Over the past few years, social media has emerged as a major new customer support channel — one controlled by the customer, not your company. For some major brands, social media now makes up 10% of all inbound volume (e.g. Hertz —watch their case study here), and is still growing rapidly. I have pages of @mentions and DMs with multiple airlines, Uber, Seamless, FlyCleaners — almost every service I use (I’m a demanding customer). Why would I sit on hold, or email and risk waiting days for a response, when I can just Tweet from my iPhone and get a fast response, sometimes within minutes?
Social media is not like email or chat; its public nature means that a mistake can have huge ramifications for your brand. At the same time, its rules and constraints can make mistakes very easy. If an agent is switching between private, traditional channels and public, social channels, they will slow down as they have to constantly re-think workflows and processes. Mistakes become easy — for example, sending a public message instead of a private DM… a mistake that even twitter’s CFO can make!