Social Media for Customer Service Report 2013


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A 15-page intelligence report that delves into the area of social media for customer service. It contains analysis, insight and case studies including:
• Are you listening?
• Social CRM
• Making connections
• Future social care
• Practical tips

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Social Media for Customer Service Report 2013

  1. 1. Check out our Social Media for Customer Service Summit NYC at @usefulsocial Join the community on: • The impact of customer service • Are you listening? • Social CRM • Making connections • Future social care • Practical tips BestPracticeReportIncluding:
  2. 2. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 2 One of the key areas that social media is now having a profound impact upon is the delivery of customer service. Only those companies that embrace this new paradigm will become leaders in their market sector. What does customer service now mean in a business landscape being transformed by social media? This is a question that many organisations are asking as the answers will be the core drivers behind their business’ development over the next few years. And there is a massive commercial advantage to improving customer service that is delivered via social media networks. According to research carried out by NewVoiceMedia [http://] £12 billion is lost by business with poor customer services. NewVoiceMedia’s CEO Jonathan Gale said: “Customers have a stronger influence on a business’s success than ever before and it’s surprising how many organisations still aren’t getting it right. Customer experience is a key differentiator. By doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.” The impact of poor customer service on business. Circle Research with Vodafone UK. Social Customer Service
  3. 3. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 3 Make no mistake, social media and customer services now have a symbiotic relationship that must be nurtured in every facet of your business. A recent YouGov poll was somewhat of a wakeup call for all businesses struggling to meet their customer services responsibilities, as the research concluded that over half of those polled (55%) under 35 use social media to vent their anger about bad customer services experiences. Three times as many people use Facebook to vent about bad customer service than Twitter, implying a feeling that customer service horror stories are best shared with friends. People who use Facebook experience fewer customer service problems than users of other social media sites (34% of Facebook users, 40% across the social media board). Adam Cooke, creator of Sirportly [], said: “Not responding to customers effectively over social media platforms is reputation suicide. With the impact of word of mouth via social media getting stronger by the day, it’s getting more and more important to both avoid annoying customers in the first place and to be able to defend your brand when it’s being publicly bad-mouthed.” The impact of customer service. Zendesk Business are though, moving to place social media firmly at the centre of their customer services delivery with over 80% of businesses stating they will be using social media more in their customer services delivery over the next year. However, the rush to provide these services can lead to an issue of ownership and where these conversations take place within a business’ organisational structure.
  4. 4. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 4 Julian Heerdegen, CRM Evangelist at SugarCRM [] advises: “Be careful about separate departments. Separation is an invitation for the creation of silos, which in turn are the death of a unified customer experience. Data quality also becomes an issue. Customer service, call centre, marketing – should have access to an intuitive CRM system that integrates with relevant social media channels. “You need to ensure that any interaction between the company (regardless of department) and a customer, via any kind of media, social or traditional, is tracked in a CRM system and available to every eligible employee with customer touch points. Otherwise, sooner or later, customers may get the impression that your company has a selective memory – something that happens way too often.” A wholesale switch to using social media networks as first point of contact with a business’ customer services has yet to take place, but the momentum is gaining pace. Customer service also came under fire in the survey from Redwood Software. [http://www.] More than 61% of respondents reported dissatisfaction at having to repeat personal information to an operator after providing that information through an automated telephone system, and 58% were similarly annoyed when repeating information to multiple people or departments across transfers. Consumer expectations are high, but so is the potential loss for big brands, with these annoyances undoubtedly translating into lost revenue.
  5. 5. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 5 How poor customer services over social media networks can impact on brand advocacy and sales. American Express Global Customer Service Barometer.
  6. 6. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 6 One of the main issues with customer services when touched by social media is the lack of actual response. Indeed the analysts STELLAService [http://happycustomer.stellaservice. com] conducted a number of tests with top brands. Their results revealed that less than half of the retailers tested responded to a customer services query within 24 hours. Also, six of the 25 retailers tested didn’t reply to any of the analysts’ customer service inquiries over the same period, a service decision that could be costing those retailers sales. The recent American Express Global Customer Service Barometer reported that people who have used social media for customer service at least once in the last year are willing to spend 21% more with companies they believe provide great service – in contrast with the general population, which is willing to spend 13% more. STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser says companies that are not responsive to customer service issues aired on Twitter are taking a big risk. “It’s becoming clear that social media savvy consumers are an incredibly important segment of any company’s customer base, both because they have higher service expectations and they have wide broadcast networks for sharing their experiences with others,” Leiser says. “By failing to take Twitter seriously as a customer service channel, companies may be inadvertently ignoring some of their best customers at their own peril.” And it appears that social media when applied to customer services has a sensitive time limit. Twitter for instance can be an almost instantaneous means of making a connection. Consumers who use this channel want a faster response. Last year Evolve 24 [] found that when a company did respond to an enquiry via Twitter, this was welcomed by the customer concerned with 86% stating that they loved to be contacted in this way and that over three-quarters were also satisfied with the response they received. Do you expect a company to read your tweet? Evolve24 Are you listening?
