When it comes to Social Selling, I’ve seen it all. So I’m not easily surprised.
But on a recent call I had with Renee Ducre, Director of Digital Marketing, IBM Commerce, Mobile, and Social at IBM, she was describing one of the major benefits of Social Selling, and what she said threw me for a loop.
She said that one of Social Selling’s biggest benefits is its ability to lower customer support costs at the enterprise level.
I was stunned. I had never heard that particular advantage before. So I took the weekend to reflect on Renee’s words, and I realized she was absolutely correct.
Anticipating customer problems and questions
I was reminded of the book, The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, which says that the best customers are sticky because of what happens during the presales process. And you’ll know they’re in the presales process if they’re truly engaged and are having a positive experience. You can ensure that customers are having that positive experience by continuing to provide great value and insights.
Ten, 15, 20 years ago, customers made their purchasing decisions based on a discussion with the sales professional. They bought into that person and the presentation. Customers weren’t able to do a lot of due diligence, which sometimes resulted in buyers’ remorse. Without the proper information, customers were often left holding the bag.
In today’s world of Social Selling, however, people are armed with information. They’re able to research extensively online, and obtain real life examples of how other companies are using products and tools. They are armed with knowledge of best practices. So when they’re ready to make a purchase decision, buyers are much more educated upfront about how, when, and where they’re going to use your product.
What does this mean for your customer support costs?
Because buyers are armed with the information they need, the number of redundant questions that fill up your customer support lines are reduced or alleviated.
Social Selling is also helpful during the post-sales process. Great account management teams are able to leverage Social Selling insights because they’re able to help customers through that journey and provide them with the right content at the right time, which also helps eliminate a lot of unnecessary customer support calls.
Social Selling reduces your customer support costs because it allows you to anticipate customer problems and questions, and provide content and FAQ’s in advance so that your customer support lines aren’t bogged down.