“In this marketplace, it’s easy for customers to switch brands.”

Stacey DePolo, GoDaddy’s Social Media Manager, says, “One of the things that drives loyalty is forming a tribe around your brand.”

In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit, she explains why that’s a critical part of social customer care. “You have to know what you stand for,” she says. Knowing your “tribe,” your brand promise, and how it all relates to customer service helps you earn loyalty through social customer care.

Advocacy is at the end of your sales funnel. If you don’t believe that, you’re not going to do social customer care right.

But social customer care isn’t just about loyalty.

Stacey says, “Advocacy is at the end of your sales funnel. If you don’t believe that, you’re not going to do social customer care right.”

At GoDaddy, she says creating a social customer care program that inspires advocacy starts with alignment: Your leadership and legal teams need to support the customer experience. That means they need to be aligned on your goals as well as what your frontline social agents can and cannot do.

“You have to give some leeway to your social customer care agents on the frontline. Otherwise it’s really embarrassing for them when their hands are tied when they’re trying to help customers in social media,” Stacey explains.

She recommends working with legal and compliance to set clear guidelines that still leave the customer care representative feeling empowered.

Align your KPIs to your revenue goals and your known detractor issues.

For example, GoDaddy is in the midst of a brand turnaround, and social sentiment is an important metric for Stacey’s team. She used that goal to anchor the social customer care program and built tools to measure it.

In fact, those social listening metrics helped GoDaddy make an important decision. When a controversial Super Bowl commercial they had planned inspired the hashtag #PuppyGate and an outcry from animal rights activists on social, GoDaddy decided to pull the ad and reshoot it in 24 hours.

Stacey recommends looking at the volume and velocity of negative posts. If the issue is trending negative and escalating quickly, it might be time to respond at the brand level.

But if you can see the negative sentiment peaking and falling, it’s better to sit it out. “Often, in very dicey situations, your response can prompt more controversy or negativity,” says Stacey.

“Get your best agents from your customer care team and train them in social media.”

It’s much easier to train customer service representatives on social media than to train social media managers on customer service.

She says it’s much easier to train customer service representatives on social media than to train social media managers on customer service. Explaining social media to people who already use it and are comfortable with social isn’t as difficult as explaining the nuances of how to support your products and services.

However, she warns that not every customer service representative will understand the broader audience they’re talking to with each interaction. She quotes Jay Baer from his book, Hug Your Haters, “Social customer support is a spectator sport.” Your social customer care reps need to know that with every response, you’re communicating to a third party that’s also witnessing the conversation.

“They’re going to get beat up out there. And bandwidth is a problem for many brands,” Stacey says. “If you can’t respond to everyone, at least, if a third party is witnessing the conversation and thinking ‘that’s a fair response,’ you’re probably building advocates even if you’re not turning around that particular detractor.”

Watch Stacey’s full presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit to learn why she says to turn off Facebook ads for your known detractors, how to make customers feel heard, and ways to report social customer care efforts to leadership. Stacey’s been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2014. Follow her on Twitter here.


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