The definitive guide to social customer service


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

The definitive guide to social customer service

  1. 1. The Definitive Guideto Social Customer Service
  2. 2. IntroductionSocial customer service is an entirely new challengefor companies; one that many couldn’t have envisagedonly a few years ago. It is a real need today, but onewhich has crept up on us unexpectedly. The successfulattempts of marketing teams to attract an audienceand foster engagement have opened up a new routefor customers to speak to companies about anythingthey want - including real problems and questions.Delivering effective customer service through socialnetworks provides a great opportunity to connect withcustomers, but presents new obstacles that customerservice and marketing departments have never had toconfront before.The job of the social media manager trying to organisean entirely new customer engagement program is atricky one. What are the practical steps you need totake to make it happen for your own organisation?This guide will try to help you figure it out. 01
  3. 3. What’s in store? Making the case for social customer service01 Why does it all matter? Level One: The Basics02 How to get going on your own – delivering the right kind of response for social media. Level Two: Calling for Backup03 Tools to help you extend a social customer service program throughout your company. Level Three: Measuring and Refining04 How you can understand and improve your social customer service program and keep track as you scale it. Afterthought: The Future of Social Customer Service05 Where you can take your social customer service program next. Where do I start? You can pick this guide up wherever it suits you. If you’re just starting to get organised, hit it from the top, but if you’re looking to shape up your processes, dive straight into Level Two. You’ll find several workbook elements, designed to help you shape your own program for your company. We hope this guide will be a well-loved resource, for you to keep by your side as you grow. 02
  4. 4. 01 Making the Case for Social Customer Service Why does it matter? 03
  5. 5. 01 The Challenge of Social Engagement Balancing group engagement with individual requests on social networks is a unique challenge. An effective social engagement program requires input from several areas of the company Tuning the message 01 02 Delivering the knowledge In most companies, marketing departments have Today, consumers are bringing a whole range initiated social media programs. The public nature of of enquiries to social media that require specific the medium puts pressure on getting the message knowledge. This could be the details of a particular right, in what is first and foremost an opportunity for deal, product or just the processes to deal with a promotion. Any communication (or miscommunication) complaint effectively. Marketing departments might on social media represents your brand in its entirety. have tone of voice nailed, but just don’t hold the This can make social customer service difficult to get information needed to pass on to customers when it started with, as there’s little room for experimentation comes to real customer service issues. Conversely, with the looming threat of mistakes going viral. contact centres and customer service teams hold the knowledge customers are crying out for, but they just aren’t placed to respond to them. “Do you think providing customer service over social channels is a good “Are service processes well defined thing for your organisation?” for social channels?” 04
  6. 6. 01 Sounds tough, why bother? It’s already happening 01 Your customers are asking for customer service on Facebook and Twitter. Source: Facebook, Conversocial, Oracle, Clickfox. 05
  7. 7. 01 Ignoring it is bad for business 02 A social media crisis is a huge fear for marketers. Altimeter reviewed a decade of social PR storms and found that the biggest culprit was a poor experience shared online. Service received is the one issue that will touch every customer you have. According to ClickFox, only 3.5 % of customers remain unaffected by other customers’ comments on your page. Our own research has found that an astronomical 88% of consumers would be less likely to buy from companies ignoring complaints and questions on social media. With social networks, your community is strongly united, and cares about much more than direct individual experiences. Those who fail to address customers’ problems will suffer financially. Causes of Social Media Crises (2001-2011) Moreapply one cause may than 06
  8. 8. 01 Doing it right brings real benefits 03 Customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and meeting customer expectations are perceived as the strongest benefits to be gained from social engagement, and social customer service is understood to be integral to achievement. “Do you think providing customer “What were the primary/secondary service over social channels is a benefits experienced when using good thing for your customers? ” social channels? ” UK cinema chain, ODEON, found that starting a serious in-house social customer service program reduced negative sentiment by 60%. ODEON’s social channels have become reliable routes for cinema-goers to reach out, which has greatly increased the number of queries being submitted in favour of damaging complaints. 07
