While many people still like calling a customer-service line for help or information, a growing portion of today's consumers has discovered the power of using social media to stay connected with companies. In fact, one survey found almost 70 percent of consumers have turned to social media for support.
One of the primary reasons people are choosing this route is speed. A survey of social media users found 67 percent expect a reply in one day or less, and 42 percent of that group expect a response in under an hour!
It might seem like a lot to deliver, but it's worth the effort: companies that ignore social media requests see a churn rate that averages 15 percent higher than those that respond. Plus, companies that engage and respond on social media end up with customers who spend 20 to 40 percent more!
Here are a few social media best practices for your healthcare marketing, so you can meet that one-hour expectation.
1. Man the Battle Stations
Designate at least one person to be available for questions and comments on your social media feeds. Ideally, you should have a few people at the ready to ensure all-day coverage. You don't necessarily need to have someone who knows every single aspect of your company to answer questions on the fly, but you should choose someone who knows how to go looking for the right answers.
Even the most complicated requests should receive a prompt reply thanking the person for contacting you and letting them know you're looking into the problem and will provide a resolution as soon as possible.
2. Focus on Business Hours
The one-hour rule doesn't have a lot of wiggle room during business hours, but there are very few people who would expect a quick reply from a business at 3:00 in the morning as you would otherwise be closed at that hour. Instead, focus on making sure you can deliver the best service during your regular business hours.
For after-hours support, platforms like Facebook offer automated messages that can let people know you're not there and when you'll be back. Take your automated responses to the next level by providing a link to your FAQ or other helpful resources in your absence.
3. Consider a Chatbot
Bots are a great way to answer simple questions without requiring human interaction. Because they never sleep, chatbots can keep in touch 24 hours per day and are perfect for order questions, appointments, and other common inquiries. Keep in mind, however, they are only there to assist your customer-service people, not replace them.
Even the angriest people can often be softened a bit just from receiving individual attention. While you may not be able to solve every problem completely, just showing you're there and ready to jump in helps. Plus, because many of these conversations are public, all your readers will see how attentive you are when others have problems, so they'll be more confident in your company overall.
You can learn more about social media marketing and how it fits into an inbound marketing campaign by downloading our free eBook, Tools of the trade: 7 Fundamentals of an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign.
Integrate your current social media strategy with inbound methodologies to strengthen your overall healthcare marketing strategy and attract more patients to your Brand. Let's chat and put the Hult Team’s experience to work for you. Feel free to reach me at 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can grow your healthcare Brand.