What is Social Care?
Basically, it is customer service. It’s simply customer service delivered online, usually through social networks.
Why is this essential in today’s day and age? More and more consumers are turning to the Internet to get their customer service issues resolved. People would rather tweet about something or post it on Facebook than they would pick up the phone or send an email.
Often online social care is delivered much more quickly than standard customer care. Underlying this is the simple fact that issues posted online are public. You’re not simply dealing with one person on the other end of the phone. Not at all. It’s public. The whole world can see the issue, so if it’s not resolved quickly, everyone knows about it.
For franchises this means that they not only need a system to provide customer care through social networks. They need to a system to provide customer care through social networks to all of their customers at any of their franchises world-wide. Your social care policy is this system.
Delivering good customer care is really quite simple. It’s a matter of:
- monitoring conversations;
- listening to what your audience is saying; and
- responding in a positive way.
Keep in mind that even negative criticism about your franchise can be positive if it is handled appropriately.
As part of your social care policy, it is important to have a customer care response guide in place. First, this will define who is responsible for responding to online customer service issues: franchisor or franchisees. Second, it will ensure that whoever is handling it, whether it is the franchisor or franchisee or both, knows exactly how to respond in any given situation.
When you have a social care policy in place, you’ll also know how to handle damage control when it’s necessary. Whether it is damage control due to an employee or franchisee or to someone in your audience, it’s crucial to know how you’ll handle it in advance of things happening.
The reality is that people are talking about your franchise, whether you’re there to hear it and respond or not. Be there. Monitor the conversations. Listen to what your audience is saying.
Then, have your social care policy in place so you know exactly where to take things from there. You’ll find that this will bring you increased customer loyalty and more new customers.
There’s absolutely no downside to good social care.
Frances Leary, President Wired Flare
Wired Flare, Inc., is a Canadian online marketing firm that develops and implements Internet marketing campaigns for franchises and organizations worldwide. She is also a published author and professional speaker, whose MA in folklore led to the development of a unique marketing approach that serves as the foundation of Wired Flare’s methodology.
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