The 5 killers of customer care on social and how to save the day for your customers and brand

Dileep Mallick

August 8, 20238 min read

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I have this little (okay, a pretty darn big) pet peeve, and it’s been killing me. It’s been wringing my neck so much that I just had to voice it out. Got a minute?

I’m talking about how frustrated I get when I message someone and they don’t reply for hours or even days! Not a word — I’ve been ghosted.

Have you ever felt that way, too? Oh, and it definitely can get worse.

What about the times when you’re pouring your heart out to someone you think cares about you? There you are hoping for a sympathetic ear — some helpful advice. But as you’re talking, they’re scrolling through their phone and nodding along, without really listening to a single word. Oh, and they’re lightyears away from feeling you. 

♫ You’re on hold — queue the endless muzak for your nightmare ♫ 

Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s pretty much what you get as a customer when you want immediate solutions.

So, yeah, this pain of mine isn’t different from what way too many customers experience with brands — every minute of every day on every social channel, over and over again.

In fact, a study in 2021 found that 80% of customers expect companies to reply to their comments and messages on social media within a day. If that doesn’t make you toss and turn in bed, here’s some more nightmare fuel: almost half of them said that they’d stop doing any sort of business with a company if it doesn’t respond to a negative comment at all.

And nowadays, customers aren’t simply twiddling their thumbs and awaiting a reply for 24 hours. No, they want it within an hour.

Now that you’ve got the facts — I wasn’t being overly dramatic, was I?

Your social media can kill your business, but let’s see how exactly. Then, I promise a heroic way for your brand to survive — no — triumph through it all.

Table of Contents

Killer #1: Impersonal and time-devouring responses
The hero: Messenger bots

Yeah, I know, "bot" used to be a bad word — the boogeyman of the Internet, just waiting to “spamify” our inboxes. But, guess what? Today’s bots are actually boss, if you get the right ones (sort of like getting the right people). Why? It’s because they:

  • Give accurate, instant solutions to impatient customers

  • Provide personalized, individual-specific responses

  • Leverage go-to, empathetic messaging platforms

And the best part? Brands can get real creative with their bots. Take Whole Foods, for example. They launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that helps people find recipes by using emojis alone. Just choose a food emoji like a banana or eggplant, and voila! You get a recipe that includes those foods. Pretty neat, huh?

Various recipes on Whole Foods' Facebook Messenger chatbot interface.

In an “expectation economy,” where customers want information at their fingertips, it’s vital to meet them where they are. So, if your brand’s looking to up its customer care game, it might be time to build your own messenger bot

Killer #2: Poor understanding of what customers prefer and how to engage them
The hero: Instagram and X, formerly Twitter stories polls

Do you like spacing out to memes and cat videos? Honestly, who doesn’t? But those aren’t the only things that Instagram and X, formerly Twitter are good for. Did you know that, each day, more than 500 million users publish Instagram stories and almost 238 million users pop open the X, formerly Twitter app?

And since brands can now use interactive polling tools to engage users, they can ask all sorts of questions to their followers. Want to find out what kind of content they’re into? Just ask. Want to know which products they simply can’t do without? Just ask. Oh, how about what generally interests them? Just ask. Simply asking through polls can help you:

  • Find out what content your users prefer

  • Engage audiences more effectively

  • Gain valuable feedback and perform product research while you’re at it

Now, consider Tribe Hummus. This food brand used Instagram Stories polls to ask followers about their favorite hummus flavor. By doing this, not only did they get valuable feedback, but they could also engage their audience with their fun side.

Tribe Hummus Instagram stories asking the user to pick a flavor of choice on a poll.

Over at Twitter-land, TrackR launched a poll asking followers which items they most often misplaced around the house, while Evernote asked users how they jump-started their Mondays.

It’s an epic way to spark a conversation and get insight into what your audience is thinking.

A Twitter poll post by Evernote that's asking users what their week's first agenda

So, the next time you’re struggling to engage your audience on social media, don’t forget about these polling tools. They’re fun, they’re easy and they help get the feedback you need about your followers. And, who knows? You might just learn something new that you can use to create even better customer experiences in the future. 

