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The Future of Customer Service


By Joshua March, Founder and CEO of Conversocial

This Definitive Guide is just the tip of the iceberg for serving the social, mobile customer—customers are now evolving just as quickly as the tech that serves them. Social Media was the harbinger of the customer revolution, but that landscape is ever-changing.

Social customer service has now become an established part of doing business. Tweet at any company and you will most likely receive a response, although timeliness and effectiveness may vary. Even if many companies are not yet delivering the level of social customer service that consumers expect, they know they have to—and are working towards it.

There have been many changes in the social customer service landscape over the last year—and even the last few months—which are helping to define how brands need to engage with their audiences, and what will drive brand loyalty.

Messaging Apps are Live Chat for the Mobile Generation

Messaging applications are becoming live chat channels for the mobile generation. Older web-chat technology, built for a desktop experience, has a great customer experience record, with a reported 73% satisfaction after an engagement, higher than any other form of customer support (eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark).

73% reported satisfaction after an engagement through older web-chat technology.

Social’s well deserved reputation as a forum for publicly escalating service issues and venting has evolved and matured over time. Customers know they are empowered, but what they really want is resolution, immediacy and efficiency. New channels are emerging, and the growing popularity of private messaging is providing brands with new opportunities to securely and personally serve their customers.

So how do you drive your customers to these 1-to-1 channels for a more mature, private customer experience? I recommend pushing volumes to these channels through your contact pages for a seamless customer journey to resolution.

Make it significantly easier for your customers to contact you on private messaging social channels by promoting Facebook Messenger and Twitter DM on your website and mobile applications. This drives service volumes to a less expensive, more personal service experience.

Wider Exposure on Public Social Channels

Twitter has made some changes to how Tweets that begin with a user’s handle are publicized. Previously, those Tweets were only visible to the sender, the recipient and anyone who followed both handles. Now, these Tweets will be visible in the feed of everyone following the Tweeter. This puts brands in the social customer service hot seat. Complaints will be much more visible—making rapid response and resolution more important than ever before.


Being a #SocialFirst brand doesn’t mean that other classic channels should be retired from your service ecosystem. Rather, it means that all channels need to be suited best for the Social, Mobile customer. The “newest” channel for service resolution will always evolve out of the expectations of the new, empowered customer who is always “on” ready to make quick decisions and an ever decreasing threshold for bad, time consuming interactions with companies.

Social Media has given us all a voice, and this means to stay relevant, and serve the social, mobile customer, your brand must:

  • Match the down-to-earth tone and to-the-point voice of your customer

  • Remember your customers with an integrated Customer CRM regardless of engagement channel

  • Measure important analytics cross-channel for a full view of your service performance

  • Adopt an agile service program that can easily accommodate new customer channels

Bringing Machine Intelligence into Service

Social Media Customer Service has provided a unique opportunity for organizations to inject humanity, personality and empathy into their brand voice and customer relationships. This is important to remember—especially with all the current hype around AI and bots. Without the humanity, customers can go back to public escalation (or a more expensive phone call) at the click of a button. Just trying to build a modern-day version of the IVR inside messaging is bound to fail, even with the latest updates in AI—but that doesn’t mean that bots and machine learning don’t have an important role to play in your service mix.

Efficiency and speed are the cornerstone of the ‘new customer experience’. Bots have the potential to speed up simple transactions (checking a balance, ordering flowers etc)—as long as they have a clear, narrow use case, and it’s easy for customers to get help from a human whenever they need to go off script.

Similarly, there are many potential opportunities where machine learning can help increase the efficiency of agents; helping them find the right information, suggesting information and links, prioritizing content and routing more effectively. If done correctly, then together these can help make your customers’ lives easier, and free up agent time to deal with real issues, enabling them to get back to customers faster while focusing more time on the engagement and relationship—helping you deliver humanity at scale.

Man & Machine

Automation and faster, smarter technology are changing the landscape for service channels and the customer experience. This new normal is empowering brands to deal with high-volume, repetitive inquiries in a smart, inexpensive way and arming the customer with instant answers and a user experience that removes friction from everyday service interactions. But the human touch in customer service is crucial for even the most automated of systems. Regardless of how service channels mature, your customers need access to empathy and humanity, and will turn up the volume on their social voice if not.

Social media has redefined so much in our everyday lives. It has reshaped the brand/customer conversation and opened the door for brands to build meaningful relationships with their audience. This authenticity, coupled with the immediacy and efficiency of automation will continue to break new ground in the customer experience in 2017 and beyond.

To carry on the conversation with us on social customer service best practices, Tweet us at @conversocial, or join the discussion on our blog.

If you’d like to find out more about how Conversocial can help you develop an effective social customer service program, get in touch with us at hello@conversocial.com.

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