  7. 7. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 7 Has anyone from the company contacted you about your complaints as a result of your tweet? Evolve24 The metric is simple: The faster your corporation can respond to these communications the higher your brand advocacy will be. Businesses like John Lewis showed they clearly understand this metric by being 32% faster than other brands according to the last survey from Brandwatch []. This equated to a response time of 3 hours and 23 minutes on average per contact via Twitter. How long does your company take to respond? John Lewis is bucking the trend that shows some brands are finding it difficult to generate positive sentiment with their customer services activity.
  8. 8. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 8 Brandwatch
  9. 9. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 9 Customer service is also rapidly evolving into social care with social media as the core mechanism to deliver a new level of customer support. Last year NM Incite [http://nmincite. com] looked closely at this topic. “Gone are the days when customer service was the exclusive purview of Operations and Marketing could focus solely on disseminating upbeat messages, their whitepaper on customer services stated. “Fast adoption of social media is quickly blurring the lines between Marketing and Customer Service. Customers cannot be herded to voice their questions, issues and complaints only on ‘service channels’.” Social media has also become ingrained in how consumers reach the brands they need help from. Amazingly most people do not bother to check whether a company has actually set up a Twitter handle to provide such support. They simply go to Twitter, post their issues and expect a direct response from the business, regardless of whether the business is structured to accommodate this. For a company not equipped to face this barrage and engage effectively, brand equity and brand health are at risk. Social cares impact on business. NM Incite. “Some people just love to complain – you can’t get away from that fact. But what our results also show is that consumers are sharing information via social media because they genuinely want brands to be better at what they do,” said Giles Palmer, Founder and CEO of Brandwatch. “The problem comes when brands think they know best. They’re behaving a bit like teenagers, and being too petulant to actually see what’s in front of them.  “Speed isn’t enough. Too often, when faced with a negative comment brands are too quick to ping back an automated message. Perhaps this is the industry’s fault for placing too much emphasis on speed of response. It’s not about speed: it’s about understanding what your customers are taking the time to tell you, learning lessons, and acting on this feedback.” Social CRM
  10. 10. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 10 And don’t forget your staff and how customer services impacts on them. The report from Circle Research with Vodafone UK concluded: “Businesses should also consider the effect poor service has on finding and keeping the best staff. The first report in the Perspective series found that the most successful employers have a number of key characteristics: Their employees are likely to be more loyal when they establish a shared vision that everyone can passionately support. “They make sure employees believe that they’re part of something special and that what they think matters. Above all, they look to create stronger emotional ties other than factors such as conditions and pay can offer. The bottom line is that poor customer service reflects negatively on your business, your employer brand and compromises your ability to attract or retain the best talent. Not many people want to work for the bad guy.”