  9. 9. 01 Doing social customer service properly has an impact on your bottom line 04 People often turn to Facebook and Twitter once they But it’s not too late! In fact it’s the very time to turn them have exhausted other channels, and see social media around. Customer retention is the mainstay of social as an opportunity to finally be heard – taking the issue media value. Marketing often focuses on new customer public. By this point, customers are often frustrated to acquisition, but comprehensive social engagement the point of turning to a competitor. can increase the value of existing customers, and even transform them into brand advocates. CASE STUDY: Leading UK Telecoms company, B.T, has achieved significant results from effective social customer service. Their surveys found that over 50% of customers find it easy to get help using social media, with the majority also now preferring these platforms to traditional channels. This is generating significant savings, with 54,000 calls being deflected via social media every month, and allowing for effective crisis communication, with over 300,000 customers reached via Twitter during the London riots. Most significantly, because of the service they’ve had over social media, 90% of customers plan on staying as customers, and 50% say they would recommend BT to friends. “If you are unable to get an enquiry answered or issue resolved in a timely manner via social media, what is your next point of contact with a company?” Trying to push customers away from social customer service isn’t only frustrating; it’s expensive. Phone support costs an average of $15 for every call. It’s worth investing the time to get social customer service done properly, through the channels requested. It’s what your customers expect, and they’ll thank you for achieving it. 08
  10. 10. 02 Level One: The Basics How to get going on your own – delivering the right kind of response for social media 09
  11. 11. 02 Facebook and Twitter 101 There are plenty of references across the web to social media best practice, but it’s important to keep in mind the context of the platform you are working with. We’re focusing on Facebook and Twitter in this guide, as the most widely used social networks by consumers. Facebook and Twitter present slightly different customer service challenges and requirements. Twitter: The Quick Spread Your Corporate Response Twitter is also known as a microblog, and is all about distribution. The scope for Facebook: One Voice retweeting means that a negative message can be spread to an unanticipated audience. When customers visit you on Facebook to Your own broadcasting channel remains complain or ask a question, you should reply as unaffected by your customer service the page. Some companies have established requests, but your presence on Twitter is fake profiles (‘Jenny at Conversocial’) for the more heavily characterised by what the company to respond from. This may seem like masses are saying. a nice way to offer support, but these fake accounts are against Facebook terms of service and may be deactivated. Anyone can setup one Facebook: The Long Burn of these fake accounts and it’s much harder to Facebook is less set up for the wide distribution determine whether outreach is legitimate. of commentary. But your outward broadcasting channel can be more easily tainted by Twitter: Connected Voices complaints and unanswered questions. Your entire fan base can see complaints when they Many companies establish a different Twitter see your updates or visit your page, but anyone account to respond to customer service issues who isn’t already engaged with you is less likely than is used for marketing updates, to try to discover negative issues. and channel customers’ messages. For those with huge volumes of incoming tweets, it’s often necessary, with a limit of 1,000 tweets Remember: Customers can take a screen per day for any account. However, setting up shot or copy and paste text to share anything @companyhelp won’t stop customers from in minutes, no matter what the platform. complaining to @company, and you’ll need to be Online, it’s much easier for news to spread prepared to pick up issues wherever than any other medium. they’re directed. 10
  12. 12. 02 We’ve pulled together this table to demonstrate some things to be aware of when customers reach out to you in different ways in Facebook and Twitter. Message What you should know... @mention Your customer is speaking directly to you. This appears on their profile rather than being published to their followers, and so is specifically targeted at you. Tweet containing Your customer is writing a tweet about you to their followers’ news feeds, an @mention but they want you to see it. Tweet with your Your customer has referenced you or your services in a tweet. Although company name/ they might simply not know or bother to look for your Twitter handle, product or service reaching out to these tweets is more proactive than reactive service, and you’ll need monitor Twitter for specific searches. Retweet When someone sees something they find interesting and retweets it, they are effectively hitting ‘share’ to their followers. This isn’t a new tweet (it’s even displayed with the original name and picture), but is the way in which one tweet gets a whole new audience. Direct Message Direct Messages are used to send private messages to other Twitter users, and you must be following someone to receive one. Unless you have a validated account, you will need to follow customers in order for them to share personal details with you, so make sure you do before asking for a DM. Message What you should know... Post Customers often come to a fan page to post customer service issues; it’s one of the few times they visit the actual page, as most engagement takes place via the news feed. On the new Facebook