This week, we asked Nick Ogle, from Conversocial in Australia to guest blog an article on the importance of social customer service.
Social Networks have become the first place we go to share news & information. Brands already know this and that’s why so much money is being spent on advertising on the Social Networks. Facebook’s recent Q2 results had 95% of their $4.02B USD revenue coming from Advertising. This is not a North American phenomenon alone as only 17% of Facebook Daily Active users are from the USA & Canada.
Whilst brands like to use their social networks to push advertising at customers these same customers are taking to interacting with these brands over social in the following ways.
General references to a brand’s products & services
- Positive experiences of the company’s products & services
- Indirect references that are relevant to the companies industry
- A customer asking the brand a direct question
- A Customer expressing dissatisfaction
- Customers that have an urgent product/service need
As well as interacting with brands, customers also have high expectations for Customer Service on Social. Customers expect that brands should recognize their preference for engagement over social media and act accordingly. Research from Forrester Consulting shows that between 2009 and 2014 the number of customers using Twitter for customer service has doubled from 11% to 22% (Forrester 2014).
- Have more choice of suppliers and channels. 66% of consumers stopped doing business with a provider and switched to another in the past year due to a poor customer service experience, up 17% since 2005 (Accenture 2013).
- Are more connected. 53% of consumers will talk about a bad customer experience they have received on social, while only 42% will share a good one (American Express 2012). This trend and the viral nature of social media show how customers can wield their power.
- Demand more speed and simplicity. 71% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service (Forrester 2013).
To handle the volume of engagement on Social brands cannot afford to use the native tools supplied by the Social Networks. Instead brands should look to deploy Enterprise ready Engagement tools that have the following characteristics:
- Context: Tools should have the ability to show prior interaction history. So if one person has tweeted multiple times then you should be able to see all of these tweets on the one screen of glass to give you more informed information on the tweeters outreach resulting in a more educated decision on how to respond.
- Prioritisation: Social media is full of noise making it difficult to identify sensitive issues that that matter to your organisation. Tools with inbuilt Intelligent Prioritization allow priority issues to be escalated to the front of the queue for immediate attention.
- Real-Time Analytics: Real-time analytics are keyt to continually monitoring the SLA & KPI attainment of agents as well as providing an early indicator for issues that might require involvement of other departments. Additionally, social customer service software should provide historical insights into trends over time to deliver actionable insights for brands.
- Security: Regardless of industry, comprehensive safeguards need to be in place to ensure information security and regulatory compliance. Look for software that provides role-based permissions, an approval workflow, IP locking and a fully searchable, exportable archive.
- Integration: In order to achieve a single view of the customer, it is vital to choose a social customer service software with a full set of APIs, which allows you to surface social information through your CRM systems and contact center technologies.
- Pro-Active Customer Service: Brands using tools that only process @mentions are likely to miss service issues, or potential sales opportunities. A tool that provides proactive searches over social media will broaden your scope for engagement, meaning you don’t miss out on valuable conversation opportunities.
- Workflow: With the high incoming message volume social brings, agents and managers need to work seamlessly to balance workload and avoid duplication of effort. Choose a social customer service software that enables you to add a layer of automation, providing a smart workflow for large-scale customer service teams, and empowering your agents to deliver better and faster social customer service.
- Expertise: Choose a social customer service partner capable of helping you implement a scalable operation that aligns with business requirements and industry best practices
For more information on the importance of social customer service, and Conversocial’s leading enterprise customer service platform, listen to founder Joshua March and CMO Paul Johns on the EchoJunction podcast