As sponsors for Our Social Times’ Social Media Week Event, we got the chance to take part in an interesting and insightful discussion around the question of the moment: How Do Brands Deliver Effective Social Customer Service?
Martin Hill-Wilson, Customer Service & Social Business Strategist, identified that 71% of consumers are now complaining online because traditional channels have failed. In line with this growth, more and more businesses are starting to offer customer service on their social channels, with figures as high as 60% of brands in the UK.
However, many brands at #smwcustserv are still yet to take the plunge struggle with issues we have heard time and again - how many Twitter handles is too many; how do we get customers to engage; and how to manage volume with a small team.
Marketing vs. Customer Service on Twitter – Should we keep it separate?
A question which has been repeatedly asked by brands, and one which never fails to split the panel. Some brands opt to have two different handles to ensure marketing and customer service tweets are isolated from each other, but brands must remember customers are not going to seek out your separate customer service handle in the heated moment. What instead happens, is brands redirecting customer service queries, making the customer even more frustrated. When the question was opened up to the panel, Greater Anglia’s Paul Bentley discussed how his experience shows that a single channel works best.
When does engagement become customer service?
It was interesting to hear from one audience member who has a low number of customer service queries coming through Twitter, compared to the masses they receive via email – posing the question, how do I get more customers engaging with us on Twitter? If you are new to using social media for customer service, let your customers know you are there to help, maybe have it as part of your bio or send out a tweet every morning informing them of your new service. Brands should take the opportunity to surprise and delight their customers by proactively reaching to them, even if they haven’t directly mentioned you.
Finding the right resources – how many agents do I need?
Greater Anglia has 20,000 followers, and four customer service agents – how do they manage all their incoming messages with such little manpower? Big brands have to rifle through a great deal of noise on social channels before they get to the core customer service queries. This is only manageable because they have an efficient tool in place to help prioritise and filter through real customer issues. With the right team using the best social customer service software on the market, social agents can blast through noise and deal with customer issues quickly and effectively.
Check out Our Social Times’ recap post featuring all the slides from the presentation here.