What is Social Media Customer Service?

What is Social Media Customer Service?

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Social Media Customer Service (or Social Media Customer Care) is not customer service that supports how to use Social Media or answers what is Social Media.  Social Media Customer Service is about customers being served and supported on social media platforms. To help clear up some of the confusion many will just shorten it to Social Customer Service (or Social Customer Care) when they are addressing this specific area of Social Media.

The recent Social Media Customer Service Report conducted by TNS, surveyed more than 1,000 UK consumers and found that 57% of consumers preferred to search online to solve their customer issues, and then interact with customer service on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogs and forums over any other method.

CTA-11-steps-to-social-media-success-for-contact-centersYet, recent statistics from the Genesys Social Media and Customer Services Summit found that a massive 72% of attendees (attended by companies with customers that use social media platforms) hadn’t yet integrated social media into their business customer service operations.

According to a recent IBM report on social media, the top social media challenge for companies is “establishing an ROI strategy.” This quest to quantify by CFOs is apparently preventing many from making the necessary investment in social media strategies and solutions.

One driving force may be because there are numerous functional groups involved with the social media decision.  Who is going to own it is creating a modern-day political warfare opportunity. Social media is big, I mean billions of people and dollars big, and everyone wants to own it (internally) because their power and influence in an organization will skyrocket overnight.

The stakeholders come from many different internal departments:

  • Marketing
  • Communications/Public Relations
  • Sales
  • Product Development
  • Investor Relations
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Audit/Fraud
  • Finance

Considering the TNS survey revealed that when people have a problem with a product, 61% of men and 53% of women will head to the internet first to search for a solution, these organizations that are waiting need to move forward with their decision about social media customer service quickly.

There is awareness however. Many organizations that have not deployed social media customer service programs realize they need to. It is becoming a big data nightmare. Unfortunately, as with many things in life the hardest part is getting started. Most often fear of making a mistake is a primary driver in not making a decision to act. Considering the daily growth of social media platforms as communication and interaction methods, within the next couple of years, the danger of no decision will by far surpass the fear of making a mistake in strategy and program. You can also say that social media is growing so fast and platforms come and go that any decision you make today will need to be revisited next month.

Putting together a strategy and then building an implementation roadmap and plan for executing the strategy is what must be done. As part of this plan, Customer Relationship Metrics recommends starting with an inside out point of view, and not the outside in point of view recommended by most others. This approach is more target to reducing negative sentiment more rapidly and is more cost-effective.

If you would like to learn more about this “targeted” approach contact us.

About Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and an SVP for Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM). Jim spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner and frequently quoted industry expert. Call Jim at 336-288-8226 if you need help with customer-centric enhancements.

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  • Alanna

    Good post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
    Keep up the good writing.

  • Ian Zafra

    Hey Jim! I agree that Social media has taken customer service to a whole new level. For one, it’s become more interactive means for companies to interact with their customers real-time. Just by the sheer number of likes, comments, and retweets you can see how engaged your customers are with what you posted. Throw them a question and you can immediately gauge the pulse of your customers about that topic, unlike in traditional help desk services. Social media also makes your customer service more personal because you talk to them directly.

    Is Social Media The Next Avenue Of Customer Service?: http://www.spi-global.com/blog/think-tank/social-media-avenue-customer-service/