Customers use social media to interact with businesses and their brands as well as to gather information. After the sale, consumers can use their favorite social network to express either their satisfaction or displeasure with their shopping experience. As a result, social media can become a liability for companies that fail to prioritize customer service and a boon for firms that want to supply a high level of customer service and satisfaction.
Despite making substantial investments in unified messaging solutions that integrate multiple forms of communications within a single call center, the topic of how to engage your customers remains. The evolution of consumer preferences means that the standard mix of IVR, chat, email and self-service options no longer suffices. One emerging trend is the implementation of social media in call centers.
Effective call center management requires the development of social media strategies in the call center that deliver a consistent level of service that supplies a consistent and prompt resolution of customer inquiries. The following call center management tips describe how to use social media to enhance the customer experience.
Social Networks as Marketing Platforms
Business can expand their reach and establish the authority of their brand as they communicate with their target market via social media. Regular interactions with the community can demonstrate that a firm keeps up with trends, is expert in its field and has an interest in the way their customers think, feel and shop. As a result, social media can contribute to sales growth and profitability.
Intense competition in local, regional and global markets have caused many companies to regard customer service as an important tool for winning and retaining customers. As the quality of service improves, however, customer expectations grow. In the past, having a website was enough to create and advantage for a company. Now, brands must create a unified presence across the social media landscape to reach their target market and facilitate customer engagement.
Customers using social media share, like and comment on content published by their favorite brands. Such interaction becomes visible to personal networks of friends as well as the online public, making social media an affordable and effective advertising medium. Although businesses value positive publicity gained from social media, they can also use negative publicity to their advantage by supplying prompt responses, courteous conversations and satisfactory solutions.
Social Media as a Customer Service Channel
Firms that want to use social media to create an excellent customer service experience should by asking and answering some basic questions.
Certain types of people and customers gravitate toward particular social networks, so a business must discover what social media platforms are preferred by their customers. Such research may involve direct questions to customers or searching the various social networks for mentions of a business or brand.
Analysis of social media platforms and customer demographics should reveal the days and times of day during which their audience is logged-in. Businesses can use the information to make sure they have sufficient agents available to respond to inquiries and resolve issues during periods of peak demand.
Businesses can prepare to serve customers by reviewing historical data from customer emails, phone calls and social media comments. Negative experiences from the past, for example, can serve as guidance for preventing recurring problems and to prepare agents by giving making resources needed for the rapid resolution of customer issues.
Other reasons for customer contacts can include sales and technical support, as well as product and business information. Regardless of the nature of an inquiry, businesses should assign and schedule the agents from appropriate departments to make sure every customer promptly receives the services that they need.
A company can improve customer service by quickly responding to inquiries and properly prioritizing customers and their concerns. Even customers who leave a positive comment should receive a prompt “thank you” to acknowledge them and make them feel valued. Still, routine expressions of appreciation can usually wait until the most pressing customer issues have been addressed. Customers who have thousands of social media followers also should receive priority to contain the adverse effects of a negative customer experience.
Customer Service Speed and Effectiveness
According to SocialFresh, almost 40% of dissatisfied customers on social media expect to receive a reply from a business in less than one hour. Companies can use automated response systems to help accommodate customer expectations, but they should quickly follow up with a personalized, relevant response.
Consumer research conducted by McKinsey shows that more than two-thirds of the customer experience involves the way a customer feels, so businesses can gain much by openly demonstrating outstanding service to customers and prospective customers
Businesses can reduce the workload of their call center agents by using social media for customer service. After an agent resolves an issue, the information remains visible to any customer having a similar problem in the future.
However, public customer service via social media can become a disadvantage because of the potentially embarrassing messages left by irate customers. Also, agents cannot always resolve issues within several interactions, resulting in ongoing spectacles that inspire doubt in the heart and mind of social media onlookers.
Most of the time, customers want to get an answer to their questions through the channel used to initiate communication. Contact center agents must learn to recognize when a matter needs to move to a private venue before it can be resolved. Whenever possible, a courteous and knowledgeable response to a complaint serves to educate the marketplace and demonstrate a high level of competency.
Implementing social media strategies in call centers gives companies a chance to enhance their customer service in ways that promote the business while supplying a high-quality customer experience. Although supporting customers in a public forum might at first seem risky, the practice serves as an essential marketing opportunity.
We connect your business to the latest trends in your industry using social and digital systems. Our professionals will work with you to develop a plan that optimizes the use of your call center and other resources. By working together, your business will enjoy all the benefits of customer-focused communications that support your marketing strategy. We also offer training that will reduce learning curves and boost team productivity.