5 ways social media can boost omnichannel customer service

October 9, 2021

Today's customer preferences are radically different from 20 years ago. Having a single point of contact (a physical store or a website) with customers is no longer enough. This is because people today are more connected than ever. They are present on various digital channels and they expect your business to be there too.

In fact, a research conducted by CX Today showed that 9 out of 10 consumers responded that they expect omnichannel service from companies.

By being present on different social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more, you can make sure that no matter where or when a customer wants to interact with you, they will be able to.

In this blog post, we'll explore 5 reasons why being present on multiple social media channels is the key to boosting your omnichannel customer service.

What is omnichannel customer service?

Before we get to the benefits, let's get our feet wet and understand what omnichannel customer service really means. Omnichannel customer service is the act of providing customers with the same high-quality service, regardless of the channel they are using.

This may involve using channels such as the company website, social media, or call centers to respond to your customers' inquiries, resolve issues, provide information, or even take orders.

Why is social media vital for omnichannel customer experience?

Social media, as we all know, is a term used to describe various types of channels for exchanging information, ideas, and pictures. However, from a business perspective, it is an online communication platform that allows companies to acquire, communicate and interact with customers, provide assistance and share information.

Digital channels like Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp have become so vital to any business operation that these social media platforms had no choice but to offer specialized services tailored to business needs.

Some advantages of social media:

  • Any company can get their message out on social media, regardless of their budget.
  • Social media reviews are a great way for companies to understand their strengths and drawbacks. They provide real time feedback, which businesses can act on immediately.
  • Channels like Instagram and Facebook have a much wider reach than traditional methods such as print or TV.

Why make social media a part of your omnichannel customer service?

Now that we have a clear understanding of omnichannel customer service and how influential social media is, let's take a look at the reasons why social media should be an integral part of your omnichannel customer service strategy.

1. Social media growth continues

Even after two decades, social media growth continues. There are around 3.78 billion social media users throughout the world, which is nearly half of our planet's population! This number is projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025.

This means that most of your customers and potential clients are present on different social media platforms where they might want to contact you, ask a question and engage. The main question is — can they find you there?

2. Customers prefer social media

Social networks are not just applications installed on customers' phones. For many people, it is a core part of their daily life. On average, people spend 2.5 hours a day on Facebook and Instagram to communicate with friends, businesses, and learn about what's happening in the world.

In fact, when asked which communication methods provide brands the best chance to connect with their customers, respondents ranked social media as the top option.

Perhaps the above findings also have to do with the nature of social media platforms. Although social media platforms allow voice and video calls, their main communication use is still sending text messages, and as Facebook found, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents say they would rather text a company than talk to them on the phone.

This shows how customer preferences are changing, and that social media is at the center of those preferences.

3. It helps build trust and loyalty

One of the benefits of social media is how it enables customers to interact with brands. Not only can your customers send you a private message, but they can also comment, leave a review, or tag you in a post. Excellent customer service not only solves problems but also fosters a relationship with customers.

Each interaction mentioned above is an opportunity for companies to engage with customers, respond to their comments, and positively represent themselves. Did your customers tag you in a post with your product? Reply to their post and welcome them on board. Did they leave a negative review? Use it as an opportunity to show them and others how much you care, and that you will do everything you can to solve the problem.

Customer engagement possibilities offered by social media are endless, and you should take advantage of them.

4. It helps you upsell

Social media is a perfect place not only to acquire new customers, but also to upsell to existing ones.

Every inquiry or interaction from your customers is an opportunity for you to offer them more information, and expose them to other products, discounts, or services you might offer.

For example, if a customer contacts a clothing company asking about winter hats, the business may, after answering the question, use that opportunity to encourage the customer to check out their new scarves, or claim a discount when purchasing multiple products at once.

5. Social media offers the best of both worlds

Customers don't like email support because it doesn't provide dynamic, real-time communication. They also don't like call centers because ... well, just because customers don't like making phone calls.

Texting on social media is a golden middle that relieves customers of the burden of calls while providing the desired real-time support. With the help of social media, when a customers wants to know the status of their shipment, they will no longer have to call or send an email — all they need to do is open your Facebook page, or add your WhatsApp number, and ask.

Examples of five-star social media customer service

  • WixHelp - Wix, a web development company, has a special help center account on Twitter that offers instant assistance to its customers. Their account is dedicated to providing fast, accurate answers to questions about their services, and more.
  • Zappos - Zappos is an online shoe and clothing retailer that has become known for its excellent customer service. The company guarantees the same excellence in service on its social media channels, aiming to get a response time of under 20 minutes with a response rate of 100%. Exactly that customer-centric approach is why Zappos enjoys millions of followers on each of its social media platforms.
  • ASOS - ASOS is strongly focused on keeping its customers satisfied and understands that being active on platforms where their target audience spends the most time is key to that. For this reason, the company does not have a call center, and offers superb service on social networks — they are active only where their customers are.
  • Nike - Nike is a company that needs no introduction. We all know what Nike's slogan is, and we shouldn't be surprised by their "Just do it" mindset when it comes to high-class customer service. They offer their customers 24/7 social media support.
  • Amazon - With great power comes great responsibility, and Amazon is a perfect example of this. The company understands that its customers are from all over the world. For exactly that reason, Amazon's social media support offers assistance in 12 languages!

There are two sides to every coin

Having a presence on multiple social media platforms offers great benefits. However, it also comes with some challenges. Keeping up with all the inquiries and activities across multiple channels is a real challenge for businesses. And with the ever-increasing emergence of social media platforms on the market, this is becoming even more difficult.

How can you, as business, ensure that your customers get fast, high-quality service on all platforms?

The answer is easy - connecting all social media channels in one unified inbox, like the Rasayel omnichannel inbox. Our team understands how nerve-wracking it can be when you have hundreds of unread messages in your inbox.

With Rasayel, all of your messaging channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and SMS, are connected in one simple, fast inbox. You can collaborate with your team members, so that everyone on your support team is on the same page, and take advantage of the native features that channels like WhatsApp and Instagram offer.

Get started for free — you'll be up and running in less than 10 minutes.

Conclusion

Due to advances in technology, the customer journey, both online and offline, is more connected than ever. Your customer can see your product ad on social media, visit your website, and finalize their purchase in a physical store.

Such an omnichannel journey requires the same omnichannel support.

In the era of real-time customer service, customers want you to be available at all times, and demand immediate responses. Email and phone support doesn't cut it anymore.

As a result, social media has become the best way for companies to connect with their customers and provide them fast, quality service.

Judging from the trend of companies launching on multiple social media channels and being as active as ever, we can say, with confidence, that you're only losing to the competition if you're not doing so as well.