These terms are thrown around a lot in the social media realm. They’re often used interchangeably so it can be confusing to gain an understanding of which engagement approach is right for your brand.
When it comes down to it, social customer care is about building relationships with your audience and engaging, whether your company is B2B or B2C.
Social customer care encompasses the entire relationship between a brand and its customers. From being an accessible resource to providing ongoing support and creating delightful customer experiences, you can build customer loyalty and increase sales with the right social strategy.
Sprout Social makes it easy to manage and analyze your social customer care strategy. The platform helps you engage with incoming messages, find and join conversations and track profile, network and individual performance around your customer care approach.
Three Types of Customer Care
Understanding the three core segments of social customer care is crucial. No matter the size of your business, you can easily add and maintain these care initiatives using Sprout to manage, execute and measure.
Preemptive communication anticipates incoming messages around a planned event or potential disruption of service to keep your customers in the loop. To do that, you’ll want to publish content that is clear, helpful and informative.
If you know you’re going to have a service outage for regularly scheduled maintenance, inform your community of scheduled downtime in advance. This will preempt any inconvenienced customers while saving your social team a lot of time in dealing with the potential response.
Proactive communication sparks a conversation with your customers. To do that, you’ll want to publish content that resonates and elicits some sort of action or reaction from your audience.
Does your social team receive a lot of the same questions about your product? Then you should proactively share resources, such as best practices and tips, to keep your community informed while opening up your social team to tackle more pressing matters.
Reactive communication engages with incoming messages. Respond with content that is helpful and direct to meet your audience’s needs.
Does your brand receive incoming messages from new or potential customers? Reactively engaging with your audience will cement those relationships, and help you find new opportunities in the market.
Executing Social Customer Care
Sprout makes it easy for brands to manage the entire customer care spectrum, from publishing to engaging to reporting.
The Publishing toolset encompasses creation and management of preemptive and proactive communications. The Compose window enables you to draft, queue, schedule and submit messages for approval, while the calendar provides a visual of outgoing content.
The Smart Inbox is the central hub of engagement and the place to manage reactive communications. With a unified stream of incoming messages across profiles and networks all in one place, users can engage with their audience, monitor keyword searches, task messages to other users and mark messages complete to clear out of the inbox.
Sprout’s suite of reports enables you to measure communication reports across the customer care spectrum. A range of network, profile and message-level data helps you understand customer care success and its impact on your social presence. Advanced keyword, productivity and trend analysis helps you identify valuable opportunities and areas for improvement.
Managing Preemptive Customer Care
Getting important messages in front of your audience at the right time is key for preemptive customer care. You can use Sprout’s Publishing toolset to create and manage preemptive communications.
Message Tags to categorize published messages
Scheduler to optimize publishing times
Message Approval to review drafted messages
Mobile app to communicate while on the go
Publishing Calendar to visually monitor scheduled messages
Analyzing Preemptive Customer Care
Understand when and how your team is communicating important messages to your audience. Use Sprout’s suite of reports to analyze preemptive customer care communications.
Tag Report to analyze performance of grouped messages
Team Report to track your team’s posting behaviors
Sent Messages Report to understand reach and engagement
Managing Proactive Customer Care
Providing informative and engaging content to your audience will strengthen your relationships and position your brand as a thought leader. You can use Sprout’s Publishing toolset to create and manage proactive communications.
Message Tags to categorize published messages
Scheduler, Optimal Send Times, Queue & ViralPost to improve reach
Message Approval to collaborate and ensure quality content
Custom Link Tracking to trail published messages
Organic post targeting to reach relevant audiences
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