Your customer service is outdated; it’s about combining social media with customer engagement

Social media monitoring is essential for business. When “81% of Twitter users expect a same day response to questions and complaints” you can’t afford not to pay attention. Customers are certainly leading the way and it’s our job to keep up. Our very own Katy Howell [follow her @katyhowell] points out: “Customer Service teams have always conducted conversations on a one-to-one or private manner, yet suddenly their conversations can be happening in public. This is a whole new challenge”. That’s why Luke Brynley-Jones [tweet him @lbrynleyjones] of Our Social Times took a closer look at Social Media Monitoring for Customer Service, and that’s why I am highlighting 3 issues from the report:

Old habits die hard

We all recognise the importance and potential of a well oiled social media machine but traditional marketing teams still bank the budget and failure to collaborate and combine requirements across departments is a common issue. Any company can have processes in place for customer service but when it comes to integrating social media, it raises many, many questions.

  1. Whose responsibility is it to monitor social media?
  2. Which department should respond to customer queries?
  3. Do policies need to be written, and training implemented?

Are you listening?

Ultimately, the missing link between these conflicts can be easily found – with better listening. Leon Chaddock [tweet him @leonchaddock] of monitoring service Sentiment explains: “The starting point is listening. Set up the search queries and bring in as much data as possible”. With those details you can discover what people are saying, the platforms they are using, where you need to focus your attention and whether new resources are needed to deal with demand. Luke points out that maintaining an accurate record of engagement is another challenge when using social media for customer service. Local and Central teams can have differing records, and conversations can migrate from platform to platform. So, ask team, how are you going to deal with these new pressures?

Business transformation

First things first, evaluate your business approach. A change in company and certainly department goals is often needed to incorporate social media. And when change is driven by customers (who are commenting, tweeting and blogging their true feelings about your brand) you cannot ignore their expectations or the channel that they choose to communicate through. That said, control over social platforms can be yet another challenge – as real-time updates are not always available, which can affect your response time.

So what are you to do?

Prioritising queries is certainly one means of safeguarding your image in the customer’s eyes. There are tools which calculate influencer metrics to help you monitor this, and ideally being well informed of who’s who will let you avoid a crisis before one arises! This again emphasises that companies need to understand what consumers are using each channel for, so that they can respond appropriately.

In the end, best practice guidance and planning are essential to better customer service. All departments need to be on the same page but as Luke points out; it’s the personal touch that enhances the customer relationship.

Share your thoughts and opinions with me by leaving a comment, or tweet me @SJSharkey1 or @IFtweeter!

© Our Social Times, Social Media Monitoring for Customer Service whitepaper.

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