Retailers typically use feedback from surveys and email questionnaires to gauge consumer sentiment. But as consumers continue to use Facebook and Twitter as their platforms of choice to share their thoughts with friends and family, retailers have a new opportunity to truly understand shoppers’ wants and needs.
JackThreads, a men’s flash sale company, has tackled this business opportunity by making social media a key part of its customer service strategy. Since the eTailer’s inception in 2008, the total number of Facebook and Twitter followers has swelled to more than 400,000 people. With this ongoing growth, the amount of customer feedback has increased exponentially: 10% of all queries now come through social media.
To better keep pace with conversations and mentions of the JackThreads brand and its assortment of products, the company implemented Conversocial, a social customer service solution. In doing so, the company has improved social response times and has kept a more consistent pulse on shopper sentiment, according to David Tull, Customer Service Training and Quality Assurance Supervisor at JackThreads. Using the solution, the eTailer has maintained a 95% customer sentiment rating.
“Working with Conversocial has empowered us to measure and respond to the conversations that are happening on social media,” Tull said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Members are reaching out to each other regarding specific products and sales, and are asking opinions regarding potential purchases.”
JackThreads employees track all mentions of the brand through proactive search filters so they can see all consumers who are tweeting questions about the eTailer but are not directly mentioning them using the @JackThreads Twitter handle. Additionally, the Conversocial platform allows JackThreads to analyze the overall quality and sentiment of feedback, as well as track full conversations.
With instant access to detailed social insights, service representatives can interact with consumers more efficiently and effectively, according to Tull. Since implementing Conversocial, the eTailer has been able to process approximately 10 times more interactions per hour, as well as formulate more ongoing communication with followers.
“No relationship survives if you only talk about things when there’s a problem or if someone has a poor experience,” Tull said. “This is a way for customer service to improve. Social media gives us the opportunity to carry on positive conversations, mine data, mark sentiment, and come away with strong, measurable insights about our customer base.”
Over time, JackThreads has been able to mine social media data to make better business decisions. Tull confirmed that social media is becoming central to both the marketing and customer service sides of the business, and that all departments now are turning to social data to improve the brand experience. For example, employees have collected feedback to create more relevant and successful flash sales, improve product packaging and even establish more beneficial relationships with clothing manufacturers and other vendors.
JackThreads even is engaging international shoppers to ensure a successful expansion plan, Tull added. “We recently opened shipping to Australia and the UK, so we’re actively communicating with these consumers and asking what else we can do to improve the experience. This is a new venture and an opportunity for us to keep the conversation going. It also shows how much we value our customers’ feedback.”
Creating A Memorable Brand Voice
As the JackThreads brand presence continues to grow, a higher percentage of product conversations are happening on social media than any other communication channel, according to Tull. As a result, the customer service team has established a brand message that focuses on becoming a trusted source and advisor for consumers.
This social strategy helps “demonstrate that JackThreads is here to help,” Tull said. Because the eTailer caters to men 18 to 34 years old, “it is very important that the whole social experience is authentic. That is why we have multiple people interact with customers on social that are trained in the same brand voice.”
While all social representatives project a fun and casual tone while conversing with Facebook and Twitter followers, they also want to convey that they’re “looking after the customer’s best interest,” Tull added. “We want to show that we want to help them find the best deals and help them find a specific product they want or need. That embodies our entire customer service philosophy: being a balanced advocate for both the company and the customer.”
Social media also is an effective outlet to build confidence among consumers. For example, many service representatives will share promo codes, which “gives shoppers a sense that they have a connection at the company and that we have their back,” Tull said. “Although we want our customers to feel like that regardless of the channel they’re using, it is definitely more powerful on social media.”