Social customer service optimisation

26 September 2017 by Anita Matthews

Social customer service optimisation

Delivering high quality social customer service is key to improving customer satisfaction and increasing loyalty. It’s a vital component of creating competitive advantage. But just creating a strategy is not enough, it must be continually optimised to ensure it delivers maximum benefit.

Why does social customer care matter?

Effective, engaging customer service is increasingly seen as an important differentiation tool in crowded marketplaces. Brands who invest in social customer care and excel at it, often experience positive growth in retention and repeat purchasing.

Social customer service can also cost less.

  • Serving a customer through Twitter costs 80% less

Combine this with the fact that agents can deal with more than one customer at a time and this can mean big savings for brands who deflect complaints to social.

Optimise your social customer service correctly and you can both reduce your cost to serve and increase customer satisfaction. Sound good?

Here are four key areas to focus on when creating your optimisation strategy.

#1 Plan for social success

Start off on the right foot and identify where you are today and where you want to get to. Create a social customer service plan to formalise your objectives and organise your resources. These will change over time so don't forget to revisit and revise your plan. 

  • Understand your customer – Identify why your customers are contacting you and what their common pain points are.
  • Create clear objectives – Align them with your top-level business objectives to ensure your management team understands the vision and sees the value.
  • Get executive buy-in – Identify your relevant stakeholders and ensure your plan delivers a benefit to each of them.
  • Involve the business – Customer service impacts many areas around the business. Understand how any changes will affect each team and involve them in the process to reduce the likelihood of any last-minute hiccups.
#2 Integrate social with your business

Social media doesn’t work well as a separate component. To get maximum benefit you need to integrate your social customer care with tools, teams and processes across the business.

  • Create a seamless experience across social channels – Customers expect you to have all the relevant information to hand and they hate being shunted from channel to channel. Be prepared to plug your social customer tool into your contact centre to ensure you can flow conversation history and enable agents to easily pick up the thread.
  • Connect your CRM – Get a total view of your customer across all channels and create a ‘single version of truth’. An integrated approach will also help break down departmental silos and ensure improving the customer experience is front and centre of all decision making.  
  • Focus on the channels your customers use – New social channels are appearing every day. Focus on creating a strategy and process that works across your most importance channels first and grow from there.
  • Consider the growing importance of social messaging apps - Over one billion people use Facebook each month. And, consumers increasingly want to talk to businesses via these types of messaging apps. Whatsapp, WeChat and Line are also hugely popular as customers seek a fast and efficient way of contacting brands.
#3 Streamline your workflow and processes

Do more with less. Evolve and improve your social customer care by streamlining the way you collect, process and report on social interactions

  • Unify your social inbox – Having a single stream inbox for all social channels will ensure agents don’t miss customer messages or complaints.
  • Use automations to help manage volume – Help agents triage and process messages quickly and efficiently. Automatically route messages by country or skill-set or according to the agent who last interacted with the customer.
  • Approval loops – Keep control over responses and monitor quality by introducing a manager approval loop. This can be particularly useful for new team members or for training and development.
  • Full conversation history – Don’t make your customer repeat key information. Ensure agents have the relevant details at their fingers tips and are empowered to resolve customer issues.
  • Integrate with marketing – Think about who owns social in your business? Schedule and publish marketing content across your social platforms to grow followers and increase customer engagement.
#4 Measure and monitor your progress

If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it. Improve the visibility of your social customer care data with near real-time, dedicated customer service reporting. Identify areas for improvement and measure these regularly.

  • Agent performance – Understand when your volume peaks are and plan accordingly. Benchmark your response rates, reply rates and measure these over time to check progress.
  • Customer satisfaction on social – Use Twitter customer satisfaction surveys to see how happy your social customers are with the service they receive.
  • Get a real-time view of trends and top topics – Create a big screen social command centre to increase awareness and create a buzz about social. Social can act as an early-warning signal and enable you take a proactive stance on any service outages or issues.

Take action today to ensure you are getting the best from your social media customer care. 

Discover how we can help you optimise your social processes, workflow and productivity. Try the Sentiment platform for free. 

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Tags: planning, Social customer service optimisation, How to integrate social media into the contact cen, social data

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