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3 Steps to great social customer service during the holidays

Blog
21st December 2017

The holiday season is when customer service teams will be at their most stretched. Ideally you have expanded the team for this busy period, but with so many channels now being used by customers, what are the best ways to cope and continue delivering a great experience to every customer?

Salesforce has some excellent tips on their website, specifically for brands that are using social networks for support. The way that customers expect to be supported on social networks is quite different to voice calls and can often vary between different networks so this requires careful consideration. How do you step up and manage this busy period and have the right metrics in place to ensure that the social team is keeping up with the rest of the customer service effort?

Salesforce urges retailers to think carefully about these three key areas of social support:

  1. Engage with empathy; you can’t afford radio silence on social channels, customers expect service – interact with them as if they are really with you in person. Many customers treat social channels today as a primary communication channel – they see this as their first choice in how to communicate so you cannot treat a tweet as less important than a call.
  2. Respond often and early; Bain & Co research suggests that brands that interact well on social channels receive 20-40% more spending from the customers they interact with so go for it. Answer those online queries and engage with the customer. Don’t worry about how often you engage – social channels can lead to more ongoing communication than you might experience on voice.
  3. Measure, measure, measure; use analytics to find negative mentions of your brand. Engage with those customers. Don’t apply voice metrics to social channels, for example First Contact Resolution. A customer sending a tweet doesn’t expect a response that then shuts them down. Think about how you measure great performance on social channels without constraining the advisors to behave as if they are handling voice calls.

I really liked these three points. I think the most important is to think differently about social channels. A customer engaging on Facebook is starting a conversation between the brand and themselves that other customers can join. It can be a positive outcome to see a long conversation thread develop as much of the work will be one customer helping another. Don’t try measuring or controlling your social advisors as if they are on voice calls – this is a very different type of communication, but many customers value it and prefer social to calls. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here, or get in touch on LinkedIn.

 


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David Turner
Article by: David Turner

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