On the whole, research shows that large consumer-facing companies are still struggling to adapt to the ways that the Internet is providing them to reach out and engage with customers. Many companies have embraced social media for marketing but the customer service piece is coming much more slowly. (Forbes, 2012, 2014) Monitoring the social space can be daunting Lots of time and resources Tone is everything when it comes to social media customer care – it’s not easy
Linda When we first started using social media tactics, we basically pushed content out to people. However, after several years, we have learned to take a more holistic approach so our customers experience the library offline and online in an integrated sort of way. Strategically, instead of tacking on social media to an activity, we look to integrate it into what we’re already doing in other channels, making it simply an extension of what we are doing all of the time.
Mabel Toronto Public Library is currently active on nine online communication and social media channels, which support these objectives. We began experimenting on these channels as far back as 2007, when we first started blogging on the TPL website.
These channels help us find new and engaging ways to extend the reach of our collections, programs and services to the widest possible audience.
They also let us build the library’s presence beyond our own website, going to where our customers are rather than always having them come to us. ----- Blogs 2007 YouTube 2008 (april) Facebook 2008 (aug) Twitter 2009 (jan) Flickr 2009 (sept) E-newsletter 2010 (dec) Pinterest 2012 (june) Instagram 2014 (march) Tumblr 2014 (march)
Twitter and Facebook are our largest social media channels We’ve seen a steady follower growth over the years, with increased interactions when we have a campaign or if there is a hot topic in the news Our smaller channels, LinkedIn and Tumblr, have focused content for specific audiences, such as small business and job search information for LinkedIn and youth content for Tumblr
Enables us to share content easier and faster
It allows us to learn about our audiences, i.e. demographics and content interests, so we can effectively target these audiences
Social media gives us instant access to positive or negative feedback which provides valuable insights on the customer perspective.
Most importantly, it enables us to create meaningful relationships with customers before, during, and after their interactions with the library – and also to resolve any conflict or issues immediately – this is not possible with traditional advertisement
It helps us create brand awareness at little cost, which helps us find new customers and expand our audience
Toronto Public Library's mission is to provide free and equitable access to high quality customer driven services.
We value customer feedback and welcome any comments to help improve our programs and services.
Our main feedback channels include in person at our branches, telephone, email, social media and letter mail. Email is still our primary channel for online customer support.
Staff are trained to provide service that is: courteous, competent, timely, and helps to resolve your issues and concerns. our branch staff, customer support team (also known as our Answerline department), and the Communications, Programming & Customer Engagement (CPCE) department have the most interactions with our customers on s day-to-day basis.
TPL’s customer feedback standard states that all feedback will be acknowledged within 2 business days. It specifically mentions telephone, letter mail, and email but we haven’t updated it to reflect our response time on social media.
Informally, customers can expect to receive a response from us within 24 hours, and during our Answerline department’s operational hours. Generally, customers have high expectations for a quick response on social media. --------- Monday – Thursday 9-8:30 pm Friday 9-6 pm Saturday 9-5 pm Sunday 1:30-5 (September – June)
Last year, we received more than 7 million (7,092,637) information requests In person: 6,243,593 Telephone: 808,258 Online, including social media: 40,786
stats for directional and reference questions,
does not include a count of all the customer feedback that we receive.
We’re noticing that in particular, social media is a medium for us to receive instant feedback, not necessarily one that requires a direct reply.
CPCE has overall responsibility for online/sm channels
CPCE provided customer service support on social media when we began in 2008
In 2013, we transitioned this responsibility to our Answerline Department Extension of their responsibilities and training Longer operating hours, including weeknights and weekends
Initial concerns of providing customer support through Answerline Voice and brand Public airing of complaints Risk management Filtering and escalating different types of issues/questions
Speak to elements of staff training – content, approach
There were concerns on the part of staff about taking on this responsibility, so we took it slow and provided a great deal of support and oversight.
Didn’t take long for them to get comfortable as they realized that it was not dissimilar to how they provide customer service through other channels, and as they became comfortable with the voice, tone and customs of the channel
In many cases customer service online looked a lot like it did through other channels. Could be account related, or about our collections, or other services …
But questions can come in other forms, and present opportunities not only to provide good customer service, but preempt concerns and correct misconceptions
Monitoring conversations and trends on your channel can give you the opportunity to proactively provide good customer service and again prevent complaints and concerns.
We’re using a personalized Hootsuite dashboard to manage multiple networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.) and profiles. There are many tools that are available but we’ve been using Hootsuite and it’s working for us.
The dashboard is shared between CPCE and Answerline staff for monitoring and responding. It open lines of communications between both departments.
We evolved to this.
Part of online and social media policy Intended to prevent problems that may occur when communicating online
When to escalate to a manager or staff contact, where to direct media inquiries, when not to respond Staff training including policy and editorial guidelines
More and more, customers are turning to online and SM channels to find service information, especially during emergency situations - ice storm, flooding, blackouts. But also elevators not working, individual branch closures, etc., website down For online service interruptions even more of an expectation that we are monitoring, listening, responding. Communications protocols are important when updating across multiple channels, especially when the situation is fluid
So we post service updates on our website
And on Facebook and Twitter
And they can be branch-specific, indicating service interruptions
And we wanted to end our presentation with a couple of examples of how good customer service on social media can reinforce your library as responsive, welcoming and innovative And result in great customer satisfaction
We find that we often not only meet but exceed our customers’ expectations because we’re listening and responding proactively.
Need to replace with Sell books program
I school customer service online - 17-07-15
Delivering Customer Service Excellence
Through Online Channels
The Evolution of Social
Becoming “traditional” channels for
communications and customer service
Personal/community interactions and self-publishing
Businesses: to engage, promote, establish
Part of a broad multi-channel engagement
and service strategy
Promotion & outreach
Information & service delivery
Media and public relations
Connect with Us
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Fast & easy content
Learn about our
Find new customers
Benefits of Social
Customer service standards
Provide free and equitable access to high
quality customer-driven services
in-branch telephone email live chat social media letter mail
Courteous, competent, and timely service
Response time for telephone, letter mail,
and email is within 2 business days
No official standards for social
media support, but …
7 million +
Information Requests in 2014
Channel Information Requests
In person 6,243,593 (88%)
Telephone 808,258 (11%)
Online (+ social media) 40,786 (1%)
The Evolution of
Customer Service on
Social Media at TPL
• Voice and brand
• Public airing and resolution of complaints
• Risk management
• Filtering and escalation of questions
Staff training key
• Types of questions and comments
• Monitoring and Responding
• Risk Management
• Emergency Communications