Social media has brought the customer-company relationship back to the BASICS.Confused? Well, according to a recent survey, companies are back to the basics in offering Customers a more personal human touch. Automated phone systems for handling customer queries have taken a backseat. Business professionals have realized that instead of an automated response, (you’re being held in a queue, please wait patiently as for us every customer matters), customers prefer companies that act quickly and publicly.
This is precisely why today you can see both large multinational corporations and small budding enterprises fighting it out to become the best social customer service provider.
In regards to the importance of social customer service, here is what one of the business owners has to say –
‘Social customer service is an alien term for most end-users. While they have initiated the concept of using multiple social channels to reach the companies, they are still not familiar with this phrase. To them what matters is just good customer service irrespective of the time and communication platform.’’
Facebook & Twitter
Most experts believe that while the number of social channels is many, there are a few who have dominated the social customer service – Facebook and Twitter. As per a recent report by Gartner, close to 75% consumers prefer contacting their companies through Twitter and Facebook (compared to other social channels). In regards to this report, a VP of a leading multinational corporation has stated –
‘’The use of Twitter and Facebook by end-users is huge and the companies who still haven’t started using these channels are preparing to go down the hill. Remember you can come across many occasions when your customer will tweet you in the morning (stating the problem) and will contact your business contact center in the evening (to know the status of the problem).
Without a Twitter customer service plan, your customer-service professional will answer the call unaware about the morning’s Twitter exchange. Needless to say, this will be a big blot on your company’s customer strategy.’’
Other important social channels
Joining the high popularity of Facebook and Twitter are Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. These social mediums have been gaining the preference of most business professionals for monitoring customer comments. Moreover, the general forums, communities and most importantly the company’s website are other social channels to take care of.
According to the experts, considering the several channels which are soon likely to join Facebook and Twitter, it is advisable to opt for a multi-channel customer service. Multi-channel customer service ideally stands for fast, quick and seamless customer service across different social platforms.
How to start with a robust social customer service strategy?
It is interesting to see that while many organizations have started social media customer service, very few have done it right. Perhaps what has prevented them to get success is the absence of a well-planned social customer support strategy underpinning the whole operation.
In reference to social customer service strategy, here is what a social media consultant has stated –
‘’The adoption rate of social customer service is very high. However, while the large organizations have made it to the top, most SMBs are still struggling with it. I personally believe that the problem with the SMBs is that they do not lay a proper foundation for the social media customer service strategy. Small and medium-sized business owners need to understand that unless and unless you do not have the right combination of trained staff and enterprise application, you really cannot do much in social media.’’
A good way to lay the foundation of social customer service is by opting for a cloud based CRM solution. With this enterprise application integrated in your business process, you can get round-the-clock access to the social feeds of your leads, prospects, contacts and accounts. And not to forget, unlike an on-premise CRM, Cloud CRM will give you the access anytime anywhere.
Once you have the cloud CRM integrated, the next step should be intensive training of the employees to use the CRM for social customer service. The importance of training all employees cannot be underestimated. Training will ensure that all your team professionals are skilled up to the same level and are delivering the same message to customers all across. After the training, make sure to define everyone’s roles and responsibilities and mention the resource the company will spend on the social media customer support channel.