Posted by Paul Anderson
How can you maintain your customer service edge through social media?
Traditionally, there was just one source that would inform a company about customer service issues. Today, there are a slew of sources that perform the same function. In the midst of these different channel options, social media is unquestionably the ‘highly-used’ medium. Customers have found it as a new and easy way to unleash their frustrations.
Resultant to which, many companies have made a big fuss about the rise of social media as a customer platform. While some companies have even gone to the extent of terming it as corporate reputational risk, industry experts have stated it otherwise. In their opinion, social media can be used to eliminate customer issues before they actually happen.
In the words of a social media expert –
‘’Social media has come as a boon for the small and medium-sized players who often grapple to render an effective service. By adding social media into their customer service approach, not only do they extend their availability but build up a favorable impression to the customers as well. Hence it’s a two way benefiting initiative.’’
With this is mind, many small and mid businesses have already integrated social media into their multi-channel customer service strategy. But have they been as successful as expected? Not really….
Experts cite improper planning as the core reason behind the low success rate. And this is precisely why we bring to you a compiled list of four ways (suggested by Alex Hisaka) to set up an effective social media approach to solve customer service issues. Enjoy reading!
1. Create a software application
Those who have already leaped into social media bandwagon will agree that it is constantly brimming with volumes of conversations. Due to which – most business executives get frozen and retreat or worst of all mismanage interactions. Needless to say, this ignites a social media controversy.
We suggest, opting for a customized enterprise software application which will take your team through the following workflow steps:
- Listening to the right conversations
- Tagging the source of the conversations
- Assigning the post to the concerned professional.
In sum, the software application will present you with the bird’s eye view and quick access to all the conversations of your leads and customers. You will precisely know which conversations to respond (via self-service, phone or e-mail) and which to ignore.
Tip: Get an added advantage by opting for an application that also tells you what to reply, i.e. serving as a simultaneous consolidated base of all business/products/service facts. It will allow customer agents to respond promptly to the different situations, while ensuring a consistent customer experience.
Example – In case of a Query about new products, your customer service rep can check out the products section to get the latest entries. He does not have to necessarily contact the marketing dept.
2. Have a dedicated team
Things are bound to slip between the cracks if your team does not know how to use the application in the right sense. Therefore, it’s important that you invest time and effort to explain the process. Taking this step will ensure –
- Your team constantly monitors the social media while answering queries
- They rightfully direct questions to customer support
- They draw the line between responsibilities, to avoid the mistake of more than one employee answering the same customer service issue.
3. Respond first
A common perception most companies hold is – How do I solve customer service issue in 140 characters? You do not have to! (Yes, you read that right!)
Social media customer service is all about engaging the customers and responding to their issues promptly. No one has asked you to limit your solutions to a few characters/sentences length.
Customers feel relieved when they find their issue acknowledged within a few minutes/hours. And this is exactly what you have to do. Acknowledge the issue fast. Then you can begin the process of addressing and fixing the issue through phone/email (depending on the situation).
4. Rightly measure your efforts
While rendering social customer service, remember to –
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Align your social media efforts to hard business metrics.
Doing this will help you make your business and its most important aspect (customer service), truly remarkable.
Features of the right tool
You can only provide effective social media customer service, if you have an effective tool to take care of it. Hence, below enlisted are a few tips you need to keep in mind:
· Make sure the tool allows you add social channels as and when the need arises. The formula should be – to get the initial toe in the water and then…keep going.
Remember this will help you deal with the increased customer engagement over different social media platforms.
- Simple is in vogue (even when it comes to software applications). Make sure the tool is easy to use. An intuitive interface with an easy navigation will help your employees greatly.
- Imagine the convenience of having the tool in the pocket – customer service anytime anywhere. Thus, invest in a cloud based software development for the social media customer service tool. With the tool powered by cloud – whether in office or at Starbucks (enjoying the Pumpkin Spice Latte), your customer service reps will handle cases with all needed convenience. They will be constantly connected with the customers’ through their mobile device.
- Customer service software should be affordable and not a budget buster. Look for a cloud software development company that understands your needs and put your priorities at the center of the tool development.