Article : What's the State of Social Customer Care in 2016?
In our world, it’s a little bit soul crushing to know that one third of people in the US would choose to clean a toilet over talking with customer service. But it is also a call to action. If the call to customer care is a dreaded and distasteful last resort, how do we adapt and improve the experience? And the next obvious question is: how does social media impact our practices? With social networks evolving at a breakneck pace, that leads us to the question at the root of this post: what is the state of social customer care in 2016 and beyond?
The Facts About Social Customer Care
Social customer care is quickly becoming a standard offering in the contact center world. The evidence is overwhelming. Consider these statistics:
- Twitter reports that customer service interactions have increased 250% in the last two years.
- Top brands respond to customer service requests on Twitter in just minutes, while the worst take hours, if not days.
- 60% of customers expect companies to respond within the hour. The average response time ranges from 1-5 hours.
- Twitter and Facebook are more accurate and faster at delivering customer service responses than email (48% and 44% more successful respectively).
- Customer service response time by brands actively using the channel has improved by 13% on Facebook in the past year. Yet almost 90% of customer Facebook comments are ignored.
It’s Not Marketing’s Job
Traditionally, the task of monitoring and managing social media falls to the marketing department. It has been perceived as yet another platform to build brand awareness, advertise products and services, and share entertaining and informative insights to a wide network of potential customers.
But the reality is that social media has grown into a full-fledged customer service channel, with 47% of social users reporting that they’ve used it for interacting with customer care profiles. Despite this large-scale adoption, companies are lagging behind. Leaving social platforms under the responsibility of the marketing team means that users who are seeking customer service through these tools aren’t being heard. In fact, Twitter reports that only 9% of their users who’ve reached out to a brand on Twitter have heard back from the company.
It’s your contact center team that knows how to address issue resolution, deliver optimal customer experience strategy, and respond to customer complaints. They’re the ones who know how to forecast and schedule support on a 24/7 basis, while providing a customer support workflow process that best facilitates issue resolution. They’re the ones who are measured on metrics like Average Speed of Answer and First Touch Resolution – metrics that matter in social as much as voice or email.
The question of whether the responsibility of social media monitoring lies with marketing or contact center teams is not a new issue. However, now more than ever is the time to start answering that question with an honest, data-backed strategy.
It’s All About Engagement
Social media is all about engagement. (That’s the "social" part of the equation…) And social customer care will always be most successful when a brand is committed to responsiveness. Creating engagement with transparent, timely, effective customer care is good for your brand. Well managed social customer care can be a building brand loyalty and customer retention.
The social nature of social media also means that consumers are very likely to share their experiences with other users. This is the case with both good and bad experiences. Provide a thorough, solution-oriented response that reflects the brand, and you’ve instantly created free marketing through word-of-mouth.
Even if a company’s social media monitoring lies in the hands of the contact center team, that doesn’t diminish the fact that social media is highly public. The public post is, of course, a major concern for branding and marketing, and often, for legal. Social interaction with consumers leaves a digital history that is archived within the social network and by search engines. As such, contact center agents must be assimilated into the company’s brand and culture, so they can respond with the appropriate voice.
Ultimately, engaging social customer care is essential in building brand loyalty and customer retention.
It’s Nothing Without the Data
Contact center big data – when leveraged effectively – is the key to higher performance and happier customers. And the same is true for social media customer service. With the sheer number of users reaching out to brands through social networks, there is sufficient data to inform your decisions. The days of one customer service tweet or two a day are long gone for most big brands.
To get the most from your solution, implement a streamlined workflow process and efficient monitoring tool that reveals trends and patterns, alerts agents to brand-related activity, and tracks social KPIs and metrics. At Blue Ocean, we’re admittedly obsessed with measurement and reporting whether it’s in traditional channels like phone and email or in social media.
ContactCenterWorld.com is the Global Association for Contact Center and Customer Engagement Best Practices and is the largest networking group for contact center industry professionals with over 145,000 professional members. Founded in 1999, ContactCenterWorld.com helps members improve service, performance, reduce costs, enhance sales and employee engagement.
About the Top Ranking Performer Awards
The annual Top Ranking Performer Awards was established in 2006 and is regarded by some as the Olympics of the contact center world as companies from all around the world compete for these prestigious awards and recognition. The 2016 awards are open already – details at www.ContactCenterWorld.com/worldawards
About the 2016 Contact Center Masterclass Best Practice Conferences
The annual Top Ranking Performer Conference was co-established in 2006 to run alongside the Top Ranking Performer Awards and is the most recommended industry conference in the contact center World. Delegates from all over the world attend and hear best practices shared by those who run centers. 4 events are run annually – one in Asia Pacific, one in Europe and 2 in North America – details at www.ContactCenterWorld.com/conferences
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About Kim Campbell:
Kim Campbell joined Blue Ocean in 2002 and she has had senior project management responsibilities for many of Blue Ocean’s top clients. In her role as Vice President, Operations, Kim is responsible for overall project management structure and the delivery of Blue Ocean’s value proposition with a focus on shared resources and financial metrics.
About Blue Ocean Contact Centers:
At Blue Ocean Contact Centers, we’re at the front lines of customer service. We know we play a key role in building brand loyalty for your organization, and we recognize how essential it is to deliver truly comprehensive customer support across all channels. If you need customized, high-quality customer experience solutions for mission-critical customers, you’re in the right place. We have an unwavering commitment to seamless customer service and efficient resolution. At Blue Ocean Contact Centers, our agents become your agents.
Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2016