timeline, these can be viewed at the very top of the page under ‘Recent posts by others’. Both you and other customers can respond with comments under the post. Comment When a customer adds a comment to one of your updates the rest of your fans can see it in their news feeds, without them having to visit your page. Often, this will be general chatter and interactions, but updates can also prompt customers to complain or ask questions, particularly for posts about products. These can get lost among other comments without the right tools. But the cost of missing them is high, because of their visibility and the chance of the issue snowballing as other customers add their comments. Private message Facebook recently released private messages for pages, which are pretty similar to Twitter’s Direct Message. Anyone can send you a direct message by visiting your Facebook timeline, making Facebook a more comprehensive service channel. These can be any length, and you can only respond to customers – you can’t initiate a private conversation. 11
  13. 13. 02 Take Real Customer Service to Social Media The most important goal for a new social customer service program is the fast and public resolution of customers’ problems. Social customer service should deliver real assistance, not lip service to the idea of customer care. Why? On social media your customer service program is being watched, and that matters for business. What’s at stake is far bigger than the individual requests raised. If you resolve an issue offline, that customer might go away satisfied, but it doesn’t undo the social damage of their complaint. How do your other customers know that you’re so helpful? What are your customers asking for? You can save yourself a great deal of time by looking at the most common requests you receive through social channels. Identifying recurring queries and getting all the facts down allows you to respond even quicker. Exercise: Take a look at the past fortnight or month of your Facebook and Twitter messages. • What issues came up again and again? • Is there some part of company policy or a nugget of information you can obtain to help your customer? • Can you give them specific steps to resolve their problem? For general queries or complaints, you should be able to create an easily accessible resource of answers. It could be that asking a colleague a few simple questions could fast-track your efforts to offer real help to your customers on behalf of your company. Fill in your findings into the worksheet on the next page. This FAQ list can form the basis of your customer service framework to be shared throughout your organisation when you come to scale up your response machine. 12
  14. 14. 02 Social FAQ’s Question Answer Tip: Creating this list of real questions that are asked on Facebook and Twitter is the best way to demonstrate your company’s need to take customer service seriously to others in your team. If you regularly need to turn to others for help, then it’s about time that you got your customer service team involved (See Level 2) 13
  15. 15. 02 Crafting a Response Fit for the Public You’ve identified your customers’ most pressing issues, and gathered some useful information to share with them, but delivering the perfect response is a fine art. You need to carefully balance: 03 Reactive Tone • Customer expectations of a more approachable version of your brand No matter where the lines are drawn for your brand’s social persona, showing empathy, and being responsive to the tone • Core characteristics and principles grounded in of each message is essential. If your customer is reaching your own brand guidelines out to you positively, you should mirror their enthusiasm. If • Professionalism of a serious and dedicated service they are angry or upset, a more sombre tone is required. channel A response to a question in social media becomes 04 Calm and Measured Reactions a part of your brand experience - customer service replies are no different to marketing updates. As for any Accepting genuine faults and saying sorry is much better for public outlet for your brand voice, it’s important to think damage control than denying issues or deleting comments, about what wording and colloquialisms are appropriate both of which are sure to make customers more angry and for your company in social media. If you have any tone vocal - and put you at risk of issues escalating into full-blown of voice guidelines established for official company crises. False or mistaken statements about your company posts and tweets, you can take a huge amount of this should be corrected (only when you’re certain) but behaving into your approach to customer service responses. defensively will only add fuel to the fire. Customers may use angry or aggressive language, but it shouldn’t be matched. All social customer service You’ll be surprised how much a few sympathetic words responses have certain basic can pacify an irate customer. Company statements should always be calm. requirements: Sociable Language 01 KLM’s rules of engagement Social networks require a fundamentally different tone of • Embrace feedback, even when it’s voice to more traditional channels, such as email. Some negative (neutralise those who are natural restrictions, such as Twitter’s 140-character limit, can expressing dissatisfaction, or even make certain things acceptable (such as shortening words to turn them into advocates) fit the character limit) that wouldn’t be acceptable elsewhere. • Respect privacy. Do not share personal information publicly. Personalised Response 02 • Show empathy and acknowledge When you respond on Facebook or Twitter it comes from the your customer’s emotions. It will brand, but this doesn’t mean it has to be cold and corporate. open the dialogue. To make replies more personal, agents can sign their names (or initials in Twitter). This shows the person behind the • Sometimes people just want to be heard - listening can be better than response, and allows for a human connection to develop a solution. with those customers that engage with you regularly. 14
