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Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer Service

Joshua March
By Joshua March on Jul 15, 2014 9:20:00 AM

You are a Customer Service hero.

You lead teams of hundreds or thousands of customer service superstars, delighting customers at every turn.

You can rattle off each day’s service level for the past month and still remember it’s your wife’s birthday tomorrow.

You know the phone number for every pizza place within 10 square miles.

And you know the importance and impact social media has on your business.  You were wise to see this trend was not fading away, and becoming an integral part of our everyday lives.  You may have seen that social media’s true potential lies in the value of building stronger relationships with your current customers and letting them share the good word of your business, creating beautiful virtuous cycles.  And if you are a Superhero, you may have realized social is the most real, unbiased voice of your customer.

But your social media solution was built for someone else; someone who doesn’t measure SLA’s or cares about production per hour.  It was built for Marketing.

Let’s compare Marketing’s priorities to your own:

Customer Service and Marketing have different priorities--and need different softwares

Odds are your social media marketing solution was built to reach as many people as possible and look at aggregate numbers versus handling individual customers and making sure they were assisted in a timely and efficient manner.  It’s like using a hammer to insert a screw; you can do it, it’s just messy.  The right tool is critical to getting the results you are looking to achieve.

Within the past couple years, companies have developed social media customer service tools that are built based on the priorities of customer service departments.  Product innovations such as conversation threading (pulling from historical conversations), calculating accurate turn-around-times or SLA’s, measuring agent productivity and efficiency, seamless workflow, and managing risk (i.e. archiving for Compliance).

Recently, Forrester administered a survey to 150 senior contact center executives with headcounts ranging from 100 – 5000+ agents to better understand how dedicated social customer service solutions compare to the marketing’s social media management tools.

Forrester Finding: 45% of standalone Customer Service Solution users rated their ability to measure & optimize the productivity/efficiency of agents as Excellent, versus 10% of free solution users and 8% of Social Media Management Systems

Dedicated solutions make it easier to measure agent productivity

Social Customer Service Game Changer: If you are looking for which option gives you the best Return on Investment, dedicated Customer Service Solutions clearly outshines free (you get what you pay for) and Marketing based Social Media Management Solutions.  Customer Service focused solutions allow you to:

  • Deliver against SLA’s or Turn-Around-Times (top 3 priority of social customers)

  • Understand agent activity and productivity

  • Add smart workflows

  • Optimizing the process benefits both the customer and the company

Forrester Finding: 36% of standalone solution users rated their standardization of delivery of SCS across agents as Excellent, versus 25% of free solution users, 25% of SMMS users

Ability to standardize social customer service

One of the largest concerns for Customer Service leaders is the “rogue” agent or someone who provides inconsistent brand messaging.  This concern is also one of the greatest reasons why Marketing departments are reluctant in handing over the keys to social media customer service to the service organization.  By standardizing delivery, leaders can feel more comfortable agents are staying on brand point, and being the social face of the company.

Why Your Brand Needs a Dedicated Social Customer Service Solution

Dedicated Social Customer Service solutions allow customer organizations do what they do best – serve the customer.  They are not meant to be the bullhorn of your organization, reaching as many people as possible, or focused on adding subscribers.  The Social Customer Service solutions provide the tools to deliver what customer service heroes (like yourself) and customers actually want:

  • A timely and awe-inspiring social customer experience

  • Manage the scale and cost of your organization

  • Be the advocate and listener for the customer

  • Ensure a well-managed and limited risk organization

  • Tools that work for your associates

Our society’s social journeys and experiences are still in the early stages, and the need to be accessible to our customers via social channels is only going to grow stronger.  Soon customers will be banking from their cars or ordering groceries from their refrigerators.  Their watches will be monitoring their heart rates and transmitting real time data to their doctor.  For those customers under 30 years of age, they do not even remember life without the internet.   A social texting application was just sold to Facebook for $19 Billion.  

Whether your organization is actively participating and engaging customers for service or considering dipping your proverbial toe in the pool, having the right tool is critical to your success.  Dedicated social customer service solutions provide the experience, scale, risk management, and agent satisfaction that a hero, like yourself, needs in their organization.

Our research with Forrester Consulting shows that improving social customer service operations is the most pressing short-term goal for customer service decision makers in both the US and UK.
Click Here to Read the Research

Topics: Best Practices, Customer Service

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