Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 | 9 min read
Customers really hate your customer service. Not mild dislike, but passionate hate – the kind of hate that involves expletives and insults about your mother.
They hate being put on hold.
They hate having to repeat their problem multiple times.
They hate playing tag with multiple phone operators.
If you’ve ever been on hold with a company, you understand their wrath.
So, it’s not surprising that more than 60% of respondents in a 2013 global consumer survey by Accenture said they are “extremely frustrated” by common customer service practices.
If you think long wait times and having to repeat your issue to multiple phone reps are a necessary part of the world of customer service that consumers will begrudgingly accept, think again.
Rather than put up with poor service, your customers will simply go elsewhere. In fact, two-thirds of consumers say they have switched companies due to negative customer service experiences.
But the repercussions of bad customer service don’t stop there. Your unhappy customers will not only leave you, they’ll also tarnish your reputation — 95% of these dissatisfied customers will tell others about their bad experiences. And almost half will share these experiences via social.
Your traditional customer service model is failing.
So, what should you do? The answer is simple: provide quality support through your customers’ preferred channel, social media.
Recently, we partnered with thought leaders to discuss the future of customer service and why social media will play a leading role. To understand how top brands integrate social into their customer service strategy and why it’s something every brand needs to do in 2015, download our new whitepaper: The Future of Customer Service: Why Your Brand Needs Social Customer Service in 2015.
The percentage of consumers that use social media for customer service more than doubled between 2011 and 2013, from 16% to 37%. Meanwhile, the percentage that sought customer service via in-store visits or phone calls stayed the same, indicating that consumers want a variety of options for contacting a company about a support issue.
A number of forward-thinking brands responded quickly to the changing landscape of customer service and integrated social into their customer service strategy early on. These risk-takers included companies like Comcast (@comcastcares, March 2008), Nike (@NikeSupport, April 2008), Verizon (@VerizonSupport, May 2009), and Citibank (@AskCiti, October 2009).
Now, over half of companies worldwide use social media as a customer service tool.
If you don’t already have a social customer service strategy in place, it’s likely that your competition does, and sooner or later your customers will notice.
Integrating social media into your customer service strategy is a complex project that requires careful planning. There’s a lot that goes into a project of this size, but we’ve identified the top three key elements that every brand will need if they want to succeed in social customer care.
Like any important initiative, your implementation of social customer service needs a plan. Start by mapping out the following:
Since good customer service is so critical to your business, careful planning is essential.
Large companies won’t succeed in social customer care using a standard social media monitoring tool. With thousands upon thousands of daily social media mentions and multiple layers of approval needed before publishing a response, your needs are simply too complex.
Here are a few things your social media infrastructure should be able to do:
Your social customer care strategy is not a set-it-and-forget-it kinda thing. You’ll need to allot time to test and optimize your plan and infrastructure to make sure everything works smoothly.
Your enterprise social media management platform should include a SLA dashboard that tells you how many customer care cases are resolved via social as well as your average response time, which you can track over time to make sure your team improves.
It’s also a good idea to tag messages sent by your social customer care team so that you can easily analyze which types of content resonate best with your audience.
One of the biggest obstacles that companies face when integrating social into their customer service strategy is getting buy-in from senior leadership.
In reality, it’s pretty easy to make a convincing case for social customer care. According to a 2014 report from Aberdeen Group, companies with a social care program experience a 5.6% year-over-year increase in first contact resolutions and a 6.5% increase in agent productivity.
What’s more, they experience a 7.5% increase in customer retention, while companies with no social customer service strategy see a positive change of just 2.9%.
The numbers are clear: social customer care benefits your company’s bottom line. Moreover, your customers expect you to offer support via social media, and your competition is most likely already doing it.
What’s included in the social customer service whitepaper:
About the Author: Chelsea Marti is a strategic marketer with 10 years of experience in B2B and B2C industries. Prior to joining Sprinklr, Chelsea was ADP’s first social media marketing director and formerly managed social media and online communications for Quicken and TurboTax, flagship brands of Intuit’s Consumer Business Division. A frequent speaker and panelist Chelsea has presented at events such as Web 2.0, SXSW, the Digital Analytics Association, and the Insider’s Social Media Summit.