  16. 16. 02 Scaling Gracefully As the volume of questions and queries coming through social media mounts, you need to find ways to maintain your level of service and avoid a customer backlash. The Risk: The snowball effect Establish a method that ensures no The customer service burden grows when issues are messages are being missed neglected. One ignored customer equates to more Most companies aren’t purposefully ignoring people; than one problem to deal with. Fans and followers will often they have hardworking and attentive social media repost their complaint and others will get involved. If managers who are trying to respond to questions when you don’t step in and address an issue, your upset they see them. But with high volumes of messages, customer will find that others chime in to share similar it becomes impossible to know what you’ve seen. On experiences, and real momentum can pick up on a Twitter, @mentions and DM’s come in a consistent problem. The only way to stop the snowball rolling is date order, but in Facebook questions can be asked in to get involved. a comment on an old post or photo. The Solution: At scale it becomes very difficult to keep track without software. The right software will ensure that everything Step 1: Consistency 01 is seen, and that multiple team members aren’t wasting time searching for new messages or duplicating Make sure every issue gets their effort. a response Social media can never become a serious service How Conversocial Helps: channel if attention to customers’ issues is ad-hoc. Dissatisfied customers become even unhappier if they Conversocial’s workflow operates the Inbox 0 discover others getting preferential treatment, while concept. If you can see it, someone needs to their own queries go unanswered. Inconsistency is deal with it. A shared team inbox, that presents more critical on social networks than private customer every customer message chronologically, means service channels – every request is available for your that you can work through content as a team entire customer base to see. and ensure nothing is missed and no efforts are duplicated. Conversocial’s research has found that leading companies are ignoring around 60% of customer issues on Facebook. 15
  17. 17. 02 Step 2: Quality 02 Make a real connection Consumers are turning to companies with genuine customer service issues, but are frequently pointed towards traditional customer service channels if they want real help. Regardless of the channel, when customers reach out first contact resolution makes for the best customer experience. Even if you can’t give a complete resolution straight away, make sure your response shows you are really listening, and they have Ask yourself: succeeded in connecting with your company. If you Have you passed on information which puts your need further information to help, ask for it, even if this is customer in a better position than when they first just to pass on to a colleague. An auto-responder, akin reached out? to ‘thank you, we have received your email’ won’t cut it. Top attributes for a good customer experience Source: Convergys U.K. Customer Scorecarrd 16
  18. 18. 02 Step 3: Speed 03 Match expectations for a faster response Aim for a speedy reply as a next step. The longer Although it will take refinement to get there, getting out complaints are left unanswered, the more likely responses as close to these expectations as possible they are to be seen by more of your customers, and will put you on the road to high customer satisfaction. If snowball. Social media moves much faster than other you’re struggling to get anywhere near these response channels and consumers have high expectations of times, it’s an indication that it’s time to get more help the companies they interact with: on board. • 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints posted at the How Conversocial Helps: newsfeed. We pull in all of your social messages into your • 30% of Twitter users expect a response within 30 inbox in chronological order, and these can be minutes and 22% expect a response within two filtered and processed in the way that suits you. hours. Important customer service issues are prioritised to make sure you see them quickly so you can • 29% of consumers on Facebook expect a respond effectively. When it’s time to bring in response within two hours when they post a back-up, Conversocial lets you collaborate with question at a company’s page and 22% expect a colleagues in an effective and controlled manner, same-day response. so you know exactly who’s dealing with what. Tip: Once you’ve started replying to all of your real customer service requests, see how long it takes you. You can use this as a reference to post guidelines on your Twitter profile and Facebook timeline to let customers know when they can realistically expect a response. If you can influence your customers’ expectations, you’re far more likely to meet them! 17
  19. 19. 03 Level Two: Calling for Backup Tools to help you extend a social customer service program throughout your company 18
