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Communicating with your customers has drastically improved since the dawn of the Internet. From the traditional sending of email, to the usual enquiry sections on your website, consumers and businesses are now exchanging communication through social media. Gone are the days of calling the customer service hotlines; people nowadays are messaging you on Facebook or sending you a Tweet if they want to ask any information from you.
Social media has created a huge opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers on a deeper level and on a timely manner. Imagine, if you are a company owner, having a social media account allows you to identify the needs of your target market; you can know exactly what they feel about your company, your products, or your services. But, unfortunately, many companies nowadays are not using this opportunity effectively. Some of them choose to have canned responses. Now, if you have the chance to connect with your audience, why would you let a machine (or an AI) talk to them?
Canned responses are, basically, scripted answers to frequently asked questions that are based on the customers’ enquiries. What does it mean? Okay, try to go to adidas Facebook Page. When you click on the “Message” icon and type ‘hello’, this is what you will see:
It’s not really bad, right? They responded to you right away, but the problem is that it’s a canned message. They are just instructing you to call a phone number. You will also notice that the response is advising the user to call within business hours, when in fact the message was sent on a Tuesday afternoon. A good opportunity was lost. Ok, understandably, it’s already a big company and one enquiry may not really be a huge loss for them. But a loss is still a loss, no matter how little it is, and it is not good for business.
Here are some more examples of canned responses that’s happening in the social media world:
Consumers are more satisfied when they know that someone is listening to them, when they feel like someone cares about what they need, and using various social media channels is one of the best and most convenient way to do it. More than that, there are also other reasons why personalising or humanising your response to social is the smartest move:
It shows that you care.
We’ve been reiterating this aspect. Users want to be heard. They want to make sure that someone (a person) is actually on the other end of the channel reading and understanding their concern. Giving them cliche responses will make them feel unwanted. Regardless if the customer’s message is positive or negative, make sure to acknowledge them. It will boost your business’ exposure.
Through these social media channels, you have endless opportunities to personally connect with your target audience and address their concerns. Failing to respond to them appropriately can actually be harmful to the customer’s experience with your brand. It can turn a potential sale to a disgruntled customer. Honestly, if you respond to them in a personal manner, it shows that your brand cares about your consumers.
It resolves the issue quickly
Most likely, if a consumer is trying to contact you in the quickest way possible is because they have an urgent concern. It can be an enquiry about your product or your services, or it can an issue that needs resolution. Whatever it is, it’s something that needs urgent attention. Consumers see social media networks as the fastest route to reach a company.
It makes them feel important
Responding with automated replies makes your consumers feel like they are not important. No matter how big your company gets, using canned responses makes them think like you don’t really care whoever buys your products.
Many marketers may have thought that setting up automated replies is a clever way to assist their customers. They may think that it can save both the company’s and consumer’s time because of the immediate response. While that might be true, it still doesn’t meet the major goal of having a social media communication – to provide resolution.
It shows your brand’s creativity
Have you seen those viral interactions from many brands on social media, and how they creatively respond to their consumers (and sometimes competitors)?
These types of online interaction makes your brand more human. It shows that you are an active member of t he social community. Wendy’s is one of the most clever brand on social media, and they are surprisingly still in the business despite the rise of new fast foods in the market.
Every brand has a different market
Not every company has the same target market. Not all companies have the resources to attempt a social media presence like the ones we mentioned. But, if you want to survive the digital age, you better start personalising your social media responses. Hire a social media manager, if you must. Do not settle on canned and scripted automated response. Your consumers are human, so better treat them as one.