Social customer services are changing alongside the social networks themselves. Winning tactics range from pro-active or reactive techniques for user engagement, to mapping the journey of a customer and automating customer services, according to Econsultancy contributor Christopher Ratcliff.
Last week, at the Our Social Times’ Social Customer Service Summit 2014, the keynote speaker – Martin Hill-Wilson, a social media strategist – identified some major trends in the area, the first of which is offering a consistent service across social channels, regardless of how different they are.
Another thing to consider is consolidating your view of social channels, says Hill-Wilson. Although there are many, they all essentially use one of three channels: text, sound and video, all of which can be used for developing the customer service of a business.
Offering self-service on social is also recommended. Automation can provide a sense of real-time communication and will save resources, as customers expect to be able to contact customer services at any time.
Investing in peer-to-peer services is a good opportunity for companies with an established user base, Hill-Wilson noted. Related to this is pooling customer knowledge to help future customers with their decision making.
Switching from channel to channel is a good idea for customer service on Twitter, for instance, where there are text restrictions – however, it’s important to make sure customers know what their customer service options are and which channels they can be found on.
Following this comes the timeliness of responses. Although there is no set benchmark time, generally speaking the sooner you respond the better and speeds should be consistent across all channels. Remember: there are social poachers waiting to drive customers away from a company that’s not responding fast enough or well enough to queries, Hill-Wilson warns.