  20. 20. 03 Building a solid team behind the scenes Who’s involved, what do they do, and how do they work together? When everyone in your company wants in on the together. And in truly social companies, someone social media action, that’s nothing to be sniffed at. is really listening to customer comments on social Different departments have different things to offer networks and feeding this back into product design or your customers. But managing and balancing access service offering. to social media can be a logistical challenge. Place the customer at the centre of your social There’s no fixed model for the perfect social media engagement strategy to make sure you’re meeting team, and each is constituted slightly differently. each of their needs when they speak out to your But generally, a representative of the frontline of brand. When everyone works together, customers are customer contact and someone responsible for brand made happier. and marketing activities should bring their heads 19
  21. 21. 03 Who should take these places in your organisation? Exercise: Who is involved in social media in your company – what are they currently responsible for? Name Role Department Responsibilities Is anyone missing? Look back at the FAQ’s you compiled in Part One of this guide. For those queries you were unable to answer yourself or within your team, it’s important to identify who could. • Do some queries require local in-store knowledge? • Do some queries relate to aspects of your service that you outsource, for example delivery? • Do some queries require knowledge from more than one department, for example stock availability? If you were to give your customers complete service, what would it take? Who needs to be involved to make sure that customers get an answer to those questions? 20
  22. 22. 03 Steps to sound social media organisation Developing a coordinated social engagement strategy Bring your heads together It’s a good idea to formalise early stage communications What should your social think on getting a social engagement process that works for tank organise? your company. Creating a cross-functional team allows you to assess and coordinate the input from everyone 01 Set objectives involved. You should aim to have clear answers to the following In some businesses this team becomes a permanent questions: body to represent the needs and interests of each department, but even if you don’t carry it forward, a 1. What are your goals for social media engagement? diverse social media team is an important think tank. 2. Why do you have a presence? This might only involve a few meetings and documents 3. What do you want to make sure you achieve? to agree processes, but it will save you a huge amount of time. Everyone you’ve jotted down for your perfect 4. What do you want to learn? social media team should be involved in these early activities. Some of these objectives will be common across the board, and some will be department specific, but they should all contribute to a consistent and quality experience of your company for customers. A recent survey of business executives showed that perceived benefits of social customer service are wide- ranging, but the most prominent surround customer satisfaction. Delivering positive customer experiences should underpin all more specific targets; each team member should think about how they fit into delivering a positive and consistent experience. Source: We Are Social: The State of Social Customer Service 21
  23. 23. 03 Connect a Customer Service Determine responsibilities 02 03 Representative to Facebook & Twitter This will depend on your own goals for social Getting even just one customer service representative engagement, but there are certain responsibilities you directly connected to customers on social networks should establish early on: is the most important move towards serious social customer service. Who takes care of messaging and tone of 01 voice, and is responsible for making sure Liaising between marketing and customer service is everyone adheres to guidelines? essential for getting that first agent up and running. Your first social customer service agent will forge a Who publishes updates to Facebook and 02 bridge between different departments. Remember that Twitter? Do you differentiate between you are addressing a completely new area that your marketing and service updates? company isn’t likely set up to tackle. Your social media Who deals with incoming communication think-tank is the best way to make this happen. 03 from fans? Should the customer service department take care of general engagement, This early social customer service ambassador needs or are certain conversations dealt with by a to be fully integrated into your company’s customer community manager? service processes, with the same knowledge, capabilities and power to act as the rest of your Who will be tracking the performance of your customer service team. However, they should work 04 social engagement? Are different teams closely between the social media team and customer interested in different areas? service team, rather than being slotted neatly into one Who will be collecting information available department or another. 05 from social conversations and who do they need to update with any insights discovered? These responsibilities should be available for all to access. How Conversocial Helps: When you’ve established who’s taking care of different areas of your social engagement program, these can be formalised into bespoke roles and permissions, leaving no room for confusion. Quick and fluid team workflow enables staff across different departments to communicate easily and distribute work appropriately. 22
