When it comes to social media and customer care the discussions on various panels at this year's SXSW Interactive talked about listening to customers, engaging with customers and giving up control to your customers. Often easier said then done. Engaging customers online that are angry with you or unhappy with your brand is not always one's first instinct. However, the speed and ease at which customers can share information online and help shape and define your brand has led to a shift in who controls brand reputation. As we often say at Sprint - the conversation is going to happen with or without you. It's up to you to decide if you want to be a part of the conversation and help shape the message.
At Sprint we often refer back to the stop, look, listen and respond process of social media engagement. During a SXSW panel on customer engagement one speaker provided his own guidelines.
H = helpful
E = engaging
A = accessible
R = responsive
Customer engagement through social media can be a scary prospect for businesses. But when it comes to customer care and brand building, the explosion of social media may be the best gift any business has ever received.
Customer engagement helps empower customers and make them feel as though they are a truly a real part of the decision making process and that their opinions matter. If done successfully you build an army of brand evangelists - and who wouldn't want a gift like that?