Good Customer Service Makes Everyone Feel Like They Have 1 Million Followers

The problem with the Internet is things are written in ink, not pencil. There’s no un-send button; a Tweet, like this one from Verizon Support (with 78,000 followers) can’t be retracted.

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The suspected direct message (DM) was quickly deleted, and no one from Verizon has responded for comments. This DM indicates the support team prioritize customers according to their social “influencer” status. Lower follower numbers, slower response rates. Hardly seems fair.

Tim Lopez, responsible for the support Twitter account for Norton Antivirus, responded with, “Good customer service is treating everyone like they have 1.13M followers.” Nice one, Tim!

While we can drop this in our collective social media fails memory, it highlights an inherent problem with how brands use social media. Twitter and Klout are great for “ranking” people. But that doesn’t mean we should use those metrics, as Verizon does, to differentiate how we treat customers. The best way to use this data is to feed social media knowledge into the marketing mix using the following four step process:

1. Listen

Using our Network-Centric approach you’ll find that the top 5% of your email database can reach 68x more people than the rest of your list combined. Those with a Klout score above 40 can extend your reach from thousands to millions.

Most brands are already sitting on this information. Combining Twitter and other social profiles with your CRM is how you start really listening to your customers. Then, depending on internal resources, actively follow and RT the top 1 or 5% of your followers. Learn what they care about, are interested in, which keywords / brands they talk about.

2. Segment

Sending millions of people the same email will eventually result in the law of diminishing returns coming into play. Perhaps this is already happening. Segmentation is the cure for this.

Segmentation starts with collecting data on customers demographics, job, personal life, pain points, who their influencers are and aspirations. The more you know – in a non-invasive (not like the NSA) – the more accurately you will be able to tailor marketing assets

3. Personalize

Different audience segments and those on different sales cycles will need marketing content tailored to their needs. This works even better if you can A/B test with small sub-sections of each segment, so you can find out what works and what doesn’t. Once you have emails, blogs, offers and other collateral which engages these segments, then hit send, record the results.

4. Automate

Once you have an email database of several hundred thousand it is hard to scale personalized responses, even with a well staffed marketing team. The law of diminishing returns kicks in when you keep trying to do the same thing over and over, hoping for consistently high returns. This is harder to do without automation. It will take time, and an investment. But when you can achieve a 750% return, it is worth it.

When automation is tied to segmentation and behavioral triggers (like social media mentions, web visits, mobile or tablet based searches), followed up with personalized content, then the returns will increase.

The best kind of content is when a customer genuinely feels like a brand cares about them. Taking an interest in what they care about is a great way to do that. If you can do that with enough customers then they will naturally tell others; providing your brand with the most valuable marketing copy available – social proof.

Struggling with your marketing campaigns? Investigate the ways others are tackling similar challenges and attend an online demonstration here or read more about how others are doing it.

Attentive.ly is a social behavior platform for modern marketing teams.We help brands and organizations predict how customers and supporters will behave – even what they might do or buy – from social data. It has been used by over 100 companies and organizations to improve thousands of email marketing and social media campaigns.

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