We recently looked at some best practices for multilingual websites, focusing on both the translation and technical requirements of a website designed for audiences around the world. Today, we’re taking things a step further and moving on to using social media as a platform for social customer care.
In case you’re not already aware, social media is one of the best tools for customer service and, if you’re not using it for this purpose, you should probably take another look at your social strategy – especially if it’s not working out the way you imagined. That said, it gets a whole lot harder when you have a multilingual audience to look after, so let’s take a look at some best practices for global customer care on social media.
#1: Start from the beginning for every audience
As with all things marketing, as soon as you have a new audience to cater for, you need to go back to the drawing board and start over again. You want to know which social networks each audience prefers – and this can come down to any number of things, not just language or nationality.
You also want to understand how customer service expectations vary across the globe, because everything on social networks is there for the world to see. Your aim isn’t just to keep your customers happy and coming back for more business, but to be seen by others as the kind of brand that puts its customers first.
#2: Get multilingual
It should go without saying, by now, that the only way to handle customers in foreign speaking countries is to speak to them in their language. It’s not just a question of courtesy either, because when your multilingual website tells people how good your customer experience is, you need to keep that promise in the language you used to sell them your products.
#3: Make timing the difference
No matter which language you approach social customer care with, timing is always essential. People expect a response on social in no time at all and you really want to make your first response within the hour, whenever possible. This gets more difficult, of course, when you go global because you have any number of time differences to worry about, which means you’ll need a system for keeping your social accounts running when your audiences need them.
#4: Show everyone they are your priority
When you have a growing social presence it can be tough to give every audience the same amount of attention – especially if some are more profitable than others. Don’t let this taint your social customer experience though, because this is precisely the kind of thing that can stop you turning an audience into something more profitable. So take the time to answer everyone and focus on resolution – show the social world you’re a business that makes every customer its priority and one dedicated to solving their problems.
#5: Move beyond customer care
Once you have the basics in place, it’s time to turn your social channels into more than a customer care platform. Create separate content for each of your audiences and localise your social efforts, so they really speak out to each market on a more personal level. Better yet, get personal, down to the individual, and involve your customers in the social experience of your brand. The key here is to show everyone who sees your social presence that you don’t only get involved when there’s a problem to solve. Instead, you want to show them you’re always there to make the customer experience more engaging for everyone involved with your brand – no matter where they are.