SXSW 2013 Recap: The Value of Social Media Customer Care

The Global Response team returned this week from South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX. This year’s interactive show had over 27,000 attendees including some of the brightest stars in digital and social not to mention many of Global Response’s clients and partners.

This year was the biggest SXSW yet, so we focused our time attending the social media sessions and networking events. Key to our trip were the networking opportunities that a large show like this provides.

The Austin Convention Center
The tradeshow floor at the Austin Convention Center. Startups, marketing firms, and app developers were highlighted.

There were many industry-leading sessions at the conference, including a much-anticipated panel by Lithium Technologies, regarding Outsourcing Social Media Customer Service. The central theme of this presentation was:

The next step on the social media frontier is social customer service. Consumers have come to expect a rapid response on social channels. A scalable outsourced care team who can speak your brand is essential to keeping up with consumer expectations.

At Global Response, we have a passion for stellar customer care in the social space. As discussed in this recent article, many luxury-brand retailers differentiate their brand by offering superior customer care in social. Echoing talking points from the summit, here are three tips for developing superior customer service:

  • Customer interactions are going omnichannel – Great customer service organizations place a premium on reaching their customers where the customer feels most comfortable. More and more customers will turn to mobile / social for help than ever before.
  • Loyalty is king – Loyalty is not just about discounts, points or coupons. Customers value personalized recommendations… and interactions. A personalized approach builds brand equity and drives loyalty. Social media is also a great place to engage with customers, one-on-one. It is an extension of customer service.
  • Experiment… and evolve – Some strategies and ideas will work. Others won’t work the first time. If you don’t test new things, you’ll never know what you missed. Don’t panic if something doesn’t work — try, try again!
  • Trust – Customers don’t see a brand as a segmented combination of departments and disciplines, They want one voice. Therefore, trust is essential between departments and outsourced partners to bring the best possible experience to the customer.

As a bonus, check out our photo gallery from the show:

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