With increasing numbers of customers turning to social channels such as Facebook and Twitter for customer service enquiries, brands need to be ready to support and assist. It's not enough just to choose a tool, you also have to ensure it's successfully deployed and primed for action so your agents aren't left in the dark.
More customers are using social as a first point of contact, and it’s fast becoming a spectator sport. You aren’t just providing that individual customer with a great experience, but also everyone else they are connected with. Demand for social customer service is increasing year-on-year. The pressure is on.
Customers expect in-channel responses and they don’t want to be deflected to slower channels like email or phone.
- 67% of consumers have used a company's social media site for servicing, compared with 33% for social marketing. (D. Power and Associates)
- 33% of users even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. (Nielsen)
Choosing the right social customer care tool is just the beginning. You also need to ensure you have a robust deployment plan to get things moving in the right direction and generate the desired results. A hope and pray approach just won’t do the job. You need a clear plan which covers all the essential ingredients.
Here are 4 simple steps you can follow to ensure your social customer care deployment is quick and easy:
1. Ensure you have the right social tool for the job
There are hundreds of social solutions out there so be sure to pick one that has the functionality you need. You don’t want to leave your agents struggling with a tool that makes their lives harder and limits your productivity. Choose a tool that will help you manage growing volumes in the future and ensure you can provide quality responses without compromising on efficiency.
You’ll also want to think about:
- How will you filter out noise and separate those enquiries which need a response from those which don’t?
- Can you integrate social messaging apps such as WhatsApp or WeChat?
- How will you measure and analyse performance?
2. Get management buy-in
To help your implementation run smoothly, involve key stakeholders from across the business including marketing, sales, and IT as well as customer service. Communicate the benefits of your vision and strategy to each of them. Take into account that each group is likely to be motivated by slightly different concerns. If you can show each group how it will benefit them you’re more likely to get a positive response.
For more top tips on getting buy-in for your social vision see our blog: How to secure executive buy-in for your social customer care strategy.
3. Win over your agents
Social agents are on the customer service frontline and have the opportunity to help convey and protect brand values in each and every customer interaction. Empower them to deliver high quality customer care and engage in real-time dialogue. Ensure you build in sufficient time to make them comfortable using a new tool or new functionality, and enlist the help of any customer success resources your social supplier provides.
- Help them overcome any nerves at saying the wrong thing by providing approval loops. This will ensure all social responses are checked before they go live and will avoid any mistakes going viral.
- Provide training and feedback sessions to share best practice, success stories and help make agents more comfortable in dealing with issues on social media.
- Create a social media playbook with clear policies for agents to follow, include real-life examples of how to respond to specific situations and handle aggressive or offensive language.
- Ensure agents are not overwhelmed by sudden increases in volume. Analyse volumes for each social channel to better understand your peak times, when customers are most likely to contact you, to help with forecasting your staffing requirements.
- Use a tool which provides conversation histories to help agents assess and resolve issues easily without them having to ask the customer to repeat information multiple times.
4. Track performance and celebrate success
Keep your key stakeholders in the loop and ensure you have their on-going support, by providing visibility on social progress and performance. Use a social command centre which displays your essential social stats such as current response times, key social topics or social volumes across channels. Put this dashboard on a large screen in a key location to ensure your project always stays front of mind.
Use regular reporting to analyse your social data to benchmark your performance against any SLAs. If you are aiming to improve response times, look at how these change with volume, and consider using smart work flows or automations to assist agents in quickly getting to the social mentions which need a response.
To learn more about how Sentiment supports fast, effective deployment, request a demo>>