If your eCommerce business currently caters to Southeast Asia or you are planning to expand to this region, then the answer needs to be yes. In this post we discuss how you can provide great social customer service to get ahead and cut through all that competitive noise.
In our recent eBook, among other factors, we discussed how Southeast Asia is capitalizing on social media to increase exposure and revenues for eCommerce businesses. Today, we take a closer look into how delivering exceptional customer service over social media can become a competitive advantage in this region.
To do so, Nick Ogle is here this week with a guest post. Nick is an expert on all things social, specifically Customer Service. He is also the Director of Sales at Conversocial - a dedicated cloud solution that helps businesses to efficiently and securely manage customer service over social business channels at a large scale.
Social Media is emerging as a major force in customer service, and brands in Southeast Asia are uniquely placed to take advantage of this opportunity due to some interesting dynamics in this region. The commercial opportunity in Southeast Asia is growing for the brands prepared to invest the time and effort required, despite the challenges of doing social customer service correctly.
Consumers are embracing social for all types of communications. What is interesting is that these same consumers who like to interact with their friends over social have taken to interacting with brands en masse in the following ways:
If your business has a social presence, chances are you’ve experienced at least one of these interactions with your customers. Consumers have more choice than ever before, are always connected and have high expectations for social customer service. So not only can consumers quickly switch brands, but they can also turn a bad experience into a viral one. In this era of the consumer, the customer has the power and brands must have the right processes and tools in place, to ensure positive experiences.
You might ask - how is this an opportunity as the internet coverage for Southeast Asia is still low?
What's important to remember is that this region is Southeast Asia is home to some of the most active internet users in the world. Some reports indicate that average users in The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia spend more than five hours each day online.
Indonesia perhaps is the most connected in this region as it is number 3 in the world for Twitter use and number 4 for Facebook!
This doesn’t actually surprise me as I have witnessed it first hand. I have worked with a number of Indonesian online retailers and the amount of interaction they get from their customers on Facebook is staggering. So what do you need to know before actively offering social customer service to your customers in this region?
Social is a challenging medium to conduct customer service on as it’s inherently:
Basically brands need to really look at the process, structure and metrics needed to properly conduct customer service on social. Once you open the gates for Social Customer Service, the volume will follow. If you have flawed processes in the beginning, you will only find yourself in trouble. The added volume and engagement from consumers in Southeast Asia only adds to the challenge of getting it right.
To handle the volume of engagements on social, brands cannot afford to use the native tools supplied by the social networks. Instead seek to deploy business-ready engagement tools that have the following characteristics:
For the brands that get Social Customer Service right, there are some amazing rewards as outlined by McKinsey in a recent article entitled Social care in the world of "now":
Facebook’s recent release of Messenger for Business will be an interesting product to watch as it is rolled out across Southeast Asia. Consumers in Southeast Asia are already well versed in conducting commerce over Messaging applications like LINE and WeChat. With the huge impact of Facebook already in this region, I can see a tremendous opportunity for eCommerce across Facebook Messenger and the associated Social Customer Service opportunities.
If you want to know more generic advice about how to start your Social Customer Service journey then the 2015 Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service is a great place to start your journey! Also check out this podcast with some great examples of how to use Social Customer Service from a Commercial perspective - Cassie Roma talks social media for business where Cassie Roma from Air New Zealand talks about their strategies for Social customer Service.
About the author
Nick Ogle has over 25 years experience working in Information Technology across Asia Pacific. Nick is a regular contributor online on the topics of Social Customer Service, Fintech & Digital.
Currently Nick is working with leading Customer Service Vendor - Conversocial in establishing their presence in Asia Pacific.
If you have any questions for Nick, feel free to connect with him.