This week we’re excited about National Customer Service Week: an initiative organised by the Institute of Customer Service, and designed to recognise the efforts and achievements of people working in its industry.
All week, customer service employees are organising job swaps, behind the scenes open days for customers, adorning call centres with NCSW merchandise and taking over in-house magazines to draw their colleagues’ and customers’ attention to the importance they place on providing great service.
We think that this is a great opportunity to recognise the movements being made to deliver great service on social networks – a change which breaks down barriers between company and customer, offering help and support where consumers want to see it. This week we’re dedicating our attention to the customer service underdogs; our social media heroes.
NCSW has some great objectives, which we think are especially prevalent for the public world of social customer service:
- Raise awareness of the crucial role customer service plays in building positive reputations and increasing customer loyalty
- Show customers that organisations are committed to meeting and exceeding their expectations
- Show colleagues how important customer service is within their organisation
Getting the whole company to understand the importance of social customer service is in its early days. That’s why we’ve spent a lot of time addressing the obstacles and opportunities presented by handling customer service in this way. Facebook and Twitter are traditionally understood to fall under marketing, but it’s customer service that can really define a company’s success and reputation in an environment where the customer has ultimate power.
So what are the issues facing companies who want to connect their agents with their customers via social networks?
Organisation: Marketing and customer service need to work together in new ways. Silos are unhealthy for a channel with diverse communication needs.
Power: Should customer service agents be given more authority and training to make quick decisions? To trust your representatives and empower them to react quickly, could make all the difference to your company reputation.
Resources: Social networks arguably need even tighter SLAs and quicker response times than existing communication channels. Customer service agents need to be properly equipped if they are to deliver even the same level of service they strive for elsewhere.
We’ll be addressing these issues at our event on Wednesday, Chinwag Live: When Customer Service Goes Social. If you’d be interested in participating in these discussions, register for a ticket while they’re still available, here. For anyone who can’t make it, we’ll follow up this post with another, and share the ideas of our panellists and guests. There will also be video coverage available if you’d like to see it for yourself. So keep your eyes open for part two!
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