So your company has acknowledged social media customer service might be “a thing” these days.

It’s true, providing support to customers on social channels isn’t just cool… it’s ice cold!

Although, as cool as it is being a brand on social media that engages with customers and solves issues for the world to see, it can be a challenge to create a positive, productive, and consistent standard of service on social channels. How do you meet that challenge? Remember, this isn’t a problem you can just throw money at.

The first step is finding a team who will eat, sleep and breath customer service on social media.  Your team is the most important part of the equation, acting as the public voice of your care brand and advocates for your customers. The way your brand is perceived will be strongly influenced by how your customers engage with your social customer service team. 

So you may be asking yourself, what qualities should I look for when staffing such an awesometastic role?

Well if you’re up to the challenge…

(HAH! You were expecting a Barney Stinson .gif weren’t you?)

…we’ll get right into it.

When hiring a new team, crew, or, if you will, a fellowship of fan-frickin’-tastic social customer support agents, you should keep in mind the very basics of great customer service and the characteristics found in a person best suited for this type of role. Additionally, consider more than just the number of years experience your agent candidate has. Social customer care requires a mix of skills but not necessarily with traditional contact center technologies and processes.

In our experience, great customer service agents tend to naturally be (in no specific order):


Eager to please


and KIND

Often these natural tendencies make the best customer service agents. Other skills, such as the ability to care for a customer within company guidelines or experience with a specific technology can all be learned. You can train an associate to use an online tool, but you can’t always teach how to connect with customers in a meaningful way through social conversations and messages.  

Finding associates with natural qualities for social customer care is not going to be easy, not in the least.

Though, just like in any good video game, when met with difficulties on a journey, it usually means you’re headed in the right direction.

In some instances, however, it will be easier to identify agent candidates who should NOT be considered for a role in social customer care. Here are some classic reasons why someone shouldn’t be anywhere near a care team:

The clueless candidate who only applied to the job description because it called for “experience with social media platforms.”

The overly confident candidate with previous customer service experience who claims to be able to solve all issues on any platform.

The apathetic candidate who probably only applied because their parents said if they didn’t find a job soon that they’d be cut off.


And the candidate who would just terrorize the office.

…I mean, you know the type…

Social customer service agents are operating in a very public space and you can’t afford any slip-ups. Your best people already know your company and can give the type of quick, yet thorough responses that social customers expect. Hiring the right team for the job is never easy, but with a bunch of opinions and a metric ton of gifs, we hope we’ve at least made this challenge more fun! 

For a more detailed look at how social customer service teams can extend the work of social media marketers, check out this on-demand webinar with Discover Card’s social customer service team and Sparkcentral.

  • Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Customer Service on Social Media

Until next time…stay ice cold.