  24. 24. 03 Scaling up your team. It’s all under control Some basic tools and processes to help you keep social engagement running smoothly as your team grows. You want to avoid your agents passing on any issues they could answer themselves, so make sure you fully prepare them to take on all they are capable of. Recruit a team with Create training documents 01 02 social skills with do’s and don’ts Social customer service agents have specific Take what you’ve learnt from the earlier stages of skills, and you should form a dedicated social this guide and from your company’s highest-level customer service team before you try to roll out brand guidelines to formulate some basic rules and social media engagement to your entire contact suggestions for new engagers. This doesn’t need to centre. Getting the right team in place from the start be fully formed at first; you’ll constantly learn what gets will allow you to have a much more autonomous social the best (and worst) reactions from your customers customer service operation. as you go. Being clear about where real boundaries lie will actually give your team more confidence to be To get the right recruits, whether hired internally personable. or found afresh, a solid and successful customer service history is important. You should place especial When you’ve spent a lot of time managing your emphasis on great written communication skills, as company’s social presence, it’s easy to forget that it’s well as a thorough knowledge of the social platforms a completely new world for those used to engaging you will be working with. with customers through traditional channels. • For those who are completely new to social engagement, start with recommended phrases to use in responses, or signoffs that your advisors can add to Facebook messages. Once they feel confident with these prescribed replies, they can start to be a bit more creative and make their own tweaks. E.g. “I’m sorry to hear that, [Name]” “I hope this helps!” • If there are things you don’t want your agents to do or say, make that perfectly clear, specific and accessible. This way, there’s no need for hesitancy or uncertainty when crafting responses. E.g. Don’t show personal bias or be opinionated in your repsonses. Don’t use emoticons or abbreviated text language. 23
  25. 25. 03 How Best Buy Does It Hiring Training Best Buy’s ‘community connectors’ must have a The agents receive 4 weeks consumer relations minimum of 6 months internal customer service training on how to deal with questions and experience before they can apply; and the core complaints publicly, rather than in the private thing they look for is strong writing skills. channels they are used to. Then, a further two weeks ‘social training’ ensures the community norms of the social platforms they’ll be working on are fully understood. Best Buy’s internal social media policy is publicly available on their website, and given to all employees in the company. This lays out clearly what employees should do (e.g. always say you work for Best Buy) and can’t do (e.g. leak confidential information) and re-enforces the company’s key principles for effective social media communication: “Be smart. Be respectful. Be human.” 03 Provide template responses to FAQs Create a template response for each of the FAQs E.g. Facebook: I’m sorry to hear that your purchase assembled earlier in this guide. This will save didn’t meet expectations. If you private message me your entire team a huge amount of time, increasing your email address, I will send you a prepaid returns the number of messages that can be dealt with form and we’ll issue you a full refund. I hope that independently and saving time to devise answers helps. Anna for those queries that present any uncertainty. Furthermore, template responses are an opportunity to Twitter: Sorry to hear about that. If you DM your email formalise some basic guidelines in examples. You can address, I’ll send a returns form for you to claim a full write policy for how to handle different issues publicly refund. AD (i.e. always offer a refund for complaints around quality) into template responses. Replies will need to be tailored for each query, but gives every agent a great head start on each response they make. You should prepare different templates for Facebook and Twitter, taking the character allowances into account. 24
  26. 26. 03 Establish an approval Formalise a process for 04 How Best Buy Does It 06 How Best Buy Does It process before ‘going live’ escalating problematic Once new agents have been given guidelines and messages training, managers should approve all responses You should develop a comprehensive plan to they send for a fixed period of time. How long determine when a message needs to be escalated. this lasts depends on how prepared your agents are These chains of communication should be a reflection for interacting in social media, and how prescriptive of the responsibilities established by your cross- your brand guidelines need to be. Some companies departmental think tank. Customer complaints of a approve all outgoing responses for 2 weeks, others for certain nature may need to go straight to the customer 3 months. service manager and brand sensitive comments that could spark a PR crisis might go straight to the social It may be that you wish to approve responses media or PR team. As for tone of voice training, making indefinitely, but as your customer service demand exceptions clear will give your team the confidence to scales, your response time will be effective. Using the reply to all standard customer service issues efficiently. training tools we’ve illustrated in this guide