Social media has become an integral part of our lives. We are constantly connected and consuming content through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. With its rising popularity, social media has also become an important customer service channel for brands to connect with their audience.
In the world of social media management, CR refers to Consumer Response. It indicates a brand’s response to consumer interactions like comments, queries, feedback, and complaints on social media platforms. CR management is vital for brands today to maintain a consistent social media presence and nurture customer relationships.
What is Consumer Response?
Consumer response or CR refers to the conversations between a brand and its audience over social media platforms. It includes:
- Responding to consumer queries and questions
- Addressing consumer feedback and reviews
- Handling consumer complaints and issues
- Interacting with followers through polls, contests etc.
An effective CR strategy is essential for brands to craft relevant and personalized responses at scale and turn followers into loyal customers. It also enables brands to identify rising issues and negative sentiment and take corrective actions.
Importance of CR Management
Here are some key reasons why consumer response management should be a priority for brands on social media:
Improves Brand Reputation
Responding to customers builds trust and improves brand reputation. 72% of consumers say quick response on social media improves their perception of a brand. Unresolved complaints on the other hand can tarnish brand image.
Drives Loyalty & Advocacy
Customer experience is a key driver of loyalty. According to a study, 42% of customers with resolved complaints were likely to recommend the brand. CR management helps deliver better CX.
Provides Consumer Insights
Consumer conversations are a goldmine of insights. CRM teams can analyze conversations to identify rising complaints, feedback on new products, purchase intent signals etc.
Enhances Customer Service
With rising D2C engagement, customers expect brands to be responsive on social media. An effective CR strategy augments overall customer service.
By building relationships with followers, answering their questions and delighting them, brands can influence buying decisions and drive sales.
Challenges in Managing CR
Here are some key challenges faced by brands in consumer response management:
Volume of conversations
Popular brands have millions of followers across platforms. Tracking and responding to so many consumer conversations is difficult to scale.
Consumers can reach out on various platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. Managing responses across channels becomes unwieldy.
Consumers expect quick responses on social media. Delayed responses can negatively impact brand perception.
It’s difficult to manually track CR KPIs like response rate, resolution time, sentiment etc. for reporting purposes.
Lack of context
Sometimes brands lack context from previous conversations, making it difficult to resolve issues.
Best Practices for CR Management
Here are some best practices brands should follow to streamline consumer response on social media:
Set up workflows
Use social media management tools to set up smart workflows to assign, escalate and track responses. This ensures no query falls through the cracks.
Prioritize responding to consumer conversations within the first hour. 92% of customers expect a response within 5 hours.
Train social media customer service agents on brand voice and tone. Empower them to resolve routine queries independently.
Leverage AI like chatbots and machine learning to respond to common questions instantly and route complex ones to agents.
Actively listen to conversations across platforms to identify emerging issues and negative sentiment. This allows for proactive service recovery.
Track CR KPIs like response time, resolution rate, sentiment etc. to identify areas of improvement.
CR Management Software
Manually monitoring and responding to social CR can be challenging at scale. Specialized social media management platforms help brands streamline, track and enhance consumer response. Key features of such tools include:
A unified inbox brings all social conversations from multiple channels into one view for easy management.
Pre-defined rule-based workflows route conversations to right teams and agents.
AI tools like chatbots can offer instant responses to common questions and requests.
Features like shared inboxes and internal notes allow agents to collaborate for complex issues.
Integrating social media platforms with existing CRM systems provides agents with customer context.
Reporting & Analytics
Graphs, reports and analytics provide insight into response performance and consumer sentiment.
Leading social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Sprinklr offer robust CRM capabilities to drive customer excellence.
Steps to Improve Social CR Management
Here are some key steps brands can follow to improve consumer response on social media:
Audit response performance
Conduct an audit to identify response time, backlogs and platform gaps.
Clearly define roles for social media teams and customer service for managing CR.
Frame standard response protocols and workflows based on query types.
Set up analytics
Implement social listening and CRM analytics to uncover insights.
Invest in tools
Evaluate and invest in appropriate social media management tools.
Conduct regular training to equip agents with skills to manage various conversation types.
Ensure proper internal communication between social media, CS and other teams.
Key Metrics to Track
Here are some important CR metrics brands should track on an ongoing basis:
Percentage of consumer conversations responded to
First Response Time
Average time taken for first response
Average time taken to resolve conversations
Percentage of issues resolved successfully
Customer Satisfaction Score
CSAT scores based on survey feedback
Positive, negative or neutral consumer sentiment
Number of daily/monthly consumer conversations
Most Discussed Topics
Key topics being discussed by consumers
How to Measure ROI of CR Initiatives
Brands can measure the ROI of consumer response management using these methods:
Compare metrics over time
Measure how response rate, resolution times, CSAT etc. improve month-on-month.
Customer lifetime value
Analyze how effective CR boosts repeat purchases and CLTV of acquired customers.
Net promoter score
See how social CR initiatives impact brand’s NPS scores over time.
Attribute sales driven from social channels to CR efforts.
Lower service costs
Compare cost of queries resolved directly on social vs. other channels.
Compare with competitors
Benchmark your CR metrics against competitors.
Social CR Best Practices Examples
Here are some real examples of great consumer response management and tactics deployed by leading brands:
Airbnb aims to respond to @mentions on Twitter within 5 minutes, ensuring timely customer service.
Starbucks’ social media reps personalized responses with customer names and details of issues.
JetBlue reaches out proactively on social media to resolve customer complaints before they escalate.
Sephora uses social platforms to start conversations, before smoothly transitioning them to email/chat for complex issues.
Swift Issue Resolution
Spotify has dedicated teams monitoring social 24/7 empowered to independently solve issues like billing quickly.
Shopify integrates social media platforms with their CRM system, giving agents access to customer history.
Tips for Effective Social CR
Here are some tips for brands to deliver effective consumer response on social media:
Use empathetic tone and language, especially when responding to complaints.
Ensure consistency in brand voice across agents and platforms.
Choose right platform
Resolve simple queries on social media itself, move complex ones to other channels.
Turn negative to positive
Convert negative feedback into an opportunity to improve.
Monitor unstructured data
Monitor live chats, video comments etc. to understand true consumer sentiment.
Be transparent in communicating with customers, don’t hide brand’s faults.
Surprise and delight
Look for opportunities to delight customers with surprises on social media.
Common Social CRM Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about social media consumer response management:
Why is CRM important on social media?
CRM helps brands nurture customer relationships, improve brand perception, address issues proactively and drive loyalty on social media.
How often should brands respond on social media?
For optimal customer experience, brands must respond within the first hour and resolve most queries within 24 hours.
What tools do you need for social CRM?
A social media management platform with collaboration, automation and analytics capabilities is essential for streamlining social CRM.
Who should handle social CRM?
Dedicated social media customer experience teams must handle consumer response, along with collaboration from overall CS team.
How do you track social CRM performance?
Key metrics like response rate, resolution time, sentiment, conversation volume need to be continuously tracked.
With the phenomenal growth of social media, consumer response management has become crucial for brands today. Promptly responding to queries, feedback and complaints at scale can help improve customer experience. Investing in the right strategies, processes and tools is vital for brands to deliver effective CR on social platforms. By taking a customer-centric and proactive approach, they can drive loyalty and business growth through social media.