Throughout 2012, as the value of social media and online customer care became apparent, we noticed that companies set up presence and started to focus on two-way communication. Several brands, such as Nivea Men USA and Whirlpool opened their Page walls that were previously closed. And it pays off! Whirlpool is Socially Devoted with a Response Rate of 82,42% and Nivea Men USA is almost there, responding to 64,29% of questions on Facebook.
In 2013 we see the smart brands focusing on the quality of relationships, competitive analysis and the consistency of data.
However some brands are still lagging behind and don’t even allow their customers to contact them via Facebook. These include Puma, Dolce & Gabbana and Blackberry. Altogether these brands do not allow a total of 15 979 004 fans to have a voice.
Of course open walls have good and bad aspects. Having an open wall requires time, resources, and the risk that some will be openly negative about your product. But brands are starting to move towards democratization as they increasingly accept that public opinion matters, and they are no longer in control of the majority of information that is published about their company online.
So lets look at some of the positive aspects of having an open wall:
Customers are Turning to Facebook for Help
Facebook is an effective platform for customers to communicate with your brand. Many customers do not have the time to wait on hold for busy call centers, or for an email that may take days to be responded to. Open walls gives fans the opportunity to instantaneously post their question, in which the admin can respond in a timely fashion.
Open Walls Encourage Peer-to-Peer Help
Your Facebook page is a perfect place for fans to communicate with each other. When a customer posts a question, another fan that may have had a similar experience is apt to provide an answer. This way, fans can create a dialogue that is helpful to both the person posting, and for others who may see it. However, you must be careful to respond promptly so that incorrect information is not passed on.
Save a Penny
By utilizing Facebook as a customer service channel, brands may be able to trim the size of their call centers and support teams. By allocating enough staff to efficiently monitor the Page, a good deal of customer questions may potentially be answered.
Build a Relationship with Your Fans
Your Page can be used as an effective PR tool. By initiating a relationship with your fans, you are building their trust and loyalty. If the Page admin provides effective social customer care, fans will believe in the quality of the product. If you decide to post any promotional deals on your Facebook Page, these fans will be the first to knock on your door.
Monitor the Landscape and Gain Insight
By having an open Facebook wall you can easily pick up on what customer issues are. By openly dealing with these issues you can prevent PR disasters, and perhaps pick up some ideas for product innovation and customer service improvement along the way.
So why not take up the challenge and increase your brand’s social media customer care today? Learn more about the industry standard here.