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Chapter 9

A Customer Service Experience that Suits the Social, Mobile Customer


Improving social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for contact centers in the US and UK according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting.


Is Your Social Care Best-in-Class?

More than half of the companies surveyed believe that it will continue to grow in importance. It is now a given that brands must not only offer social channels as viable service options, but these experience must be premium-level. Brands employing best-in-class Social Customer Care have reached beyond CSAT to VSAT. Instead of striving for a “good” customer satisfaction score, the bar has been raised, and brands know that because of the human, empathetic element of Social, they can leave their customers very satisfied.

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to note that currently only 33% of the social customer service solutions being used by those surveyed were actually selected by the Customer Service team. That means that Marketing is making the majority of decisions when it comes to Social Media.

This often results in a disconnect between Customer Service and Marketing, with the former stuck using Social Media Management Suites (SMMS) for Customer Service. These suites are often great for Marketing but insufficient for the complex needs of a Customer Service department. This leads to organizations having to make unplanned investments to fix the social customer service problem.

Departmental Priorities:

Customer Service Priorities

  • General references of the company’s products and services

  • Positive experiences of the company’s products and services

  • Indirect references that are relevant to the company’s industry

  • Growth from existing customers

Marketing Priorities

  • Gathering customer data

  • Increase conversion rates

  • Building brand awareness

  • Digital measurement

  • Growth from new subscribers

Dedicated solutions allow customer service teams to do what they do best— serve the customer.

Ultimately, dedicated solutions allow customer service teams to do what they do best—serve the customer. These teams are not focused on reaching as many people as possible, building brand awareness or adding subscribers like their Marketing colleagues, and as such require a different tool.

Dedicated social customer service solutions provide the tools to deliver what contact center teams actually want:

  • A timely and awe-inspiring social customer experience

  • An increase in operational efficiency and cost-savings

  • A well-managed and limited risk organization

  • A platform that fits seamlessly and effortlessly into existing contact center systems

To deliver the service at scale a customer service team needs, it is essential for social media to be fully integrated into the contact center. This allows agents to be managed and resourced properly, with the same efficiency metrics as other channels; and with integration of data across different channels allowing a customer to move seamlessly between social, email and phone if necessary.

What to Look for in a Social Customer Service Solution

Delivering customer service over social media presents an opportunity to delight customers and improve brand reputation, while significantly reducing the cost per interaction. At the same time, the public nature of social media carries a number of unique challenges, and minimizes the margin for error. An effective, secure, and scalable social customer service program starts with a dedicated solution that provides:

  • Context: Social customer service software needs to provide prior interaction history to give agents full context of the customer’s issue. Threaded conversations of both private and public messages gives your agents more information about the customer’s outreach, resulting in more educated engagement and issue resolution.

    Prioritization: Social media is full of noise, making it difficult for agents to identify sensitive issues that matter to your organization. Ensure your social customer service software applies intelligent prioritization to incoming messages, enabling agents to respond to ‘higher risk’ issues first.

    Real-time analytics: CReal-time analytics are key to continually monitoring the SLA and KPI attainment of agents, as well as providing an early indicator for issues that might require involvement of other departments. Additionally, social customer service software should provide historical insights into trends over time to deliver actionable insight for your business.

    Security: Regardless of industry, comprehensive safeguards need to be in place to ensure information security and regulatory compliance. Look for a software that provides role-based permissions, an approval workflow, IP locking and a fully searchable, exportable archive.

    Integration: In order to achieve a single view of the customer, it is vital to choose a social customer service software with a full set of APIs, which allows you to surface social information through your CRM systems and contact center technologies.

    Proactive customer service: Brands using tools that only process @mentions are likely to miss service issues, or potential sales opportunities. A tool that provides proactive searches over social media will broaden your scope for engagement, meaning you don’t miss out on valuable conversation opportunities.

    Workflow: With the high incoming message volume social brings, agents and managers need to work seamlessly to balance workload and avoid duplication of effort. Choose a social customer service software that enables you to add a layer of automation, providing a smart workflow for large-scale customer service teams, and empowering your agents to deliver better and faster social customer service.

    Expertise: Choose a social customer service partner capable of helping you implement a scalable operation that aligns with business requirements and industry best practices.

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