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Getting Social Customer Service Right, The First Time

By Rachel Tran on Oct 11, 2012 4:24:00 PM

You may have recently implemented a dedicated social customer service channel for your business, but are you delivering great customer service when customers first come to you?

Getting Social Customer Service Right, The First Time

First contact resolution is a key element in successfully achieving customer satisfaction through your social channels. Delivering effective social customer service means you should be able to resolve the customer’s inquiry in the fewest number of steps possible – and on the channel in which they choose to contact you on.

Convergys UK Customer Score Card study into customer service shows that the top attributes for a good customer experience are as a result of first contact resolution. 65% of the correspondents note that the most important part of great customer experience is to ensure the customer service rep addresses their needs at the first point of contact.

This is something American Airlines has failed to do. The airline has been in the limelight recently for re-directing their customers to a website, which then prompts them to either mail or email them. American Airlines is just one of the many examples of businesses we have seen who do not understand the benefits of true social customer service. More and more customers are starting to use social media as a communication tool to get in contact with your brand, and here are a couple of things to consider when dealing with their customer service questions online:

Don’t Redirect
Keeping responses to customer queries transparent and online has never been more important than it is now. We understand in some cases it may not be possible to solve a problem within the 140 character limit and that some inquiries may not be as straightforward. But where possible, avoid sending out generic, automated “Please get in touch with [link /phone number] for further assistance” messages. If your customer chose that specific social channel to get in contact with your brand, there is a reason. Redirecting your customers to a website or contact number means they have to do more work, providing a bad customer experience. Escalating social customer service problems to other media is also time consuming – for both the company and your customers. Clickfox has reported that every redirected call costs a business an average of $15.

Knowledgeable Team Members
Having the right tools and processes in place so you can assign queries to the right team member will ensure you deal with their problem as quickly as possible. Research shows 62% of correspondents think that having knowledgeable employees is the third most important aspect for a company to provide good customer service. A team member who has relevant knowledge relating to a query will be able to provide a suitable answer within the first contact with the customer. Don’t impose your organizational structure on your customer. As far as they are concerned, they’re just reaching out to the company. If you don’t know the answer, find someone who does.

With the demand for social customer service growing rapidly, first contact resolution will play a major role in social customer service strategies going forward. Companies will have to ensure they have the right processes in place to guarantee the delivery of a great customer experience, every time.

How important is the first contact resolution for you? Have you ever experienced bad customer service online? We’re interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Got any suggestion for what you’d like to hear from us? Send them over to Rachel@conversocial.com or @Conversocial. We’re always looking for new ideas!

Topics: Best Practices, Customer Service

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