Call Me…Maybe Not

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Call Me…Maybe Not

The customer service world is changing and the evolution of technology has created a significant shift in the way customers are reaching out to their brands. In turn, the call center has evolved into the contact center managing not only phone calls, but emails, live chats, SMS messages and now social media channels.

Yet companies remain socially shy, with only 50% of Fortune 1000 companies using social to reach out to their customers. Not all big companies are embracing social customer service, which leaves customers ignored.

The social medium creates a cost effective support opportunity for the midsize company who remain flexible enough to pilot new channels. Using social media and other engagement channels, such as mobile and chat can help differentiate the service from a midsize brand and drive customer loyalty.

When you begin the efforts to integrate your service into social media, here are some considerations to make:

  • Social is not one channel, but many. With various platforms to focus on, Facebook and Twitter being the most common to start, there are different rules of engagement for each. Decide which areas you want to get into and develop a strategic plan around them separately.
  • Be timely. If you are going to engage, do it quickly and consistently. You can’t expect a customer to wait on the phone or chat cue for too long, and the same applies for social media. The thresholds are of course higher, but any response over 24 hours becomes irrelevant. Decide what your service level will be and ensure you have the resource to cover these hours.
  • Respond, don’t just acknowledge. Too often the response is “please contact our customer service department”. Although this acknowledgement is a step in the right direction, the customer is left without any real help.  Try to truly answer as many frequently asked questions as possible, and use an escalation to your 1-800 line as a last resort.
  • Know when not to engage. Not all comments will require a response. By creating a Response Action Plan your team can outline, when, whom and how to respond in all scenarios – positive and negative.

What other considerations should you consider when embracing social customer service?

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