First and foremost…HAPPY FRIDAY!!!
I bet right now you’re wondering, in this world of social care and improving the customer experience, what can I do to improve agent response times?

(Pictured above: You, as a Philosoraptor pondering a thought)

Kudos to you for having this thought, as only about 11.2% of all brands with a social presence are currently responding to their customers within the first hour of a Tweet or post, while others fall somewhere in the “within a day” to “infinity” time period. This could be because:

  1. Agents are hesitant to communicate with customers on social regarding sensitive information
  2. Agents are too overwhelmed with the amount of inquiries coming in to resolve them in a timely manner
  3. There are too many brand accounts/handles for agents to handle

Here are some of the thing-a-ma-hooeys that you can do to deal with it.1. Enable direct/private messagingIf you’re in the social care space, having the option to communicate with customers in a private channel is a must. This is especially important when exchanging personal information. By enabling direct/private messaging, you also have the option of addressing an irate customer privately by taking the conversation out of the public eye, thereby mitigating the risk of a situation spiraling out of control.
2. Properly staff your teamIf your brand engages in hundreds of thousands of conversations on every social medium that is available, you may want to consider having a NASA-esque center of command to run your operations; a lone wolf agent might not be able to handle that kind of traffic.Conversely, if you have a niche audience that may not have high traffic, you might not want to have your audience navigating through an onslaught of agents.A component of a properly staffed social care squad is good communication within your…well, squad. Having multiple agents working on a single ticket isn’t always preferred, but if it is unavoidable, then the sharing of notes, contextual information, and easily accessible conversation histories would help minimize confusion. You don’t want your social care agents to be clueless when engaging with a customer who previously had a point of contact with your brand.3. Refine accounts and handles within your brand’s social presence

Let’s say your brand has many accounts and handles on social that are meant for different types of engagement (e.g. marketing, social care, product advertisement, etc…). While compartmentalization of these areas can be beneficial, it can be detrimental if those accounts are not properly utilized.Here’s a Twitter example for your eyes:

You’re @coolCo, and you have care handles: @coolCo_Cares, @coolCo_CaresUSA, @coolCo_CaresEU, @coolCo_CaresRohan, and @coolCo_CaresGondor.

Which of these handles would you think your customer would initially engage on?

What if your customer is from Rohan and is travelling to Gondor (because the beacons are lit); which handle would they initially reach out to?

Is your team equipped to intercept and navigate the customer to the proper agent?

Would you divert your customer from one handle to another?

I know I’m throwing out a lot of Q’s that you may or may not have A’s for, but these and many other Q’s are vital questions to ask when you have many accounts and handles that customers may engage with. Customers may not even know that specific accounts and handles even exist.The point here is that having a carefully refined presence online is vital to proper engagement. If you have multiple avenues for customers to engage upon, make sure you make it extremely obvious to the customer.TL;DRThere are many things that affect response times. By carefully considering how your customers communicate with your brand (who they’re communicating with and what they’re communicating on), your brand can be better equipped to lower those response times.

Until next time, have a great weekend and…