Social Customer Care: 3 Infrequently Answered Questions

Today it’s clear that brands of all shapes and sizes have moved past the point of debating whether social customer service deserves more attention.

So now what?

Instead of assuming to know every question that should be asked by companies as we continue forward into the social support frontier, let’s take a look at a few of the most common queries.

1. What’s the ROI?
Ah yes, the ever present and always expected ROI question in social. Many will argue the difficulties of calculating the gains in this area of the business. Now just because it’s difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing. What’s being asked here could be interpreted this way, “Is there a practical use-case for us to invest in social?” One way the answer could reveal itself is to look at how existing metrics within other legacy support channels are determined then converted to ROI. Perhaps a visit to to the teams charged with delighting customers over the phone, email and chat can provide useful insight that can help the organization understand it’s potential return. Part of that formula should also include defining what you care about in social. Will it be sentiment conversion, response SLA’s, time to resolution etc.? The list can go on and on and will evolve with the needs of your customers. Identifying the metrics that matter most and establishing a great customer journey ( i.e. workflow process) will help guide the business to its specific ROI. Easier said than done— we know the feeling!

2. Who should own social?
If your knee-jerk reaction is “Marketing” or the “Social Media Team”, how about looking at that question like this: “Who oversee’s our customer experience?” Now if your response to the latter is “We all do.” then it’s time to update your knee-jerkin’ repository! Silliness aside, there’s a reasonable explanation as to why those defaults groups tend to own social media. Marketing is and will always be about crafting and broadcasting your message in the appropriate channels. However wide or fine that broadcast net is, driving customers to your company from social is critical. Encourage your marketers to keep up the the work! The Social Media Team (usually reporting to Marketing) also makes sense as they are the savvy, multi-taskers familiar with the latest trends and best practices in social.

So what’s the problem with those two options? Social media has become a mainstream channel of communication just like the phone or email. Routing an entire channel of communication through one department creates inefficiencies for that group and can have a negative impact on the customer experience. Imagine if all inbound telephone calls were routed through a “Phone Team” in marketing. The processes of tracking questions, transferring conversations to others, follow up on issues and generally being available for calls would take valuable time and resources away from their primary jobs of executing on marketing strategy. A piece of the that strategy may include using the phone, but many of the other tasks and processes could be delegated to other departments where it makes sense. Support calls handled in support center, sales calls handled by the sales teams…. The same goes with Social.

It’s now so easy and inexpensive to scale social across a business that it only makes sense to optimize for efficiencies. It’s OK to say, “No one owns Social.” Each department should own their focused responsibility in Social.

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3. Another Social Tool?!?!
When it comes to sharing how your customers perceive your company, here’s a great (maybe overused) quote from Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Regardless of what groups own social responsibilities today, think about that customer’s unsolicited tweet or post and their opinion’s relevancy across a vast ocean of teams and systems. Though it’s not uncommon for different software systems to hold different pieces of the customer experience, the goal should be to make data and engagement functions available (in realtime) to everyone that can impact the customer experience. Don’t recreate workflow processes every time you need to improve the customer journey. Instead, find the tools that unify existing teams and applications.

Or, tie them together with an API like ours at HelpSocial. Great apps and systems should allow the integration of new feature sets at the API level. This way you’ll have the freedom to pick and choose what elements of that social engagement app need to be seen by your sales, marketing, technical or product teams.

Now more than ever customers can amplify their voice with relative ease in social media. Businesses should strive to amplify their service capabilities just the same. Whether we’re talking about teams or systems, no one silo should own the ability to engage the customer. It used to be that orchestrating this level of collaboration was too costly and disruptive. A lot has changed since then.

We’re happy to continue this discussion with you and show how HelpSocial can easily scale social data and functions to teams across your business. Contact us below for a demo and free trial.


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