allows you Your escalation process should be written down for to make the most of your team. everyone to see, with contact details for everyone involved. Create a checklist for 05 How Best Buy Does It crafting responses A checklist of things to consider before posting a reply can aid and encourage your team to use their initiative. Template responses help for a number of messages, but you can also provide some triggers to help figure out a problem that doesn’t quite fit the mould. This allows social customer service agents to resolve more issues, faster, and ensures that you’re really delivering personalised support. • Think first before hitting reply! • Ask as many questions as possible to resolve in the fewest possible interactions • Keep communication as public as possible, especially when negative • Address issues raised directly • when positive, agree and mirror enthusiasm • when negative, show empathy • Offer a public solution wherever possible (e.g. if X not available, you might like Y) • Always try and end interactions on a positive note 25
  27. 27. 03 ODEON Social Media Crisis management: Facebook & Twitter 26
  28. 28. 03 These processes can be pulled together into a response map that directs agents to react in different ways depending on the content of a customer message, and incorporates triggers for escalation. Altimeter has created an example response map, which illustrates how you might be able to create a similar decision tree for your own agents. Source: 27
  29. 29. 04 Level Three: Measuring and Refining How you can understand and improve your social customer service program and keep track as you scale it 28
  30. 30. 04 Now you’ve got some processes in place, what do you need to do to make sure they’re working for you? Targets should be based around customer expectations. Throughout this guide, we’ve tried to illustrate that customers expect you to: Be Fast Your metrics for understanding the success of your social customer service program should be focussed around meeting these expectations. Be Useful Track these KPIs to ensure your team is delivering Be Friendly great social customer service. Team Performance Response Time Contact resolution – • Quick responses are an important benchmark for Queries answered those aiming to give quality service in fast-paced • It’s important to aim for consistency in your social channel. customer service offering, and ensure that you answer as close to 100% of all customer service • Set SLAs to determine how quickly your team issues as possible. Identifying which messages are should be responding to queries and try to customer service issues and tracking how many of gradually improve on these. Whether you can offer these get a response is the only way to get a true 24 hour availability, or just business hours during overview of the customers you’re helping. the working week, make sure you have clear targets so that you can identify customers that get a below-par service experience and address Benchmark Your Team their issues promptly. Aim for at least 80% of • Consider how well you are tackling social customer issues to be answered within your target response service on an individual level and as a whole team. timeframe. You can do this by comparing individual response time averages to those of the team. It’s important to identify where staff members might be falling behind so that you can target training efforts and discover holes in your processes. Tip: Take a look at when you’re actually receiving customer messages to understand how to meet your customers’ needs. It could be that you would catch the vast majority of all enquiries by adding an evening shift to your resources. Some of Conversocial’s customers have reviewed the time distribution of their incoming messages and found that a significant proportion are submitted between 6pm and 11pm. Adding and evening shift could dramatically reduce your average response time too. 29
  31. 31. 04 Customer Satisfaction Sentiment Data Tracking sentiment in social media is one of the most straightforward ways of measuring customer How Conversocial Helps: satisfaction. It’s a great way to understand not only Without software, the only way to accurately the attitudes of your existing customer base, but record customer sentiment is to manually log the impression projected of your brand. Sentiment every comment and tweet. Logging and reporting serves as an effective social Net Promoter Score. by copying and pasting customer messages into a The Net Promoter Score is based on the principle spreadsheet is extremely laborious. of establishing how many of your customers are promoters of your brand. Using Conversocial, you can quickly and easily Traditionally, customer satisfaction and promotion mark your customers’ messages as positive or are sought out proactively, often through surveys, negative as you process them. This sentiment but companies already have access to hundreds of data can show the overall health of your customer opinions on Facebook and Twitter. These Facebook and Twitter communities, but also are great sources for understanding if customers be drawn out in relation to certain issues. A are happy, and reflect net promoter in action, given combination of sentiment tracking and issue their public nature. Tracking the sentiment of these tagging gives you a picture of what makes your messages gives you an accurate view of the real fans and followers happy or unhappy. positive promotion and negative detraction happening on your social platforms right now. To get an accurate picture of customer satisfaction, you should record the sentiment of every message