These days, providing great customer service for your business means being a contact center, not just a call center. This is achieved by using contact center software to provide multichannel accessibility to your customers through voice, chat, text, and social media. Out of all of these, social media is the newest and most difficult to wrangle into working for you as a method of customer service.
Social media is a very different interface to engage with customers on than any other contact channel; therefore, customer service that is delivered through social media needs a slightly different approach. Here’s a few ways to make sure that your business correctly handles social media through your multichannel contact center.
1. Turnaround time has to be instant.
If your contact center utilizes a social media channel, it has to be updated and monitored constantly. Yes, to promote your business through social media, you have to post consistently in order to attract and keep customers attentive. That’s not what I’m talking about.
If a customer has an inquiry or concern and chooses to use social media to let you know, they expect an immediate response because of the expedient nature of social media. So, your contact center should have an representative who is responsible for monitoring social media channels at all times, in order to provide instant turnaround to customer issues voiced through social media. The turnaround time should be an hour at maximum.
With traditional voice channels, if an agent is unavailable to pick up, the call will go to voicemail and an agent will get back to them. With email, a response isn’t even expected before 48 hours is up. If your contact center is able to deliver a quicker turnaround time on other channels, that’s great. However, with social media, it is imperative that your turnaround time is immediate.
2. Your Response is Public, so be Honest.
If you don’t want to get called out by an already upset customer, then be honest with your solution to their customer service issue. The more transparent you are, the better impression you will leave with other social media visitors that happen to see the exchange.
For instance, if your product has been having issues with a particular component, let a customer know that the faulty component is the issue and your company is considering a recall or willing to reimburse customers for their trouble. This puts a good face on something that might otherwise appear as a negative or issue of contention.
3. Keep an eye on the digital landscape.
The brilliant thing about social media is that new sites are developing and the big staple sites are adapting to the current digital climate at a rapid pace. In order to best communicate with customers, make sure that you are accessible on new, hot social media channels as well as old ones. Anticipate changes and adapt quickly to provide the best customer service. If a site that you’re on goes the way of MySpace, it might be best to delete your page and focus engagement on an up and coming page or a stable one like LinkedIn or Facebook.
Have a strategy for sites. You probably don’t want to be on Pinterest if your company doesn’t have a product or a service that lends itself to great visual. LinkedIn is preferable over Facebook is B2B-oriented sales.
Have a strategy for posting. Use certain sites for certain types of contact or engagement and regulate your posts per day to what is average for the site. Twitter requires a constant feed of content (at least 10 posts a day), whereas Facebook only needs 2-3 to grab visitors attention. This could all change in the future, so be on your toes.
4. Use your contact center to engage on social media, not just react.
Giveaways and promotional events can be spread easily through social media.
Create specific campaigns to target social media sites in order to put those channels to good use. Use social media to spread the word and then use your voice and/or email channels as support for the engagement once the contest or promotion is underway.
In this way, social media is unique because you can proactively engage interested customers with promotions and giveaway. Voice and email can be proactive with call or email blasts, but they are less specific in the audience they reach. Social media will ensure that only interested or qualified parties are contacted.
5. Project a personality.
With traditional email and phone lines, it’s okay to get right to the facts and resolution of concerns. But, with social media channels, your pages and the rhetoric you use on them has to be friendly, engaging, and memorable.
A friendly voice is enough on the phone, but you should utilize the writing skills of your team to ensure that posts have a real personality because language is a major tool at your disposal for social media. Make your posts and responses to social media visitors personalized and human-sounding, not manufactured responses. Engage and draw in visitors with video and photo content of your business in the office and out in the world, but have informative content ready for them to take the next step and learn more.
The Social Channel
Social media is a highly useful tool, not just for your business, but for your contact center. Ensure real engagement and connection with your customers through a multichannel contact center that utilizes the power of social media. Social media is the most public way of portraying your company and connecting with customers, so make sure that social media customer service is done right!