The retail landscape has changed radically over the past few years. Consumers are noticeably shunning the high-street and instead choosing to shop online. E-commerce offers what the high street cannot—convenience. You can shop on your mobile device wherever, whenever. The exponential growth in e-commerce means that an in-store shopping experience just isn’t cutting it anymore.

The hassle-free and personalized shopping experience offered via e-commerce has raised consumers’ expectations and this trickles down to even the support offered by a customer care team. Digitalisation has changed not only how we shop, but also the way in which we communicate with brands and likewise, how they communicate with us. As a result, the e-retail environment is heavily saturated with brands vying for business from the online consumer. Very little will set you apart in such a competitive market.

But did you know that providing stellar customer service can be the answer to this problem? The social, mobile customer expects an instant reply to their queries and if you leave them feeling like they have been short-serviced, you are practically handing them over to a competing retail brand.

How do you set yourself apart from competitors?

As a retailer, you need to rethink your approach to customer care and provide a service that is built around speed and minimal effort. A Conversocial study found that 43.3% of respondents agree that social customer service is less effort than a conventional channel. Social is your shining beacon when is comes to customer service. It has managed to claim its place in the contact center and rightly so. It acts as a pathway offering in-the-moment resolution for the socially savvy consumer. Customer service provided by a social team is the go-to for those wanting a consistent, reliable and efficient service.

Did you know that over the past year, service inquiries over Facebook and Twitter have risen by 71%? That means a huge deflection away from traditional, legacy channels such as email and phone! Customers are coming round to the fact that social provides a direct and real-time service for all of their needs and inquiries. It’s definitely a much more personal route to resolution—offering a meaningful dialogue between consumer and brand, at scale and in-the-moment.

Service inquiries since 2016 have risen by 71% over Facebook and Twitter

When it comes to retail customer support, consumers expect a service that is entirely tailored to their needs. Infosys found that 59% of consumers are more likely to shop with a retail brand that offers a personalised customer experience and 78% of consumers indicated they would only engage with a brand that offers a personalised service. Consumers clearly want to be understood on an authentic level and empathetic engagement is key to making this happen.

Every customer should be treated like a VIP. Many retailers find it hard to adopt the right tone of voice when responding on social. In order to deliver an exceptional social customer service, you really do need to kill the script and make each response truly genuine. Service agents should be able to adapt to any situation and confidently create their own responses in line with your brand values for the best possible service. Each message should be crafted with attention to the particular circumstance and engagement should be focussed on creating personal, positive connections by treating each interaction as a unique conversation. Check out how our partner, Ipsy has managed to achieve this on social!

What about customer loyalty though? Consumers are fickle nowadays which makes creating loyal customer base harder than ever before. If you fail to respond to a query in the right way, you risk losing a customer for good. Conversocial’s partner, Vega recognised this from the very start! Their social team use Instagram to surprise and delight their consumers and guess what…it works. They now have have positive brand engagement of 98.5% on Instagram which shows dedicated attention to social care works in favour of strengthening your brand loyalty and driving customer engagement.

But what about marketing?

So, you can’t really beat around the bush when it comes to retail and social media. More often than not, social is seen as a platform owned purely by the marketing team. It is fair to say that marketing takes the lion’s share when it comes to social in terms of budget and influence. Social customer service is often brushed aside as an ‘add on’ in the retail digital sphere. Because of this, it is challenging for retail customer care teams to rally executive level support. For successful delivery of customer care over social, decision makers need to understand the different requirements throughout different departments. This will ensure a seamless cross-departmental handoff and harmonious handling of social channels.

Seamless communication is the foundation of positive engagement between retailers and customers. As a retailer, you need to focus on putting social care at the forefront of your customer care strategy and invest in the right technology, like Conversocial, that will build your customer care credentials on social. A smooth, social interaction coupled with a positive, authentic and engaging tone of voice will add value to any service inquiry. Make your customers feel valued with empathetic, efficient engagement and you are onto a winner!

Have a read of our 5th Definitive Guide and learn how to overcome common social customer care challenges to become a paradigm of effortless, in-the-moment social customer service, at scale.