Killer #3: Chaos in the customer’s journey
The hero: Custom mobile apps

Today, the smartphone has pretty much become an extension of any person’s dominant hand. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that about 6.8 billion people use smartphones globally in 2023. Got to get with evolution at some point, right? And mobile apps are expected to make more than a staggering $935 billion in revenue in the very year! 

But did you know that these apps aren’t just changing the way people shop online — they’re revolutionizing the way we shop in-store, too? These apps can:

  • Integrate the online and offline retail experience for exceptional customer care

  • Help customers in planning shopping trips and more with ease

  • Assist customers in making the most of their buying journey with features like augmented reality 

For example, thanks to the Home Depot app, customers can plan their shopping trip, create a list and even find similar items with the click of a picture. And if you want to see how that plush sofa would look in your living room, the augmented reality feature has got you covered!

By unifying the online and in-person retail experience through their apps, brands can bring top-notch customer care to every stage of the customer journey. So, the next time your agent’s on a business call, make sure that they remind the customer to whip out their phone and take advantage of all the helpful features that your app offers.

Killer #4: No ear on the pulse of the customer
The hero: Social listening platforms

So, you think you're keeping track of all the social messages about your brand? Think again! There are tons of conversations happening out there that don't mention you directly. Maybe someone’s talking about a product in your industry, speaking about how your competitors aren’t a good fit for them, or even misspelling your brand name (ouch!). 

But don’t you break a sweat just yet. You don’t have to put on a Sherlock hat and comb the dreaded tangles of the Internet. A trusty social listening tool can be the Dr. Watson you need to: 

  • Scan through millions of social media conversations to find the most relevant posts

  • Filter out irrelevant social media chatter with AI filters

  • Organize important social posts by keywords, brand names, hashtags, trends and even sentiment 

Talk about “elementary,” huh?

Take Microsoft, for example. They've got a Customer Experience Platform that pulls in a whopping 150 million conversations each year. That's a ton of social media chatter! But with the help of AI filters to weed out the irrelevant stuff, they just need to hold a magnifying glass over about 5 million posts. But they don't just handle customer issues — they also use comments and suggestions to improve their products and show their customers that they’re listening. It's like having a focus group of millions of people!

So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed by all the online chatter, just remember: a social listening tool can be your trusty sidekick. 

Killer #5: One-sided view of customers and siloed information
The hero: Internal communication channels

Imagine this: you’re talking to a social service rep, but it feels like you’re starting from scratch every time you have a new issue. It’s like they have amnesia! You’re thinking, “Didn’t I tell you this already? Can’t you just remember what I prefer?” 

And who can blame the poor fella with the headset on? They haven’t the slightest clue about the customer’s history with your brand. Now, here’s where open internal communication can be that secret sauce that earns the chef’s kiss. It can:

  • Help your agents in getting a 360-degree view of every customer by using CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service), which includes prior user interaction with marketing and sales teams

  • Assist agents in making the customer journey smooth by keeping them up-to-date on all the necessary information 

  • Dissolve internal silos so information flows smoothly between teams and departments 

Your agents would know everything there is to know about the customer and be able to give a solution with a snap of their fingers.  

Brands need to crack those internal silos and make information flow between teams. This way, when a customer needs help on social media, the care representative already knows everything about previous interactions, so they can pick up right where the customer left off. C'est magnifique

The final act

Well, it’s time for the verdict. If your brand wants to bring the killers of customer care on social media to justice, it needs to create meaningful relationships with customers, just like any hero would. Providing convenient and responsive customer care consistently will help you save the day, each day and every day. Social media is the prime platform for customers to interact with businesses, and their expectations are nothing short of sky-high. Scary? Not at all — not when you have incredible superpowers, like messenger bots and social listening tools, to give quick, personalized, and creative fixes for all your customers’ crises. So, don't think twice about using these enhanced abilities to build a loyal customer base that looks up to you in admiration. 

Want to be the knight in shining armor to your customers? Why not give the first purpose-built AI-Powered CCaaS Platform a shot? You don’t have to buy it; you just have to try it. If a demo isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can always reach out to us, and we can fill you in on all the details.

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