, the more likely firms are to invest. Carry that forward, and the balance of customer care resolutions happening in community and social channels will continue to shift as self-service and asynchronous social support is selected by customers and supported by brands.
Issues challenging social teams and operational leadership include processes still based on ad hoc tools – the use of various native UIs, for example – when engaging on social channels, driving support and training costs while making actual performance measurement difficult. Switching to a more robust engagement management platform can help, and as noted many firms do this.
But as customers switch toward social channels – driven by their desire to self-serve, or to seek service on their own terms and schedules – the complexity and volume of inquiries arriving on social channels increases. Again, research shows that this increasing complexity reduces agent effectiveness in meeting customer’s needs.
This is where an alternate strategy may help: in particular, the use of your own internal subject matter experts to assist agents.
The subject matter experts inside your own organization may be an untapped source of assistance for agents. Almost incredibly, 70 percent of the typical workforce feels “disengaged” with the purpose, intent of the businesses they work for. Additionally, across the board, firms use less than 40 percent of the skills they employ.
How are these related? Given the complexity of customers’ questions and the difficulty that even the best agents can face adequately answering them, the untapped knowledge present in most firms is an opportunity waiting to blossom.
The question, of course, is “How”? Subject matter is distributed throughout the organization, and have skills that may not be immediately obvious. By comparison, the social customer care team is specifically trained, and addressable if not located in a defined unit.
Linking the two requires a process that allows agents to easily connect with these subject matter experts while also making it just as easy for your subject matter to self-identify.
To do this, many social teams rely on “cheat sheets,” those lists of email addresses grouped by help topics that agents can come to rely on. But to support scalable processes, you’ll have ensure that both agents and experts are able to connect without the use of such cheat sheets.
These sheets not only go out of date, they overload the experts by failing to distribute requests for assistance across your broader skill base. To resolve both of these, look for an engagement platform with tools that allow agents to easily request help without requesting a specific expert. The platform should also allow experts to both self- select and opt in to the specific help topics they are personally interested in and qualified to help with.
Think eHarmony for customer support, on steroids. These platforms exist; adopt one.
So to up your social support game, take a look around your organization and consider resources outside of the customer care team as you build your engagement and support capabilities. Make better of your total skill base and you’ll create better customer experiences in the process.
That’s how you win.
Dave Evans is vice president of social strategy at Lithium Technologies and will be in Australia in February hosting a “Social Technology Shift Summit” in Melbourne Tuesday February 21 and Sydney Thursday February 23. For more information visit the Summit website.
This post original appeared in the ADMA blog.
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