Is Social Media Customer Service here to stay?

[fa icon="calendar"] May 18, 2015 / Philip Barron

Today, social media is turning marketing and customer care efforts on their head. It’s fundamentally changing how, where and to whom customers seek assistance, and presents both significant challenges and major opportunities for companies who are striving for success.

As customers continue to become empowered and expect brands to provide a seamless service regardless of how they get in touch, are you ready to take the leap and adopt social media as a valuable customer care delivery mechanism?

One thing’s for sure, sitting back and doing nothing is no longer a feasible option.

What do customers expect?

Social media, and in turn social customer care, is everywhere. It enables customers to create, share and exchange information through a web of dedicated online communities at ease.

With the power of social media readily accessible at the fingertips of customers worldwide, an immediate outlet to publically express themselves like never before is available. When they’re unhappy with a particular product or service, or when they have questions, customers expect to be taken seriously and heard. They no longer want to listen to repetitive hold music or wait for 24 hours on an email response. They want answers, and they want them now!

Tread carefully, a volcanic eruption may be brewing.

Let's be realistic, there’s nothing new about customers sharing their good and bad experiences with others. Social networking enables vast groups of people to engage in conversation and share their experiences with other like-minded individuals who can collectively see how you handle customer queries.

Customers’ only concern is that their queries are recognized, valued, and most importantly, resolved in a timely, positive manner. When providing social customer care, it’s important to consider the potential for the Customer Experience volcano to erupt on social media if the service doesn’t meet customer expectations.

Online word of mouth has the potential to very quickly damage a company’s reputation. With social media, customer experiences can bubble, spit, and explode in plain sight of a large audience from around the globe. Make no mistake, social customers are in complete control of their social media journey, and are fully aware of just how publically widespread their queries, concerns and experiences can travel.

So who’s actually responsible for considering the implications of a social media eruption when dealing with each customer? As the frontline force on each supported social media channel, agents are expected to tread carefully and provide customers with a seamless quality of service, no matter how private or public the conversation is.

Is the future a social one?

As social media continues to provide an ideal platform for agents to reach out and communicate with customers almost immediately, the big question is how will contact centers respond to the demand?

In our opinion, as customer expectations continue to evolve to match the rapid growth of social media, companies can no longer adopt mediocre, trial and error approaches to social customer care. The need for frustrating tone-based phone menus and generic, automated email responses is diminishing rapidly as a result and there’s never been a better opportunity for brands to embrace change and become competent social media rock stars that positively expose a brand, boost sales figures, and maintain customer trust, respect, and loyalty.

The future is in your hands. There’s no time like the present.

Topics: Customer Service, Social Media

Philip Barron

Written by Philip Barron

Phil Barron joined The Call Center School as an E-learning Developer in 2011. His background within various contact center roles helps him to bring his first-hand experiences to life, in the form of engaging and interactive training content.

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