We asked Laura Roscam, Solutions Engineer for Clarabridge CX Social, all about the social customer service industry.
Here’s her take:
1. What do you believe are the key ingredients for a brand to engage successfully with its customers on social media?
Personally, I believe there is one major key ingredient and one extra ingredient that will make your customers love your social customer care efforts.
For me, the social team consisting of the care agents and their personalities drive the success. Care agents usually have a very good sense of humor, know how to be smart and honest but not arrogant, and always are dedicated to delivering the easiest, most efficient and best service.
An extra nice-to-have is when the customer care team has a quick response time. I’m not one to pick up the phone to call a customer service team, as I truly believe I’ll be helped out a lot quicker via digital media. If I provide all the necessary information in one short Twitter direct message or private message on Facebook, a customer care agent can read through all the information at once and help me out immediately. So, a quick response time is that extra ingredient that I believe contributes to success as well.
2. As an industry insider, what are you most excited about concerning innovation in the field?
In general, I’m really excited about voice to text and voice searching use cases. Personally, I already notice how easy it is to talk to your devices and let them do the work. It saves you so much time and effort.
In the future, while further innovating the customer care field, this will hopefully lead to an effortless ability to talk to bots that understand the spoken queries. However, today I am very enthusiastic about the current state of chatbots and how they are being considered more and more as a help on digital channels, rather than as a replacement for existing customer care teams.
3. Can you share your thoughts around social customer service and how it differs from (or parallels) social media management?
Managing and analyzing your social media efforts traditionally was organized by the marketing department. Not so long ago, marketing managed the social media channels for the company, the brands and the products. They updated online content and analyzed general KPIs such as the growth in followers. However, managing social media started moving across two or more different departments and the contact center got involved as well.
While marketing started to focus on paid promotional content, more and more customers found their way to the social channels. On top of that, additional marketing efforts resulted in an influx of questions about products and purchases from consumers.
As a result, various companies started melding together their marketing and online customer care teams. Managing and analyzing these social media efforts resulted in not only looking at standard KPIs, but also analyzing performance metrics such as response times, resolve times and handle times.
4. Name that trend: Can you share what industry trend you are most excited about at the moment as well as what’s hot but probably not worth the hype?
Ephemeral content is very hot but not worth the hype, in my opinion. A lot of companies and brands distribute content on social media that disappears after 24 hours. Instagram stories are interesting, Snapchat photos are fun, and it will definitely engage the audience—and, I must admit, I am frequently triggered via ephemeral content to buy something. However, in my opinion it does not make sense to offer customer care via these channels. The content triggers questions but disappears a few moments later. Sometimes, even the questions and answers sent by your care team will disappear and consumers cannot go back in the transcript to read through the conversation again.
I remain a huge fan of video content. I never before saw such an increase in video content creation on so many different channels. YouTube keeps on growing; Snapchat images become Snapchat videos; Instagram pictures turn into Instagram clips, and even Instagram TV was launched recently. I believe that this video trend and the recent trend to message privately with a company and get one-on-one customer service via those channels will be taken one step further. We could very well be video-calling/chatting with a customer service agent in the near future.
5. Tell us the most rewarding interaction you have ever had with a brand on social and why it has stuck with you.
One little thing that makes me really happy is flowers. Every now and then at the local florist, I buy some lilies or tulips. Not long ago, I bought myself a dozen tulips. When I returned home from work the next day, I found a dozen droopy tulips. Rather than being happy to see my flowers at home after work, I was not amused, so I took my sadness to Twitter.
Personally, I prefer to send private messages rather than posting mean or “I’m disappointed” public Tweets. So, I DMed my florist with a picture and asked him how I could prevent the droopy tulips in the future. Only a few minutes later, the florist responded with an apology and mentioned I could pick up some new ones the next day. With the flowers, I received a little note on how to take care of them in the best way.
The experience was very rewarding because I learned something new and I got some new flowers! Thank you, florist, and thank you, Twitter!
Laura Roscam (@lauraroscam) is Solutions Engineer for at Clarabridge CX Social.
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