What is social customer service?
Social media is still relatively young, which means the way we’re referring to social media based interactions with customers and prospects is still evolving. Five years ago, people referenced social listening as being able to understand what’s being said about your brand online. Then, being able to break down that information by topic and trend picked up momentum. However, social analytics at scale required natural language processing and machine learning. Soon enough, listening and analytics weren’t enough. Brands wanted to interact with the customers who were posting on social media about them. Truth be told, you can do social engagement without social analytics, but to scale more than a few mentions per hour, you’d need to eventually optimize with an analytics tool. With the right tools, you’d be able to filter through noise, find social mentions that matter and route mentions to people (yes, actual humans) who could reply. Finally, social customer service became front and center and was the culmination of these three things: social listening, social analytics, social engagement.
Who should perform social customer service?
The reality is that people who perform customer service are best equipped to handle social customer service. Why? Because in most businesses they have the tools and information they need to handle service requests. When airlines need to rebook a traveler, they pass that request to a booking agent. When hotels need support with a billing issue ( I mean, how could I NOT pick up the candy bars?) they pass that to the right staff. Not only does this make the most sense logistically, it makes support accessible no matter where the customer is.
How important is Social Customer Service, exactly?
Very. Not only have millennials come to expect you to listen and react to their social posts, even old people like me have learned that sometimes the fastest way to get support is to tweet a company. Being an infrequent traveler on KLM Airlines, and knowing they had a social customer service function, I tweeted them with a seat assignment question. My support need was handled immediately, and most importantly for KLM- in a super cost effective way. See, it only costs about $1.00 to handle an inquiry via social and more than $6.00 on average to handle an incoming call. Multiply that by hundreds or thousands of calls an hour: I’ll take those savings any day.
In the end, even if you’re just beginning to think about social media for social listening, social analytics and social engagement you have a chance to do it in a cost-effective and impactful way.
Let us know if we can show you how with a custom demo with your social media data.
Susan Ganeshan is Clarabridge’s Chief Marketing Officer. Under Susan’s leadership, Clarabridge Marketing produces insightful, educational content that enables business leaders to deliver on the promise of best-in-class customer experience. Follow Susan on Twitter @.