  11. 11. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 11 Social media is also driving innovation in the customer services pace. In a recent whitepaper Conversocial explained: “With so many of their customers turning to Twitter for support, Warby Parker found the 140 characters limiting when it came to responding to complicated questions. So they decided to record themselves answering individual customer queries via YouTube, and then replied to the tweets with a link to the video. “These videos received a great response, retweeted 65 times more frequently than their other tweets. The videos also brought about a sense of community to the brand, as loyal Warby Parker customers were willing to leave their advice and responses on the videos to the questions posed by new, potential customers. Providing wow moments for your customer makes them more loyal to your brand and more willing to spread their positive experience.” Another great example of how being proactive with customer services can pay massive dividends came from the Four Seasons. After a customer used Instagram to post photos of a room they were less than trilled to use, the company was proactive and liaised with the hotel to resolve the issue. The customer then sent new photos of their room and positively tweeted about their experience. Moreover, research has shown that a customer services query that is positively resolved will be shared with four to six people on that person’s networks. Research by NM Incite supports this activity: “Effective social care gives brands a big advantage. Customers who walk away with a positive experience are three times more likely to recommend that brand. Factoring in the number of friends and family that see the outcome of a social care interaction, and the immediate accessibility the customer has to tweet or post about the positive experience, the potential reach of an effectively executed response can be momentous. Seventy-one percent (71%) of those experiencing great social care are likely to recommend a brand based on their most recent experience, compared to 17% of customers that have a somewhat negative experience.” Customers who experience positive customer services are three times more likely to recommend that brand. NM Incite. Making connections
  12. 12. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 12 Not surprising the two behemoths of social media lead the networks that are most popular to make customer services contact with a brand. Developing your corporation’s use of Twitter and Facebook as customer services touch points is a must. However, it is vital that customer services delivered over social networks aren’t carried out in isolation. It’s very easy for corporations focusing on social care to create yet another silo within their businesses. Customer services and social media is a business-wide activity that can have a huge positive impact on brand awareness and positive advocacy. “Delivering outstanding service creates impassioned advocates and can serve as a powerful marketing weapon for companies,” said Jim Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service, American Express. “For example, consumers who have used social media for service in the last year are willing to pay a 21% premium at companies that provide great service. They also tell three times as many people about positive service experiences compared to the general population. Ultimately, getting service right with these social media savvy consumers can help a business grow.” Your business knows that social media channels are now a vital touchpoint with customers, but increasingly important is how customer services queries are managed over these networks. Using social media in a customer services scenario is nascent to a degree, but this area of your business is set to explode, as more consumers switch to these channels as their primary contact point for customer services. Is your business ready? Future social care
  13. 13. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 13 Practical Tips
  14. 14. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial 14 1. Stay focused on the basics A lot of talk today is about ‘connected’ customers. Businesses are likely to respond with more and more emphasis on digital and social media. As research shows, the vast majority of people still want to communicate by phone, email or in person. So make sure your customers are always able to contact you on their terms. For most businesses this will mean keeping these core elements as the bedrock of a progressive multi-channel strategy. 2. It might seem obvious, but ask your customers for feedback Above all customers want their issues resolved satisfactorily. Companies that do this well know their customers inside and out. They solve problems successfully because they know what both delights and irritates their customers at every single stage of their journey. To help you achieve this goal, it’s well worth considering investing more of your time gathering detailed customer feedback. Large businesses can consider new systems that gather real time feedback on mobile phones, for example. Small businesses can compete by gathering feedback and intelligence via social media. 3. Use social media to do more with less In customer service terms, social media is often talked about as a new channel that will need to be implemented to address new demand. It can also help you understand how your customers feel about you. But could it help drive new efficiencies? Used as part of your overall service mix, social media has great potential to bring cost savings: for example, by diverting some people away from your phone lines. 4. Do what you can to break down walls Individuals who feel like they have full responsibility for resolving issues carry out great customer service. Where everyone is focused on the customer experience. Equally, it’s characterised by a seamless experience whether it’s in a shop, online or on the phone. Do you need to break down the barriers that exist within your company? Can you do more to help staff share knowledge and insight? Job shadowing across the business might be a good start. Making sure managers spend time on customer service issues is even better. 5. Take it one step at a time, and set those expectations Whether you’re thinking about adding new channels like social media right now, or simply have them on the to-do list, take it one step at a time. The social media world in particular is very accepting of experimentation. Make a small start, gather feedback along the way and refine your efforts as you move forward. Remember, just like your stores, or phone lines, social media doesn’t necessarily have to be 24/7. It’s ok to set expectations. If you prefer to confine your social media customer service to office opening hours, that’s okay.
  15. 15. Speakers include: A practical and interactive business conference built for customer service, social media and communication executives. Featuring experts like: MasterCard Worldwide Daniel Balistierri Vice President, Global Service Experience FedEx Ginna Sauerwein Managing Director Best Buy Amy Jo Stark Senior Director of Enterprise Customer Care T-Mobile USA Krissy Espindola Director, Knowledge Management Social Customer Support Get best practice from the global leaders: Exclusive strategic insight on the future of social support from senior Vice Presidents of customer service from some of the biggest brands in the world Get closer to your customers through your social strategy: Build valuable relationships, humanize your support and become proactive to enhance long-term customer loyalty Stand out in a highly competitive market: Support your customers more efficiently, respond in real-time and differentiate your company USM Take your customer service social for a superior customer response, enhanced satisfaction, increased brand loyalty and a more cost effective resolution Two day business conference, October 22-23, 2013 The New Yorker Hotel, New York #CSMCS The Third Annual Social Media for Customer Service Summit New York