The emergence of social media has given light to some classic indicators of inadequate customer service. The new environment demands a more accurate “multichannel” experience and greater emphasis on understanding online reputation.

There are several customer metrics that small business can use to measure the online customer experience. All companies have their indicators and expect them all to accurately reflect the economic scenario, growth projections and, above all, the profiles of consumers and potential ones, ultimately leading to determine the fate of your brand. Such indicators could be conversion rates, attribution of ROI, and percentage of participation in a particular market segment.

Small business multichannel customer experience

Measuring the online experience

The small business multichannel customer experience is vital for the success of any company. Customer metrics, meanwhile, are often left in the background. While most companies use measurement techniques in this field, they almost always limit the analysis of communications that are made to and from the call centre. Thus, the “first call resolution”, the “response time” or even the brief “aftercare surveys” are tools that attempt to account for the levels of customer satisfaction.

The prominence that social networks achieved in the relationship between brands and consumers, forces us to rethink what customer service is these days and, especially, how to measure the interaction with the consumer effectively. This approach involves moving away from the classic channels, and venture into new arrangements of imposed codes and digital communication.

Between attention and reputation

We must understand two key features that cross the current relationship between brands and consumers.

The first is the dual role of social networks as channels and customer service of our online reputation. Both Facebook and Twitter, but also most digital platforms, function as open spaces where the dialogue and communication between a customer and a company is available to other users. Consequently, community managers must have the capacity of more considered responses as feedback, in addition to solving a single concern, leading to a better contribution to strengthening the image of the company.

The second salient feature of the current scenario is that, although the migration to digital ground (the adoption of the “social customer service in UK companies rose from 12% in 2010 to 59% in 2014) accelerates, we are still in a stage of transition. In practical terms, this means that a significant percentage of consumers still use traditional and digital channels simultaneously. Consequently, the measurement of customer satisfaction standards must account for this “multichannel” experience.

Who are and what do they want

Given this coexistence of channels, the challenge is to design and implement tools to reflect new communication habits. In pursuit of this goal, the key is to know how to exploit the enormous feedback that social networks (and all analytical tools applicable to them) but also understand the usage of the codes for each platform. From social networks, for example, we can benefit from the tools that provide statistical data on our fans (including demographics but also schedules of postings and comments) not only to know “who” they are, but also for what time of day they connect with us and for what purposes.

Another essential metric to understand the role of social networks as service channels is monitoring their use, but still consider them as part of the multi-channel experience. For example, some companies already use a “No Response rate” to measure what percentages of tweets are not returned to users. The interesting thing about this indicator is that you can decide which message is preferable to respond directly through other channels, as for instance sometimes is best not to respond than to reply later.

Consumers are going through a transition process

The online experience is growing at an inexorable speed, yet the small business multichannel customer experience has to strike a balance in this transition. Beyond these examples, it’s important to understand that consumers are going through a transition context: although the new online channels are booming, the classics ones have not lost all its validity. This scenario requires a mixed response and so have solutions designed to monitor and synchronised social media and customer service online activities. These will lead to better serve consumers and keep them for the long term by gaining their loyalty and appreciation.

This article originally appeared on Marquetingquery and has been republished with permission.