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National Customer Service Week: Planning for The Future of Social Customer Service

By Rachel Tran on Oct 11, 2013 12:16:00 PM

Every year the Institute of Customer Service hosts National Customer Service week to raise awareness of how customer service can help improve business performance. This year’s theme - ‘United Through Service’ - brings focus on different areas of customer service, including today’s spotlight on planning for the future.

Future-proofing customer service
DMG Consulting  recently predicted that within the next five years customer interaction on social will increase to match those over the phone. Brands not actively using social media to reach out to customers will quickly realise how crucial social customer service is for building business-to-consumer relationships, as well as reputation management. When integrating social customer service into the core of your business - future-proofing customer service - there are a few key things to keep in mind:

Customer Demand
If your brand is using social channels as part of your marketing strategy, the likelihood of customer’s reaching out for customer service is going to be high. New research has found that a quarter of people who use social media to complain expect a response within the hour, and 6% within 10 minutes - are you meeting your customers demands?

Objectives
It is important to establish business-wide objectives for customer engagement. Why are you implementing this; what benefits will you see for your business and your customers? Outlining objectives from the start will prove to C-Level management how essential Social Customer Service is for your future customer service offering, and allow you to effectively sustain and scale social customer service further down the line.

Example objectives include:

  • Capture £400k of additional revenue through proactive engagement with customers on social media

  • Increase customer spend by up to 23% by providing social customer service

  • Reduce maintenance reporting costs by up to 12% by harvesting customer feedback on Twitter

Resources
Building your team is as important as setting out your objectives. You need the right team with the right customer service and social media skillset. These are the people who are going to be your brand ambassadors online, and must possess the confidence to engage with your customers on behalf of your brand on a public platform. It is important to look for someone who not only has strong written communications skills, but also experience in working with social channels as well as an understanding of customer service processes. The next step is to decide whether it would more beneficial for you to hire from your existing customer service and social team, or hire externally. Take a look at our Quick Guide to Finding Your All Star Team for more on recruiting agents and training existing staff.

Topics: Best Practices, Industry News, Social News, Customer Service

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