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Building an All Star Social Customer Service Workforce

By Rachel Tran on Aug 6, 2013 12:47:00 PM

We’ve been through the steps you need to develop your strategy for Social Customer Service, but how about the team behind the scene? Finding the right agents presents brand new challenges, and your all-star team needs to be trained effectively to develop the right skillset.

When you first start thinking about hiring your social customer team, plucking staff from your social media marketing team may seem like an easy option but this won’t necessarily be the best option; can these team members conceivably deliver real customer service? Similarly, your existing customer service team can’t just be dumped onto your social channels, as they need to be trained for public brand communication. Your agents must develop strong customer service skills, social media etiquette and the competency and confidence to be in a public facing role. Think about the end-to-end training process when choosing where to source team-members from.

Once you’ve got a hiring plan in place, bear in mind these 5 pillars of social customer service training:

Brand Understanding

Representing your brand on these public platforms means your new team must have a full understanding of the brand’s messaging. You need to educate your team on the impression you are trying to create externally, or risk damaging your reputation. When your entire team has internalised the brand, they are best positioned to project that effectively to your customers through every engagement.

Work on real customer issues

It might seem a bit risky at first, especially for new staff, but handling live customer comments and tweets is the best way for your agents to learn and familiarise themselves with the type of messages they will be dealing with on a daily basis. Invest the time to take your agents through real-life examples of customers’ complaints and questions, so that they can hit the ground running as you give them more autonomy over their responses.

Confidence Building

Your team may be shielded behind a computer for the best part of their day, but in reality their role requires them to be an ambassador for your brand.  Rather than leading them with fear into the realm of public, shareable conversations, make sure you instill your agents with the conviction to engage on your behalf, to get the most from them.


It is vital that your team has access to relevant information for customer inquiries, either through a knowledge base or via efficient internal communication. This way, they won’t feel flustered when they come head to head with any tricky queries and will be confident responding to all customers.

Tracking Developments

Having an approval process in place can be the best way for you to give your agents freedom to handle real customer issues without the risk. It can also be particularly useful when overlooking your team’s performance. Analysing approval rates and problems behind repeated holdups can help you identify how your agents can improve.

Our fourth Quick Guide to Social Customer Service: Finding Your All Star Team goes into more detail about what to look for when recruiting your new agents and the training you need to implement to build your all-star team. Download your free copy today below.

Click to Download your Free Quick Guide

What have your experiences been of recruiting a social customer service team - has it been easier to hire and train new staff or existing employees?

Topics: Customer Service

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