Cover Story: Are You a Social CRM Native?
2. What CRM activities are social media best used for today?
Answer: a. Engaging in two-way conversations with customers that can be leveraged to create positive experiences, online and offline
"The best thing you can do is focus on creating relevant, engaging experiences one-on-one in social media, and creating experiences outside of the social network that have a social component," says Leslie Schultz, vice president of digital strategy at The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks, based in Yardley, Pa. "Create a relevant, useful experience that learns about the customer, then apply what you learn to engaging the customer in the future. What's in it for the customer? It needs to be an engagement exchange."
One of the biggest strengths of social media is the opportunity to engage in these one-on-one conversations and learn what that customer, as an individual, wants from your brand. Then you can turn around and take what you've learned to tailor your message to individual customers, instead of sending out general, non-targeted messages.
"One thing that works really well is simply responding, listening to and empathizing with customers who have problems—on behalf of the brand," says Odden. "The anger of some customers can be mitigated, simply by acknowledging that there is a problem and the process to solve it is starting. People want to be heard and want to know that the brand they are paying money to is listening to them."
3. How should you handle customer complaints on social networks?
Answer: c. Engage complaining customers in dialogue and work with them to find a solution
Social media is still new enough that many brands are still finding their way, but our experts agree there are a few types of mistakes they see repeated over and over again: hard-sell messages; talking "at," rather than "to," your customers; and trying to ignore negative feedback rather than respond.