by Annette Miesbach
Customer service is changing rapidly and fundamentally. In their private life, Millennials and Gen Z have long since abandoned outdated ways of communicating with each other – today, “the screen” is the place to be (and interact), whether it’s Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or any other social network. Social media is literally revolutionizing the way people live and interact – as per October 2019, there were over 3.7 billion active social media users worldwide (source: statista.com).
Naturally, shifts in the way people interact with each other will sooner or later influence how they expect to interact with companies and their customer service. Read this recently published eBook for detailed insight into how to approach Social Customer service. Or if you are pinched for time, here’s a quick summary of some of the new challenges that come with “going social.”
Social customer service is “public” Many social interactions are public by nature. They are very different from an email or a call that involves the customer and the agent; they happen right under the eyes of hundreds, potentially even thousands of other people - prospects, customers, even “ex”-customers. This not only magnifies the importance of ensuring the customer service experience is effective, efficient and “on brand”, but it makes each customer service rep a public ambassador for your company. It is in your best interest to keep them happy and help them live up to that big expectation. The adage still holds true: Happy agents make happy customers!
Social customer service is “fast” Customers using social networks for customer service expect your agents to be there for them, quickly and efficiently. The amount of time customers will wait for a response varies by platform. For example, 85% of customers on Facebook expect a company to respond within six hours, whereas 64% of customers on Twitter want to hear back within the hour. The “need for speed” must be addressed by scheduling agent resources accordingly.
Social customer service is “personal” Consumers searching out a company on a social network expect a customer experience that is less formal than what usually happens in more traditional channels. You should help agents to represent your brand, but many great customer experiences originate by making the interaction more personal. You cannot go above and beyond all the time (like Samsung did when they created a customized Galaxy S3 with a customer’s “fire-breathing dragon” hand-painted picture on it, after the picture went viral), but sometimes – within reason – giving your reps the opportunity to make an interaction more personal or memorable with a joke, or a picture is just what it takes to turn a social interaction into a memorable customer experience.
Customer service in social channels is a brave new world. Are you considering “going social”? Make sure you read our new eBook The Innovator’s Guide to Social Customer Care.