Making Customer Experiences Sharable

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How often do you tweet about a brand or business you’ve purchased from? Quite a lot, yeah? Even if you haven’t really posted anything about that effect meal you had or the greatest business advisor you’ve worked with, you’ve likely considered it. The reason is that these businesses offer a great customer experience. One that’s so good you have to tell your friends and family and everyone else who chances upon your tweet. That excitement a customer has is invaluable to a business—it’s the power of extraordinary customer experiences.

This week on the chat, we invited customer experience coach Dan Gingiss to chat with us about delivering awesome customer experiences. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Dan Gingiss
Topic: Making customer experiences sharable
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why should social media professionals care about customer experience?

Customer experience or CX is important because users and customers nowadays use social media to share both good and bad experiences they’ve had with a business.

Social media channels, and Twitter largely, have given customers a chance to speak directly to businesses they care about. This is a phenomenon of the internet era and brands should embrace it.

After all, not only is this a great way for brands to hear what their target audience thinks about their products and services, but it’s also an excellent way to assess your audience’s needs, survey them about their content preferences, and connect with them on a personal level so you can build your community around them.

Jim made an excellent point about the role of customer service in a social media professional’s workday. It’s important not to be a mere broadcaster and build a reputation, instead. Engage with your target audience and encourage them to engage in return.

Q2: What makes a customer experience sharable?

Sharable customer experiences are either great or unacceptable. Everything in between is too ordinary for people to care about or share across on their social media channels.

That’s why you should aim to deliver great customer experiences. Our guest told us about research done by Acquia, which found that 30% of respondents would share a negative experience on social media but 50% of people would share a positive one. This is an impressive statistic, but not a surprising one. If you think about it, even you and I would voluntarily share a great experience.

The key is to achieve a level where your customers automatically share on socials. If you’re having to constantly ask them for it, perhaps you’re still in the ordinary bucket.

A good way to think about this is to consider Dan’s WISER framework. It stands for Witty, Immersive, Shareable, Extraordinary, and Responsive.

When you consider the sort of experience your business is offering your customers, consider whether you address these key elements. That’ll help you create and offer noteworthy experiences.

Q3: How can you encourage customers to share their experiences on social media?

Mostly by doing something your customers aren’t expecting. The uniqueness of the experience will automatically make your customers tell others about it. We’re social animals, humans. If something awesome happens to us, we’ll make sure everyone we know hears about it.

On the flip side, as we mentioned before, don’t constantly push your customers to like or follow you on social media. If you have a branded hashtag, that’s great. But don’t pressurize your customers into sharing photos or opinions on social using your hashtag. The more instructions you give your customers, the less likely they are to do it. We don’t like people bossing us around, so be aware of what and how much you’re asking of your audience.

It’s a great thing that most of us want to share more positive experiences on social media. Use that natural tendency to your benefit—focus on creating more extraordinary experiences for your customers.

Q4: How should you respond to customers who share positive experiences?

Never ignore when someone shares a positive experience. Yes, we often think that it may not be necessary to say anything, but when we don’t do anything it signals that we don’t care about them.

Always acknowledge a positive comment—thank them, invite them again, say a few words about what their support means to you—whatever. Just don’t ignore them, ever.

Most brands don’t realize this, but customers don’t have to share their positive experiences. So if they do take the time and effort to share their experiences publicly on social media, you should appreciate it.

Q5: How should you deal with customers who share negative experiences?

First of all, treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Most people who complain on social media care about you and your brand and genuinely want you to rectify a problem.

If they reached out to you on social media, make sure you respond and try as best as you can to solve the issue on the same channel.

Many brands have a disconnect between the social media team and the customer service team, where the social media manager will reply to an angry customer’s tweet advising them to email or call customer support. From the outside, it doesn’t look good to a customer when you, as a brand, are shuffling them back and forth.

Of course, sometimes, you may have to get more details from a customer such as sensitive personal information. In that case, it makes sense to switch to a more one-on-one mode of conversation. But otherwise, always follow the mode of communication that the customer chose.

Software and telecommunication companies do this all the time because they often need specific details like a customer’s ID, email address, or device specifications.

Above all, when you hear from an angry customer, be empathetic, as Jeremy reminded us. Remember that they’re not attacking you personally. Put your personal emotions and frustrations aside and look at things from your customer’s perspective. That’ll help you address their needs compassionately.

Q6: Why is it important to have customers share their experiences on social media?

It’s important because it’s social proof. It’s so much better to have your customers rave about you than talking about yourself all the time. Reviews and ratings, feedback, comments, and overall cheerleading make you more credible to prospective customers.

For many successful businesses, happy customers are their biggest salespeople. When you do customer experience well, your customers will be happy to refer you to their friends and family, widening your reach.

Customer feedback and reviews act as excellent testimonials as well. We all look up a restaurant before we book a table—it’s the same with any business.

As Madalyn also emphasized, positive customer experiences are powerful social proof. People want to know how you are before they do business with you. That’s why it’s important to strive to have customers share their positive experiences.

Q7: Should you reward customers for sharing positive experiences?

You can always reward customers who share a positive note about you. Mention them on a post, like their post, share/retweet—engage with them in any way and that’ll assure them that you’re listening.

You can also take this a bit further and offer something more substantial to customers who share a positive experience. It doesn’t have to be anything specific or a guaranteed gift. Essentially, you’re trying to show your gratitude, and it’s important to make sure your audience knows that you’re not promising a ticket to the match if they share their experience with you.

As our guest pointed out, it’s crucial not to guarantee rewards. Otherwise, it may come across as if you’re ‘paying’ for compliments. This can take a nasty turn very quickly. You don’t want your audience thinking that you’re offering surprise gifts in exchange for reviews.

Q8: What are some ways to leverage CX shares to promote your brand?

A great way to use CX shares and feedback to promote your brand is to reply to these comments or tag those people in a post when you do implement their changes.

Even if it’s months or years later, they will know that you’ve been listening and taking in their suggestions. It also gives those old comments a boost, giving you a new reach that you didn’t have before.

Another good way to use positive feedback is to use it in other media. For example, if you receive a positive tweet, showcase that on your website as a testimonial or publish it in a brochure and hand it out at events. This way, you amplify your customer’s voice from one channel to another without a lot of effort.

And of course, the easiest thing to do is to retweet your customers’ positive tweets. It’s a quiet way of thanking them, promoting your brand, and making their day—all in one!

You can also take screenshots of comments, tweets, and direct messages (with permission!) and share to across your social media channels, as Madalyn suggested. This can be a handy way of making sure you have good testimonials to share throughout the year.

Lance shared another great example from his personal life about how brands can leverage customer experiences. He once shared a negative experience on social media. The company engaged with him and made things right. But instead of stopping there, they invested in the relationship, and now, Lance is working with them to help them identify campaign opportunities.

There’s an important lesson for all of us here: whether you’re dealing with a happy or upset customer, always personalize your message for them and communicate with them clearly. Sometimes, all a customer needs is the reassurance that you’re working on fixing their problem.

Well, that’s all from me, folks. Thanks for reading through, and for more insights from our chat with Dan, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. Afterward, we also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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