Using Social Media to Improve Customer Experience

I can’t stress enough the importance of social media when working towards improving customer experience. We’re far more connected now than ever with product/service positives and negatives which are open for public discussion on our popular social media platforms.

I came across an interview with David Mingle, Director of Customer Management and Erich Marx, Director of Marketing at Nissan where they share how “Nissan Embraces Social Media to Improve Customer Experience”.

Listening & Responding

Just by listening to customers and engaging with Nissan’s audience as to what they wanted to see on Nissan’s social media websites, Nissan quickly understood there was a strong passion for sports and performance motor sport vehicles. In response to these findings, Nissan created a Facebook page dedicated to sports motor vehicles which received 3,500 likes in its first week.

It must be noted that sports motor vehicles were not a passion or something of great interest to Mingle or Marx yet they committed to this page purely for the customer. The marketing department used grass root organisations that they had contact with to spread the word about the page which went virally very quickly.

Opportunity

As well as this, the marketing department saw an opportunity to build an experience for a niche market of customers surrounding the electric car, the Nissan Leaf. They also mentioned that customers of this particular brand do not profile anything like the typical Nissan buyer – a niche market.

The experience was based on leveraging social media and the website by building a platform and a sales process that no other company in the automotive industry has been able to do. This approach saw the first 2 years of vehicles sold out through demand before the first car was delivered. Nissan was able to attribute the success of the sales people, who outperformed their peers, to the online presence and specifically conversations on Facebook.

Resources

One way the team bridged gaps between social and service was through the opportunity for deflection, or the ability to allow people to help themselves. There was engagement between the customer and company without having to contact a call centre. Both Marx and Mingle agreed that resources dedicated to social media marketing was the biggest challenge that needed to be overcome.

Customer Centric

Another great YouTube video I came across when researching this topic was called “Social Media Customer Engagement Best Practices” with Senior Vice President of Citibank, Frank Eliason, discussing online engagement. Eliason believes the application of best practice online engagement is best represented by Nike’s social media page. He believes that Nike post solely what the customer wants to read about.

Nike have completely taken themselves away from the messaging and have focused on delivering content in response to customer request. This is one of the most valuable tips I have come into contact with having read countless whitepapers on social media and customer experience. As soon as both B2C and B2B companies can incorporate this into their social media strategy, they will gain traction through their marketing campaigns.

Top 5 Tips:

 

  1. Don’t provide content that you want your audience to read about without asking them exactly what they would like to interact with first. For example, if the majority of Jetstar followers would prefer to read about deals and low cost flight specials, revolve your content around this.
  2. Have multiple product pages – Create unique pages for your products or services targeting your niche markets or profitable customers.
  3. If you decide to commit to a profitable Social Media Campaign, assign adequate resources to the job. Many companies are hiring specialist social media marketing individuals to own these projects and generate advertising into dollars. Is this investment worth it for your organisation?
  4. Measure customer experience and measure your social media campaign. This can be done by providing incentives for customers to walk into your store and receive a 10% discount for ‘liking’ a post or ‘following’ you on Twitter. Ask you customers as they walk into the store “how did you hear about this deal?”or “are you following us on facebook?”. One great example of a competition for online followers is Melbourne’s Whoopie Pie Bakery. They Post: “Ok bakers – the competition is still on. Get baking at home, whip up your own version of the famous Whoopie Pie! Take a photo of you and your creation and get as many likes as possible”.
  5. Target affiliated partners to assist you in getting your social media ball rolling. Use all the help you can get!

About Michael

After studying Marketing at both Wollongong University and the University of Technology, Sydney, Michael Worked in B2B Marketing for the Cronulla Sharks Football Club for 3 years. Currently at CRMNow, he looks at Customer Relationship Management as a vital aspect of successful business and with a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing he believes that all businesses have the potential to grow and remain profitable no matter the size.

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