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Social Customer Service Lessons from The Social Media for Customer Service Summit

Harry Rollason
By Harry Rollason on Nov 20, 2014 9:53:00 AM

At the start of the month, Conversocial sponsored and presented at Useful Social Media’s Social Media for Customer Service Summit. Having sponsored the conference since its inception, we came with high hopes for quality discussions with many of the industry's top experts and practitioners. We were not disappointed.

So with the sun set once more on the summit, what did we learn from the stellar line-up of corporate speakers? What should you take away and apply to your own social customer service strategy?

Key Takeaways 

There were a lot of topics discussed on the day, but for us the Tweet that resonated more than most focussed on people, process and technology. These three topics seemed to underline the conversation over the two days. 


Speakers and attendees all agreed: having the right people is key to a successful social contact center. But the most common question of the day was "How do you identify the right people for the job?"

We liked what we heard from Dan Moriarty (Hyatt Hotels) during the opening panel. When asked his five tips for setting up social care, number one to him was that nothing matters more than the people. When setting up their own social care desk a year and a half ago, Dan’s team realized they would need people to manage the platforms naturally, so they looked at the personal social media usage of their social care applicants. From there, it was easier to train them on marketing principles than the other way around.

It is rare to come across a traditional customer service team that is perfectly suited to the demands of social media. On social, agents become brand ambassadors and therefore need to possess all the skills that come with a public-facing role, on top of the skill sets needed to be a great agent over traditional channels like phone and email.

It was interesting to hear insight on how these roles have been developed in such a short period of time. We must remember that social customer service is only as old as social media. As the communications channels mature, so does the response from the contact center. The global enterprises speaking at the summit recognized the challenges and are structuring their processes to be adoptable as the customer needs evolve.


If the people are driving the success of a social customer service operation, process is there to steer them in the right direction. Even the most social companies need to know what is successful and what is not in dealing with customer issues. This theme too was one which will likely lead to additional conversations as social customer service further responds to the changing nature of communications. How do we define success in this area? Is it in response time or customer responses? Can the data be quantified and then auctioned to within the social care structure? These were some of the top questions being asked throughout the two days.


Of course, this wouldn’t be a social media conference without a heavy dose of technology. After all, as we all stared down at our devices in between sessions, the impact social media has on our lives was made very apparent. But those devices also serve as a reminder about the power of distraction that technology can hold. This is important to keep in mind as social customer service determines the proper role of technology in the customer care workflow.

One theme that was introduced was the importance of the people who are responsible for answering customer social media posts. We cannot divorce the social from the customer care. The human touch is key in successfully managing social customer care.  The technology is still key and can help bridge the gap between enterprises and their customers. It is a combination of technology, people and process that go into building a top social customer care service.

Overall, it was encouraging to hear from the industry the recognized maturation of social media as a customer service channel. In the last 12 months the conversation has evolved - it is now about the resolution, not just the response. This resolution need to be a seamless in-channel experience and for this to happen companies need to integrate social fully into their contact stack.

Global corporations recognize social media is now a primary form of communications for their customers and industry leaders are taking steps to not just react to Tweets and Facebook but actively engage with customers. We look forward to seeing how the industry evolves even further at the next summit. 

Topics: Brand Stories, Industry News, Social Leaders

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