you receive. The key to measuring sentiment consistently and effectively is to provide your social media staff with simple, clear guidelines for what constitutes positive or negative sentiment. The best way to do this is to ask the following question: “If a friend saw this comment, would it improve or worsen their perception of the company?” Saying “I shopped at ____” certainly isn’t negative... but it doesn’t quite promote the company either. Saying “I shopped at ____ and it was great” or “I love your new product ____!” both clearly promote the brand. To get the most accurate picture of customer satisfaction, unless actively positive, comments should be considered neutral. If done correctly, you can discover the ‘net promoter score’ of your page just by comparing the percentage of positive and negative comments. Tracking this over time, on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis allows you to really understand your customers’ satisfaction. 30
  32. 32. 04 Track Key Customer Issues Feedback and Discussion Sentiment data gives you a simple and effective The only way to tap this data is to keep a full record of benchmark of your customer attitudes, but social your messaging history, and organise it effectively for networks offer a wealth of information that can tell you analysis. The trends you spot should be fed effectively so much more. Your customers are coming to you with into your company’s existing feedback, market direct feedback on your products or services without research and voice of the customer processes. We’ve having to be asked for it, and are discussing a wide discovered that the vast majority of social messages range of topics that gives you invaluable insight into that require your attention are either real customer their behaviours, preferences and interests. service issues or direct product feedback. These can teach your company a thing or two about how you’re doing business. What types of message are retailers receiving on Facebook and Twitter? Source: Conversocial customers’ Facebook pages & Twitter accounts, Jan 2012 31
  33. 33. 04 Highlighting real service potholes. When Facebook and Twitter become real customer service channels, it’s essential to keep track of customer reactions to different parts of your business, and the frequency of different customer issues. As customers redirect their complaints to social media, the understanding of customer service issues gleaned from data through other channels is diluted. And customers are much more forthcoming with simple issues, as taking a complaint to Facebook or Twitter is quick and easy. Track the frequency and sentiment of requests about different products, services and common issues. If you spot a trend towards complaints about delivery, it’s probably about time to address the quality of your delivery service and investigate fundamental problems. Thorough logging and analysis of social customer service data is one of the best ways to identify how your company can target areas to fundamentally improve the customer experience. How Conversocial Helps: Conversocial allows you to tag and categorise your incoming social messages to make the process of organising and analysing customer feedback easy and efficient. Whatever you want to track, you can view all relevant comments together and get a picture of relative volumes at a glance. 32
  34. 34. 05 Afterthought: The Future of Social Customer Service Conversocial’s predictions on where your social customer service program will go next. Social Media has become well established as a Social media presents everything a company has mainstream communication channel between friends, to offer to its customers through one united voice. In but the social relationship between companies and this guide we’ve only touched on the very first stages their customers is just beginning. of breaking down departmental boundaries to offer customers a common experience. As customers’ We’ve already seen the evolution from social needs from social networks develop, businesses networks as marketing channels to gradually become will have to become truly socialised internally if they established as two-way connectors between brands are ever to offer a sociable relationship with their and consumers. Over the next year, we’ll shift customers externally. more and more of our customer service demand to social media, and companies will need to adapt and reorganise themselves internally to keep up. Social media is set to be the main communication channel to speak with a business, as it offers the most convenient and effective solution for consumers. More and more service issues that would previously never made it outside of one store are making their way to Facebook and Twitter, thanks to the convenience of mobile technology. Ever-increasing demands for immediacy will require more companies to deliver in- store service via social channels. Forward-thinking companies are making moves to offer localised service through globally public platforms. As customers expect responses in real-time to specific local issues, soon it will make sense for store and branch managers to be integrated into social engagement programs. For a business to become truly social, marketing departments will have to release the reigns even further to better spread information throughout the company and out to customers. To keep up with customer demand, those who help to contribute information to customers and listen to what they have to say will need to expand beyond the contact centre. 33
  35. 35. Follow @conversocial on Twitter for social customer service insights, and learn more at