When Social is a Lifeline
“Crazy how reaching out through social media is the most efficient way to get things done. Thank you for helping my parents get their vaccine shots.”
That was just one of the many comments consumers and patients reported about the powerful impact of social on their lives during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. From March 2020 onward, we worked with our client, Rite Aid, to swiftly respond to and resolve as many pandemic-related customer questions and problems as possible. Together, we developed a social engagement program featuring a dedicated team of LiveWorld agents serving as an extension of Rite Aid’s Customer Care team. These high–level agents drew on their deep knowledge of Rite Aid and its customers to provide knowledgeable, thoughtful interactions with a warm human touch.
We developed the strategy in real time and built it to pivot sharply as customer needs evolved and to manage sudden or sustained high volume surges. Our teams covered Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok. The LiveWorld team worked at strategic times when customers/patients were likely to reach out and when our client’s internal teams were off duty. We anticipated and staffed up for spikes by closely monitoring daily inbound traffic, trends research and listening reports.
The combined LiveWorld-client team met daily to discuss emerging customer and patient pain points, technical issues, policy concerns, etc. The LiveWorld team also perfected a companion Crisis Escalation Program that enabled us to identify, escalate, report, and respond to potentially viral situations that could put our client’s brand at risk.
Total inbound content grew by 137% in 2020 over 2019, and by 95% in 2021 over 2020. Outbound responses grew by 94% in 2020 over 2019, and by 53% in 2021 over 2020. We helped ensure high performance even during peak periods with these guard rails:
- Clear leadership structure. While our team was proactive and flexible, we also had well-defined escalation tiers based on several relevant criteria so we knew when to involve client executives. This helped us quickly address new customer issues.
- Strong support for teams. Frightened, frustrated and confused customers and patients were not always respectful or kind. Leaders checked in regularly with team members to offer praise and recognition, listen to their concerns and issues, and provide additional resources.
- Personal empathy based on client knowledge. Our teams offered a human touch in real time to assist customers with the challenges and questions they were dealing with in the moment, when emotions were strong and misinformation levels high and overly canned or robotic responses would have been detrimental to customer relationships.
Augmenting internal customer care and/or social staff with highly skilled LiveWorld agents can help companies engage more meaningfully with a wide range of customer communities. Here are some ways to evaluate where and how to amplify your social engagement resources:
- What groups of prospects or customers would benefit from a stronger relationship with your organization? Targeting a specific community, such as a disease state or new product support group, helps social teams build a deeper community-specific knowledge base for richer engagement.
- How often are the same questions or threads of misinformation arising in these communities? Core issues/questions can be focal points for building a library of responses. These also can reveal a community requires more engagement from your organization.
- How equipped are your social teams to grow and measure engagement with key customer groups and/or around the release of new products and services? For Rite Aid, building customer/patient relationships was just as important as great engagement statistics.
For information about how to build an integrated social team with LiveWorld, please contact us here.
Our work with Rite Aid received an award, see below!